“Language and Nature” seminar series

  • Date:
  • Time: 1-4pm
  • Place: Seminar Room 1 - LHRI (29-31, Clarendon Place)
  • Categories:

We are delighted to announce the forthcoming seminar session within the Language and Nature Sadler Seminar Series. This examines Language and Nature in terms of form and sensory experience, with presentations by:

1.       Dr Maria das Dores de Oliveira – Pankararu, Fundação Nacional do Índio
2.       Simon Armitage – Professor of Poetry, University of Leeds
3.       Dr Tom Jackson – Lecturer in Digital Media, Media and Communications.

The abstracts to follow:

Dr Maria das Dores de Oliveira : Ofayé is an indigenous language from Brazil spoken by the indigenous community of the same name. There are very, very few speakers of the language left (less than 10) and it is thus considered to be extremely endangered. Despite this tragic situation, the Ofayé language is still considered by community members to be an important marker of their ethnic identity. In this paper I will briefly present my experience of conducting linguistic research with the Ofayé and outline some of my findings, in particular seeking ways to shed light on the central thesis of the ‘language and nature’ seminar series and the specific topic of the session, relating to colour, form and sensory experience.

Simon Armitage will read and discuss a selection of his work, focusing on poems that engage with the subject and language of nature, from his translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to new and unpublished work.

Dr Tom Jackson: “The Senses, Language and Nature”, Studying sensory experience has the potential to reveal valuable insights into the relationships between language and nature. Changes in biodiversity are likely to be rapidly reflected in changes to the sensory experience of place and the language used to describe those experiences commonly exhibits limitations which embody local cultural values. Following a discussion of these potentialities and problems, new technological methods for communicating and studying sensory experience, developed by the author, will be presented and evaluated.