Forging Linguistic Identities Conference

Forging Linguistic Identities. Language in the nation, the region and the world. An international conference.

The Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures at Towson University hosted the 7th edition of “Forging Linguistic Identities” on March 16-18, 2023.

Conference Topics

The conference seeks to examine language as socially embedded within historical and geo-political contexts. Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • national reception of dialect/minority-language literature and verbal culture
  • dialects/diglossia and their role in group identity formation
  • the standardization of national and/or majority language(s) and its impact on national or regional politics
  • multilingualism and its negotiation and practice by the communities of use
  • use(s) of indigenous languages under transnational states
  • migration
  • translation studies
  • raciolinguistics
  • language policy and planning

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Maya Angela Smith, Associate Professor of French at the University of Washington, was our keynote speaker. 


The scope of the conference is not limited by region, language or time period. Proposals involving languages taught by the Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures (ASL, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Ancient Greek, Biblical and Modern Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swahili) are especially encouraged. Proposals are welcomed across disciplines, from scholars of languages and literatures, education, geography, history, psychology, anthropology and sociology.

Please send an abstract of 250 words by email to: Prof. Francisco Martínez Ibarra (). Please include your name, institution affiliation, day telephone and email address. Please note that conference papers must be in English or ASL and limited to 20 minutes.

Proposals for panels with multiple speakers are also welcome provided they fit within the 90-minute time frame of each session.

We are tentatively planning this conference in-person. We will consider virtual and hybrid options if needed as the time approaches. We are considering publishing the conference proceedings, pending participants’ interest.

Faculty of all ranks, as well as graduate students, are encouraged to participate. We will offer discounted hotel rooms near campus, and a graduated scale of conference fees.