International conference Cultures of resistance, minorized peoples and languages

The international conference "Cultures of resistance, minorized peoples and languages" aims at questioning the way States deal with minorized languages and cultures within their national territory, as well as the modes of resistance minorized people deploy to defend their rights.

The building of Nation-States around a territory, a political project and a language led to a formidable linguistic normalization process, resulting in the exclusion from the public sphere of other languages spoken within the countries' geographic limits, condemning them to disappear sooner or later.

Faced with these mechanisms of "minorization", where such cultures and languages still do exist, they mainly owe it to the unfailing mobilization of their members who struggle so that their idiosyncrasies may benefit from official recognition.

The claims from minorized groups affect all chapters of everyday life: education, media, justice, culture, ways of life, territorial rights… Although these claims are often presented from a cultural point of view, they do in actual fact raise real political issues as they question the place of languages in democracies and the vision of the world they carry in a plural society. Over the years, associations, communities and groups of activists dedicated to the linguistic cause have organized individual or collective actions, mobilizations and initiatives: demonstrations, development of alternative models in the fields of education or media, complaints to national, supra-national and international courts of law, promotion of cultural traditions (music, festivals, museum, literature, poetry, dance, ecotourism, pharmacopoeia, etc), struggles for specific rights (whether linguistic or territorial) or general rights (full access to citizenship, political representation).

Which strategies can account for those choices? How have the peoples prohibited from speaking their mother tongue managed to act, organize themselves and adjust to the historical, economic, social and political conditions imposed by the countries they were living in? How did they raise interest about their cause among international institutions or in their own country?

When analysing those claims, it makes sense to talk about a culture of resistance forged through the struggles led by minorized peoples who succeeded in surviving, despite all the obstacles, and were able to pass on their culture and languages when many others simply disappeared. Nevertheless, what relationships exist between these forms of resistance and the values they carry? How did the historical tensions resulting from the building of Nation-States or colonial empires interact with the quest for recognition, pushing minority-language speaking groups to use cunning in order to cope with the constraints imposed by the dominant culture? Which critical capacity do minority groups have for thinking citizenship and togetherness in the era of cultural and economic globalization? In other words, what characterizes the range of collective actions mobilized by the minorized groups that are resisting in different historical and socio-political contexts?

Those are the issues that will be debated during the conference around four main themes:

  1. the political dimension related to the way claims from minorized peoples are dealt with within the public democratic sphere set up by Nation-States,
  2. the legal framework of international conventions or national constitutions which try to organize the defence and protection of the languages and cultures of the world,
  3. the economic dimension around the tensions or conflicts between territorial rights/regional sovereignty and economic development,
  4. the different experiences and initiatives linked to social mobilizations.


Editorial Advisory Board :

Pr. Jacques Guyot (Université Paris 8), Danièle Téphany (Sociologist), Pr. Fabien Granjon (Université Paris 8), Pr. Miguel Escobar (Universidad Autónoma de México), Pr. Tristan Mattelart (Université Paris 8), Pr. Margarita Ledo Andión (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, España), Dr. Julie Peghini (Université Paris 8), Pr. Asbjørn Slot Jørgensen (Danish school of Media and Journalism, Aarhus, Denmark).


Place and date :

The conference will take place at the Auditorium of the Art Museum - Halle Saint Pierre, in the historical Montmartre quarter, on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd of December 2016.


Registration fees :

40 Euros that include full access to all conference activities.


Proposals :

The deadline for submitting proposals is August 15th 2016. Each proposal should integrate a title, a 500-word abstract and a short biography.

If accepted, the full text of the communication should be sent to the organizing committee before the 15th of November 2016.

E-mail proposals to :

Contact : Pr. Jacques Guyot :

Contact Info: 

Jacques Guyot or Nathalie Phothisa


1 December 2016 - 2 December 2016