Call for papers for the 2nd “Language and the pandemic” Conference, 9-10 July 2022

Keynote Speaker: Christian Matthiessen

Abstract Due Date: 10 June 2022


This conference brings together academics and practitioners from a wide variety of fields, for a collaborative, multidisciplinary exploration of the ways in which the pandemic has impacted language. All abstracts are peer-reviewed. Themes and issues for the conference include, but are not limited to:


Stream A:           Language in the pandemic

The media shape people’s beliefs and actions around health information and political leadership. They inform identities and perspectives, even as distrust in them is widespread, through being instrumentalised by politicians, dissidents and intellectuals. Language and images are at the centre of these processes, as information is packaged and disseminated by the corporate and legacy media, and contested and delegitimised by alternative media, religious groups, NGOs, resistance groups, minorities and others. In the pandemic, these groups vie with traditional powers for control of the public agenda and perceptions. This conference explores these changing realities and relationships, as well as their symbols, technologies, affordances, and impacts. We welcome papers exploring: the language used for news about the pandemic, language and social distrust regarding news about the pandemic, language and contemporary political ideologies as they interact with news about the pandemic, among many possible topics.


Stream B:           Applied linguistics


Papers are invited in any area of applied linguistics. This includes, but is not limited to:  systemic functional linguistics in language pedagogy, any other area of language teaching and learning, language assessment, ESP, multiliteracies and multimodality, second language acquisition, language teacher education, stylistics, and language policy and planning, among many. We also welcome papers from related fields, with a focus on an applied linguistics area, such as semantics, discourse analysis, World Englishes, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, corpus linguistics, phonetics and phonology, among many. Papers may address issues connected to the pandemic, or not.


Stream C:            Language and healthcare in the pandemic

Language mediates our understanding of the spectrum of health and ease through discomfort and illness. It helps us express our awareness of these states in our daily lives, and negotiate expectations and outcomes with family, friends, employers, practitioners and caregivers. Among practitioners, language shapes team interactions, patient reception, the quality of care delivered and received, patient satisfaction, and health outcomes. This stream focuses on language use within any of the various healthcare contexts and settings. Papers might explore questions of language in the delivery and experience of healthcare, and they might employ any of the various analytic methods used in language studies.


Stream D:           Data analytics and the pandemic

In order to find out how the pandemic is impacting students, we are soliciting papers from teachers, lecturers and professors. These papers ask use structured interviews, and evaluate the data with sentiment analysis software. Conference participants interested in cooperating with this effort will publish papers in a journal special issue with HEDRA advisory board members.  If you are interested in this, please click here.


The conference welcomes abstracts from academics and researchers working in linguistics, as well as in media, computing, social sciences, healthcare, and business, and also from people working in interdisciplinary and interprofessional fields, and others. Participants will be able to watch a plenary session, and participate in a live-stream roundtable, and a conference roundtable discussions.


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