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October 31, 2022

UBC Point Grey
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

Image credit:  Gordon Johnson from Pixabay.

Over one dozen units at UBC Vancouver are organizing Arts Multilingual Week 2022!  The week’s events will feature students, scholars, and community members reflecting on multilingualism as a practice, discussing career opportunities for multilingual graduates, and performing multilingualism through artistic means.

Featured events

The week of events will open with a roundtable on “Why we study languages" with Associate Dean Stefania Burk in conversation with faculty members from across the language disciplines. Then Arts Multilingual Week programming explodes with five days of programming that includes three exciting student-centered events: a Speech Contest on “What Multilingualism means to me...”, an exhibition of untranslatable words and idioms, and a Multilingual Poetry Slam.

In addition to Lightning Talks on Multilingual Pedagogies and various roundtables on Multilingualism in teaching and research, Arts Multilingual Week will also feature conversations on Indigenous languages, Indigenization, and the Indigenous Atlas of Canada, a virtual American Sign Language (ASL) workshop, an introduction to DeafBlind Protactile Communication, and a presentation on the Deaf community and the marginalization of signed languages by local celebrity and UBC instructor Nigel Howard as well as a catered Bollywood film screening and presentations from student groups.

Moreover, Dr. Guofang Li, UBC Professor and Canada Research Chair in Transnational/Global Perspectives of Language and Literacy Education of Children and Youth from the Department of Language and Literacy Education will give a keynote entitled "Multilingualism as a Gift: Changing Mindsets, Changing Worlds"; Indigenous comics artist Cole Pauls will present his work on Indigenous language revitalization and his newest comic book Kwändǖr; and comics scholar Katherine Kelp-Stebbins will present research from her new book How Comics Travel: Publication, Translation, Radical Literacies (2022) in a talk entitled "Multilingualism in Comics from Haida Gwaii to Beirut."

Events will take place in Dodson (room 302) in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC) or in the Asian Studies Auditorium.

A light lunch will be served daily at 12 PM in Dodson (room 302) in the IKBLC

Learn more here, or contact Biz Nijdam.

'What Multilingualism Means to Me' Speech Contest - Tuesday, November 1st

Students are welcome to participate in an English-language Speech Contest, “What Multilingualism Means to Me," to take place at 7pm on Tuesday, November 1st.  Suggested topics include becoming multilingual; multilingualism and belonging; multilingualism in the media; the value of language learning; and living multilingually. This event is ideal for students in the early stages of language learning or in literature/culture courses that engage texts in translation to facilitate reflection on language that supports L2 learning outcomes and critical inquiry into the role of language in the lives of students. 

Learn more about participation here.

'Untranslatables' Digital Media Projects - Thursday, November 3rd

Students are invited to share either short essays or digital media projects exploring “Untranslatables”. These short essays and media projects will thematize how some words aren’t easily translated into other languages and retain their distinct meaning and purpose only in their original form, exploring what one word or a group of words means through creative means. Options include a 350-500-word definition; a 750-1000-word personal essay, literary text, or screenplay; a short comic; a short film, podcast, vlog, or series of TikToks; a short digital game or interactive narrative using a platform such as Twine; a series of GIFS, memes, or Instagram posts; or a larger creative project using traditional or mixed media formats. A selection of these short essays and digital media projects will be put on display in the Asian Studies Auditorium on Thursday, November 3rd. 

Learn more about participation here.

Multilingual Poetry Slam - Friday, November 4th

UBC's first-ever Multilingual Poetry Slam will take place on Friday, November 4th. This event provides the opportunity for students to practice multilingualism through multi- and cross-lingual poetry performances. The Multilingual Poetry Slam will be integrated into various courses across campus, with students first performing their poetry in class in person, virtually, or via a recording, before the finalists are invited to perform their poems at the Friday afternoon event to be held in the Asian Studies Auditorium.  This event will feature two tracks: The first category will be for original poetry written in the target language. Then, the second category will showcase student translations of poems in celebration of multilingualism. Participants will first read the English translation of their poem and then perform the poem in a different language or a combination of languages.  

First and second prizes will be awarded to the top performances, the best poems, and the most compelling translations presented. Learn more about participation here.

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