Although linguistic plurality and the power relations between languages (or rather their speakers) are subject to constant and accelerating change due to global migration and ongoing democratisation processes, the general perception of languages—at least in Europe—still reflects hierarchical classifications based on a 19th century European nation state ideology. Differences in status between languages and the accompanying structures of power, however, cannot be explored through 19th century concepts and terminologies. This understanding would negate all socio-political and socio-cultural developments of the last decades. Globalisation, increased mobility, transnational networking, as well as communication technologies have over the past decades opened up new modes of language use, more complex and diverse power relations, and multifaceted perspectives on language in general.
The conference "Languages in an Open World" intends to bring together scholars from linguistics and related disciplines with an interest and expertise in language and globalisation, with a special focus on status and power relations between languages and their speakers and their impact and/or transformation in a world characterised by mobility, increased complexity, and diverse and dynamic formations of cultural, linguistic, and societal identities.