As a discipline that has been profoundly and productively decentred in the postcolonial context, moving beyond the nations that ‘for a long time, determined [its] boundaries’ (Forsdick 2015: 2), how might Modern Languages contribute to developing and rethinking our sense of place and sense of planet (Heise 2008) in times of climate emergency and the sixth mass extinction?

The Greening Modern Languages conference will take place online in order to facilitate international participation. The online format will also be used to foster dialogue in the run-up to the conference, in online conversations structured around key themes and questions and that will feed into the discussions at the conference itself.

Contact the organising committee

Key Questions

These are some of the key questions that this conference will explore:

How may Modern Languages take part in challenging the universalism of monolingualism and of the ‘Age of Man’?

What role can Modern Languages play in the Environmental Humanities and the ‘‘‘unsettling’’ of dominant narratives’ and exploration of ‘the implications of new narratives that are calibrated to the realities of our changing world’ (Bird Rose, van Dooren, Chrulew, Cooke, Kearnes and O’Gorman 2012)?

What methodologies, concepts and multilingual lexicon does the transnational and cross-disciplinary field of Modern Languages offer to rethink our relationship to the more-than-human?

How may we, as Modern Languages scholars and educators, contribute to meaningful and significant sustainability, while navigating the pitfalls of a term that green capitalism has attempted to void of its potential for political dissensus?

What possibilities are there for those working within unsustainable higher education systems?


  • 16th December 2022
    Deadline for conference submissions
  • February 2023
    conference programme published
  • 6th – 23rd of March 2023
    Online conversations
  • 23rd – 25th March 2023
  • October 2023
    launch lexicon and pedagogical toolkit


We welcome contributions from any field(s) within Modern Languages. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Narratives and counter-narratives of the environment across cultures and media
  • Languages of the environment
  • Environmental cultures in minoritized and lesser-spoken languages
  • Translating nature
  • Decolonial ecologies and transcolonial eco-resistance movements
  • Environmental activisms: local struggles and regional/national/transnational networks
  • Crossing (language) borders: environmental migration, mobilities and immobilities, the role of intercultural competence
  • Environmental and animal philosophies across languages
  • Intercultural competence and interspecies competence
  • Environment and marginalised or non-dominant identities: ecofeminism; environmental disability studies; queer ecologies
  • Environment, food, health and wellbeing across societies
  • Creativity and sustainability: Environmental Modern Languages and practice as research
  • Teaching Environmental Modern Languages at school and university levels; intercultural pedagogy and the environment; exploring cultural dimensions of sustainability in world language classrooms; language for Specific Purposes (LSP) and sustainable development 
  • Sustainability and study abroad: offsetting environmental impacts of short-term travel study programs; integration of environmental humanities topics into study abroad curricula; ethical engagement with the environment and Indigenous communities through study abroad
  • Cultural extinction and regional/non-dominant/bilingual language instruction
  • Environmental and pedagogical concerns and opportunities during increasingly electronic/digitally based instruction; sustainability and shifts in resource allocation during austerity and pandemic

The Organising Committee

Armelle Blin-Rolland
Bangor University Prifysgol Bangor

Margaret C. Flinn
The Ohio State University

Martín Veiga
University College Cork Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh