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Multilingualism and power in contemporary French cinema

In a world defined by the flow of people, goods and cultures, many contemporary French films explore the multicultural nature of today's France through language. In a cinematic landscape increasingly characterised by multiculturalism and linguistic diversity, a number of contemporary French films are beginning to represent multilingualism as a means of attaining and exerting social power. This book is the first substantial study of multilingual film in France. Unpacking the power dynamics at play in the dialogue of eight emblematic films, it argues that many contemporary French films take a new approach to language and power. The book begins in central Paris in Polisse and Entre les murs, then travels to the banlieue in Un prophete and Dheepan. It then heads to another culturally loaded but very different space with Welcome and La Graine et le mulet, whose border-crossing stories unfold in the port cities of Calais and Sete respectively. Then, in London River and Des hommes et des dieux, the book steps off French soil, travelling to the English capital and former French colony of Algeria. It explores characters whose lives are marked not only by France, but by former colonies, foreign countries and other European states. In its depiction of strategic code-switching in transcultural scenarios, contemporary French multilingual cinema shows the potential for symbolic power inherent in French, other dominant Western tongues, and many migrant and minority languages. The book offers a unique insight into the place of language and power in French cinema today.

Matthew Hunt
Sharon O’Brien
Patrick Cadwell
, and
Dónal P. O’Mathúna

proved useful in overcoming some language barriers, though others persisted ( Munro, 2013 ). The Haiti earthquake illustrates the multilingual nature of humanitarian crises and the importance of translation, as well as the close connection between language and humanitarian ICT innovations. These features are not unique to the Haiti earthquake, and many crises occur in contexts where linguistic diversity is greater. A recent example of the need for translation and interpreting

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Ethnographic perspectives across Europe

How to deal with differences based on culture, ethnicity and race has become a key issue of policing in public debates globally. The public discourse is dominated by shocking news events, many of them happening in the US, but also in Europe. This book looks at everyday, often mundane, interactions between police officers and migrantised actors in European countries and explores how both sides deal with perceived differences. Taking an ethnographic approach, the book contributes to the development of a comparative and distinctly European perspective on policing. The study of the practices, discourses and beliefs of actors themselves is an epistemological positioning, while often ethically challenging, which is unavoidable for a nuanced understanding of policing. By adopting an ethnographic and multi-perspective approach, the contributors to this book study the possible course of action, perspectives and rationalities of both sides in these encounters. The book presents empirically grounded contributions from various European countries, jointly developing a field of study and generating robust concepts in a highly politicised field, bringing together anthropology, criminology, history, sociology and linguistics.

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Gemma King

calls a ‘handicap’ (2006: 102) preventing cultural integration. Yet multilingualism – the ability to learn, use and transition among multiple languages – is an opportunity. This scene, and the film in general, is about cultural difference, language barriers, the politics of migration, tensions between the First and Third worlds, the moral ambiguity of war and the trauma of displacement. But it is also about social power, as enacted through strategic use of language. In a cinematic landscape increasingly characterised by multiculturalism and linguistic diversity, a

in Decentring France
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Sam Rohdie

concerned with Italian realities, as opposed to the artificiality of screen representations as they had been, necessarily concerned itself with Italy’s linguistic and regional realities. What is notable about Italian films of this kind made after 1943 (for example, Visconti’s Ossessione (1943), Rossellini’s ‘fascist’ war trilogy, De Sica’s I bambini ci guardano (1944), De Santis’s Riso amaro (1949)) is their linguistic diversity in which characters either speak with noticeable regional 114 Film modernism accents (albeit in ‘Italian’) or speak in dialect (for example

in Film modernism
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At a time when monolingualist claims for the importance of ‘speaking English’ to the national order continue louder than ever, even as language diversity is increasingly part of contemporary British life, literature becomes a space to consider the terms of linguistic belonging. Bad English examines writers including Tom Leonard, James Kelman, Suhayl Saadi, Raman Mundair, Daljit Nagra, Xiaolu Guo, Leila Aboulela, Brian Chikwava, and Caroline Bergvall, who engage multilingually, experimentally, playfully, and ambivalently with English’s power. Considering their invented vernaculars and mixed idioms, their dramatised scenes of languaging – languages learned or lost, acts of translation, scenes of speaking, the exposure and racialised visibility of accent – it argues for a growing field of contemporary literature in Britain pre-eminently concerned with language’s power dynamics, its aesthetic potentialities, and its prosthetic strangeness. Drawing on insights from applied linguistics and translation studies as well as literary scholarship, Bad English explores contemporary arguments about language in Britain – in debates about citizenship or education, in the media or on Twitter, in Home Office policy and asylum legislation – as well as the ways they are taken up in literature. It uncovers both an antagonistic and a productive interplay between language politics and literary form, tracing writers’ articulation of linguistic alienation and ambivalence, as well as the productivity and making-new of radical language practices. Doing so, it refutes the view that language difference and language politics are somehow irrelevant to contemporary Britain and instead argues for their constitutive centrality to the work of novelists and poets whose inside/outside relationship to English in its institutionalised forms is the generative force of their writing.

Colonial powers and Ethiopian frontiers 1880–1884 is the fourth volume of Acta Aethiopica, a series that presents original Ethiopian documents of nineteenth-century Ethiopian history with English translations and scholarly notes. The documents have been collected from dozens of archives in Africa and Europe to recover and present the Ethiopian voice in the history of Ethiopia in the nineteenth century. The present book, the first Acta Aethiopica volume to appear from Lund University Press, deals with how Ethiopian rulers related to colonial powers in their attempts to open Ethiopia for trade and technological development while preserving the integrity and independence of their country. In addition to the correspondence and treatises with the rulers and representatives of Italy, Egypt and Great Britain, the volume also presents letters dealing with ecclesiastical issues, including the Ethiopian community in Jerusalem.


This book explores the development of Robert Lepage’s distinctive approach to stage direction in the early (1984–94) and middle (1995–2008) stages of his career, arguing that globalisation had a defining effect in shaping his aesthetic and professional trajectory. It combines examination of Lepage’s theatremaking techniques with discussion of his work’s effects on audiences, calling on Lepage’s own statements as well as existing scholarship and critical response. In addition to globalisation theory, the book draws on cinema studies, queer theory, and theories of affect and reception. As such, it offers an unprecedented conceptual framework, drawing together what has previously been a scattered field of research. Each of six chapters treats a particular aspect of globalisation, using this as a means to explore one or more of Lepage’s productions. These aspects include the relationship of the local (in Lepage’s case, his background in Québec) to the global; the place of individual experience within global late modernity; the effects of screen media on human perception; the particular affect of ‘feeling global’; the place of branding in contemporary creative systems; and the relationship of creative industries to neoliberal economies. Making theatre global: Robert Lepage’s original stage productions will be of interest to scholars of contemporary theatre, advanced-level undergraduates with an interest in the application of theoretical approaches to theatrical creation and reception, and arts lovers keen for new perspectives on one of the most talked-about theatre artists of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Europeanisation and language borders
Maria Stoicheva

and Minority Language was adopted and came into force in 1998. The Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities was signed in 1995 and became active in 1998. In 184 Issues and sectors 1998 the Recommendations on Linguistic Rights of National Minorities were adopted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). All these international documents are considered as ‘declarations of minimum standards’ (Kymlicka and Patten, 2003: 3) regarding linguistic diversity and the concept of linguistic rights plays an important part in them

in The European Union and its eastern neighbourhood
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Sue Harris

, complex verbal layering, ritualistic composition – then a clear cultural context in which Blier’s work ‘makes sense’ quickly emerges. Bakhtin’s concept of carnival is a useful place to start in as much as it invites a reading of Blier’s humour as festive and ludic rather than wilfully aggressive, his characters as stock types rather than hideous incarnations of urban menace, his language as a celebration of linguistic diversity

in Bertrand Blier