Thoughts on Language, Culture and Migration

By Grace Igbinoke, S5 pupil and Career Ready Intern at the IRC in LINCS

I have always loved travelling because I get to see new places and know about new cultures. The even more fun part for me is that when you travel, you get to learn new languages. Languages are jigsaws that you have to complete, and it is important that, after you have completed one, you take care of it, and you don’t undo it. When you become bilingual (or perhaps polyglot), your brain is trained to have more than one language ready to answer at the time. This trains your memory retention, your ability to focus and it is a great way to make people more broad-minded as they will acknowledge the existence of how objects and gestures are seen in the different cultures. This in turn makes people more respectful and empathetic.

Maybe my love for languages comes from the fact that I grew up in a polyglot family. My parents speak four languages each, but for one reason or another they never thought me their first language – Edo. This did not stop my love for languages, in fact it only reinforced it.

One of the reasons my parents did not teach me their language is that they needed to learn another language themselves, which left little to no time to focus on teaching their children their own language. Another reason is that they thought that their language was irrelevant compared to my actual first language, Italian, which is a language from Europe. 

Sadly, this is the thought many immigrants have when moving. This idea that because a language is from Europe, it is more valuable than a language from Africa or Asia is very upsetting.

Some people will argue that perhaps some languages are more important and valuable than others. My take on this opinion is that: yes, some languages are definitely more valuable on your CV, because they are languages from more economically influential countries (or simply because there are more speakers of that language), but no, no language is more important than another one. Languages hold cultures and stories, and no one has the right to decide which language is valuable and which isn’t, because it is only harming the next generation’s knowledge of their own culture. I am saying this from experience.

My point is: the culture is held by the language in which it is spoken. For example, certain words or phrases simply do not make any sense if translated. Also, every language has its own sense of humour, which might make absolutely no sense in another language. Each language is beautiful and different. Therefore, it is important that all languages are valued.

In conclusion, languages are fun and unique, and they are an important instrument which will effectively keep a culture going for generations. So, if you are a free spirit as myself, pack your bags and on you go, your next destination is to be learning a new culture through its language!

Grace Igbinoke, S5 pupil and Career Ready Intern at the IRC in LINCS

IndyLan Newsletter – July 2021

IndyLan Newsletter – July 2021

Welcome to the third newsletter of our Erasmus+ project Mobile Virtual Learning for Indigenous Languages (IndyLan).

The 26-month project (2019-2021) is led by Heriot-Watt University and the Coordinator is Dr Katerina Strani from the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies. The project includes the following 5 partners from 4 countries (UK, Finland, Norway and Spain):

The IndyLan project is developing a mobile application that will help speakers of English, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish to learn Gaelic, Scots, Cornish, Basque, Galician and Saami, all endangered at different degrees.  Our project’s educational tool is designed specifically for users to help them learn not only some of Europe’s endangered languages but also more about the cultures of the people who speak these languages.

The tool constitutes a gamified language-learning solution that will contain around 4,000 vocabulary items (both terms and expressions) in about 100 categories. The modes that will be available in the application are: Vocabulary; Phrases; Dialogues; Grammar; Aural Comprehension; Culture. 

Our vision is for the IndyLan app to contribute to endangered language learning and revitalisation so that these languages remain alive and relevant in contemporary societies and economies. 

Our project website is available in 11 languages. It has a dedicated section on the languages and people of the IndyLan app, with videos and resources. On our website you can also find news and updates, as well as a list of our downloadable outputs.

News and updates

Covid-19 impact on our project

We have continued to work remotely in the past year and held all meetings online. Since our last newsletter in June 2020, we met online three times: in September 2020, in December 2020 and in March 2021, which would have been our third official project meeting in Bilbao. The official project meeting took place on 23rd March 2021 on Zoom. During this meeting, we discussed progress with Intellectual Output 2 (the app in beta version), internal and external evaluations of our intellectual outputs and dissemination activities. We also started preparations for Intellectual Output 3, the pilot testing phrase, and revised the timeline for the finalisation of the app content.

Partners met online for the 3rd official project meeting in March 2021

Our initial plan was to have the app ready in beta version in April and to launch it in June. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in some unforeseen delays, with reduced capacity across the project team. We are now aiming to start the app testing in August and to launch the app officially in September.

We will keep you posted !

You will also be invited to our local and international dissemination events in the Autumn – details will be available in due course.

Sneak peek at the app

Partners have completed the translation of about 4,000 vocabulary items, as well as phrases and dialogues, grammar exercises, culture tabs and various types of exercises for each language. This was no easy task, as there were many untranslatable terms (there are no words for ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in Cornish), terms with complicated translations (‘to own something’ in Gaelic) and other terms with more than one translations (see snow terminology in Sámi).

We are now finalising the app backend and are testing the app internally. Here are some screenshots !

Dissemination and events

Áile Javo, the Secretary General of the Saami Council, one of the project partners, presented the project at an UNESCO -led event on Indigenous Languages in January:

#ArcticConnections – Indigenous Languages: Thriving in a Digital Age – YouTube

Katerina Strani, the project coordinator, presented the project in her talk ‘Language and Communities: Present and future Scottish-Arctic collaborations’, at the Scotland-Arctic Network Series: Engaging Local and Indigenous Communities event, in March: https://youtu.be/gSAL0gMg-m0 

Heriot-Watt’s biannual Intercultural Research Centre Symposium was held in May, and this year it included an online celebration in the form of a cèilidh. This included performances by Steve Byrne, who is working on the project, Meg Bateman, Niillas Holmberg, Brian Ó hEadhra and Fionnaig Nic Choinnich.

If you missed it, you can read about it here: Intercultural Research Centre Symposium and Ceilidh 2021 | LifeinLINCS 

Steve Byrne performing at the Intercultural Research Centre Symposium ceilidh

This year’s Speak Cornish week events were held online, and our project engaged with some activities on Twitter. Meur ras Kernow ! (=thank you, Cornwall)

Next steps:

  • The internal testing and  backend finalisation will be completed in the next few weeks.
  • The testing phase, which constitutes Intellectual Output 3, will begin in August.
  • Intellectual Output 3 will be the pilot testing of the app which will be carried out by remote users as well as participants in our multiplier events in all partner countries in the summer of 2021.
  • The app is scheduled to be launched at the Final Dissemination Conference in Cornwall in the autumn 2021.

The app will be available for download globally for free in both iOS and Android. Like all language-learning apps, IndyLan is complementary to other language- and culture courses and can be considered to be part of self-study material.

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/IndylanP

 Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectIndyLan

For any questions or comments, please contact us at info@indylan.eu

Study for a PhD with us ! Apply for a scholarship !

The following projects are available:

Minority sign languages and sign language contact.
(Supervisory team: Dr Robert Adam & Dr Annelies Kusters)

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Robert Adam
(r.adam@hw.ac.uk)

Syrian identities in the UK.
(Supervisory team: Dr Lina Fadel & Dr Katerina Strani)
For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Lina Fadel (lina.fadel@hw.ac.uk)

Deaf geographies. (Supervisory team: Dr Annelies Kusters & Dr Robert Adam)
For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Annelies Kusters (a.kusters@hw.ac.uk)

Enhancing multilingual communication and ensuring procedural fairness through empirical research on interpreting and/or translation in police settings. (Ref.: SoSS-2021-017) (Supervisory team: Dr Eloísa Monteoliva & Prof Jemina Napier)
For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Eloísa Monteoliva (eloisa.monteoliva@hw.ac.uk)

We look forward to receiving your applications.

InterTrainE Newsletter: February 2021

Welcome to the final newsletter of our Erasmus+ project Intercultural Training for Educators (InterTrainE)! The 2-year project is led by Heriot-Watt University and the Coordinator is Dr Katerina Strani from the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies

InterTrainE course launch

Our free online course on Intercultural Training for Educators was officially launched at national events and at an international final dissemination conference earlier this month. The InterTrainE course is available in 4 languages (English, Greek, Italian and Finnish) and the national events presented the local language version of the course.

National Multiplier Events

ITALY

The Italian course launch took place on 28th January online. The project lead for Studio Risorse, Monica Miglionico, and the project lead for Il Sicomoro, Valeria Zampagni, presented the Italian course and engaged in a long discussion with educators, migrant learners and other stakeholders in Matera and beyond.

GREECE

The Greek course launch took place on 27th January online. The project lead for KEKAPER at the Region of Crete, Charalambos-Nikolaos Piteris, and the project lead for the European Education and Learning Institute -EELI, Kalli Rodopoulou, presented the Greek course and engaged in discussion with participant educators, local and regional authorities and other stakeholders.

FINLAND

The Finnish course launch took place on February 11th online. The project lead for Learning for Integration ry, Marja-Liisa Helenius, presented the Finnish course and engaged in discussion with participant educators, learners and other stakeholders.

UK – FINAL LAUNCH EVENT

The UK dissemination and final launch event for the project took place on February 1st online. The project lead for Creative Learning Programmes, Chrysi Koundouraki, and the project coordinator from Heriot-Watt University, Dr Katerina Strani, presented the InterTrainE course and engaged in discussion with participant educators, learners, academics and other stakeholders in the UK and the rest of Europe.

The InterTrainE course

The InterTrainE course is divided into 4 Modules and each Module consists of 4 units.

Module 1: Theoretical Background, Basic Principles and Concepts
Module 2: Intercultural Competences in the Context of Migration
Module 3: Adult education practices in intercultural contexts
Module 4: Impact and global citizenship

A certificate of completion awarding 5 EQF credits is issued to learners who complete the course and achieve a minimum of 70% in each Module. Learners can choose to complete part of the course according to their training needs, however they will not receive a certificate of completion if they do not complete all 4 Modules.

There is a discussion forum where you are invited to ask questions and discuss key concepts or case studies in the course under the principles of peer learning.

The course is accompanied by a Course Syllabus and a Trainees’ Handbook.

You can find all our completed outputs, including research reports, curricula, the course syllabus and the trainees’ handbook on our website: http://intertraine.eu/outputs

Remember that our website and our outputs are available in all project languages: English, Italian, Greek and Finnish.

Be part of our conversation! Register on our platform http://intertraine.eu/moodle/ and follow the online course. Send us your feedback at info@intertraine.eu

Thank you for all your support!

Project website and social media accounts

Our project website includes information and updates on our project, as well as all Intellectual Outputs to date. The website is available in all partner languages – English, Greek, Italian and Finnish.

Updates are published regularly on social media. To make sure you don’t miss out:
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Research Gate  

For any questions or comments, please contact: info@intertraine.eu

Or the project coordinator:

Dr Katerina Strani
Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies
Henry Prais Building
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh EH14 4AS
UK
Tel: +44 131 451 4216
A.Strani@hw.ac.uk

“InterTrainE update – our online credit-bearing course is ready!

InterTrainE NewsletterDecember 2020

Welcome to the fifth newsletter of our Erasmus+ project Intercultural Training for Educators (InterTrainE)! The 2-year project is led by Heriot-Watt University and the Coordinator is Dr Katerina Strani from the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies

Baby news

Congratulations to Alastair Mackie (HWU) who became a Dad in July! Alastair, his partner Zoe and baby Mikkel are doing great. This is the third new member of the InterTrainE team, with Kalli Rodopoulou (EELI) and Kate Sailer (CLP) also welcoming bundles of joy last year 🙂

Our course is ready!

We are very happy to announce that our online course is now ready and freely available through our platform! http://intertraine.eu/moodle/

The InterTrainE course is divided into 4 Modules and each Module consists of 4 units.

Module 1: Theoretical Background, Basic Principles and Concepts
Module 2: Intercultural Competences in the Context of Migration
Module 3: Adult education practices in intercultural contexts
Module 4: Impact and global citizenship

A certificate of completion awarding 5 EQF credits is issued to learners who complete the course and achieve a minimum of 70% in each Module. Learners can choose to complete part of the course according to their training needs, however they will not receive a certificate of completion if they do not complete all 4 Modules.

There is a discussion forum where you are invited to ask questions and discuss key concepts or case studies in the course under the principles of peer learning.

The course is accompanied by a Course Syllabus and a Trainees’ Handbook.

You can find all our completed outputs, including research reports, curricula, the course syllabus and the trainees’ handbook on our website: http://intertraine.eu/outputs

Remember that our website and our outputs are available in all project languages: English, Italian, Greek and Finnish.

Joint Staff Training Event highlights

Our online Joint-Staff Training Event took place on 16th-20th November. The JSTE was hosted by KEKAPER – Region of Crete, sadly not in Rethymno, but on Zoom. 22 participants from the 7 partners in 4 countries were trained on the basis of the InterTrainE course, provided feedback and critically evaluated the course content and impact.

Some highlights from the week’s activities:

On Day 1, we focused on Module 1: Basic Principles and Concepts. We discussed interculturalism and intercultural education in the context of critical adult education. We looked at dimensions of privilege and their role in the classroom. This discussed included power dynamics in intercultural classrooms, motivation, language of instruction, languages of learners, empowerment and co-construction of knowledge.

Day 2 focused on Module 2: Intercultural Competences in the Context of Migration. We discussed stereotypes, bias, uncertainty, trauma, deskilling, confidence, motivation and empathy. Not bad for one module!

Day 3 focused on Module 3: Adult education practices in intercultural contexts. We revisited group dynamics in intercultural classrooms, and discussed racism and discrimination in the classroom with relevant case-studies. When we finished, Yannis asks us to state one word that we would take away from today. We all agreed on “Inspired”!

Day 4 was focused on the final module, Module 4: Impact and Global Citizenship. We discussed our role as educators, taking into account everything we had learned and discussed so far. We looked at both personal and social impact, which sparked a debate on age and gender bias.

Who says the online medium limits engagement? We had a long and interesting discussion on Intercultural v. Global education.

On Day 5, which was the last day of the JSTE, we focused on case-studies prepared by the participants. These case-studies and personal stories sparked a discussion on the importance of empathetic listening and attitudes as opposed to judging isolated behaviours. An interesting debate followed on politics in the classroom, languages in the classroom, group work and group dynamics, and the difference between individualist and collectivist cultures.

That’s a wrap!!! We are all still buzzing. Cheers! متشکرم Grazie Gracias Kiitos Ευχαριστούμε Faleminderit

We have analysed the JSTE feedback and made minor changes to course material in response to participants’ recommendations. Our External Evaluator, Dr Jim Crowther also provided us with comments and an evaluation of the final course. We are very grateful to our external evaluator for his feedback and guidance. His expertise and engagement with the project are invaluable.

Be part of our conversation! Register on our platform http://intertraine.eu/moodle/ and follow the online course. Send us your feedback at info@intertraine.eu

Next stages

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, all our remaining activities will take place online until the end of the project in February 2021. Our national Multiplier Events and our project’s Final Dissemination Event will take place in the coming months.

Watch this space for the dates of our national multiplier events and for our project’s Final Dissemination Event, when the course will be formally presented!

In 2020, many aspects of our work and our lives changed and we are being affected in ways we could not imagine. Online education has a more crucial role than ever before to support and connect learning communities. Stay tuned and check out our activities on our website   http://intertraine/eu

Project website and social media accounts

Our project website includes information and updates on our project, as well as all Intellectual Outputs to date. The website is available in all partner languages – English, Greek, Italian and Finnish.

Updates are published regularly on social media. To make sure you don’t miss out:

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Research Gate  

Our next and final newsletter will be out in February 2021, so stay tuned!

Contact

For any questions or comments, please contact: info@intertraine.eu

Or the project coordinator:

Dr Katerina Strani
Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies
Henry Prais Building
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh EH14 4AS
UK

Tel: +44 131 451 4216
A.Strani@hw.ac.uk

IndyLan Project Update! June 2020

Welcome to the second newsletter of our Erasmus+ project Mobile Virtual Learning for Indigenous Languages (IndyLan). The 26-month project (2019-2021) is led by Heriot-Watt University and the Coordinator is Dr Katerina Strani from the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies

IndyLan includes 5 partners from 4 countries (UK, Finland, Norway and Spain) and aims to develop a mobile application which will help to learn the languages and cultures associated with the following indigenous languages: Gaelic, Scots, Cornish, Basque, Galician and Saami. The project will develop an educational tool designed specifically for users to learn not only some of Europe’s endangered languages but also more about the cultures of the people who speak these languages.

The partners are:

The IndyLan application will help speakers of English, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish to learn Gaelic, Scots, Cornish, Basque, Galician and Saami, all endangered at different degrees


The tool constitutes a gamified language-learning solution in the form of a mobile application. Smartphones have become a popular educational tool and the number of the smartphone and tablet users of all ages is constantly growing in the EU. The application is building on a previous project, Moving Languages, with the key difference that IndyLan will produce one application for all languages, and not multiple language-specific applications as Moving Languages did. IndyLan will contain around 4,000 vocabulary items (both terms and expressions) in about 100 categories. The modes that will be available in the application are: Vocabulary; Phrases; Dialogues; Grammar; Culture; Test. 

The app is scheduled to be launched at the Final Dissemination Conference in Cornwall in September 2021. It will be available for download globally for free in both iOS and Android. Like all language-learning apps, IndyLan is complementary to other language- and culture courses and can be considered to be part of self-study material.

Our vision is for the IndyLan app to contribute to endangered language learning and revitalisation so that these languages remain alive and relevant in contemporary societies and economies. 

News and updates

Website launch

Our project website was launched in February! The website is available in 10 languages (and soon we will also have Swedish). It has a dedicated section on the languages and people of the IndyLan app, with videos and resources. On our website you can also find news and updates, as well as a list of our downloadable outputs.

Intellectual Output 1 completed

Our Intellectual Output 1: Report on endangered indigenous languages in partner countries and mobile learning solutions is ready and can be downloaded from our website 

The report provides an overview of endangered languages in the partner countries (UK, Finland, Norway, Spain) and a review of mobile and other virtual learning tools for learning and promoting these languages. The report starts with an overview of the endangered languages in Europe, and the current EU policies concerning indigenous and minority languages. Next, it provides some figures and statistics regarding the above six indigenous and endangered languages, which are part of the IndyLan app (Basque, Cornish, Gaelic, Galician, Scots and Sámi), in the partner countries (UK, Spain, Finland, Norway). Finally, it reviews mobile learning solutions and online resources available for these endangered languages in partner countries (for Android, iOS, and Windows platforms).

Each partner researched, downloaded and tested where possible, and evaluated the available language learning applications. The search was carried out on Google, Apple and other markets, using the mobile devices and PCs. The result of this work is not only a rich collection of language learning applications described in detail, but also an important collection of suggestions and useful information for developing the IndyLan app.

Promotional Cornish video

Watch Mark Trevethan from Cornwall Council promoting the IndyLan app in Cornish!

Covid-19 impact on our project

These last few months have certainly been different and difficult for many of us. Many aspects of our work and our lives have changed as we are being affected in ways we could not imagine.

In light of the rapidly changing situation with the Coronavirus pandemic, we had to cancel our face-to-face meeting in Karasjok, Sápmi, Norway which was due to take place on 10-11 June. We met twice online instead, once in April and once in June. If circumstances allow it, we will meet in Karasjok in March 2021 at our scheduled third project meeting, otherwise we will meet in Bilbao as originally planned.

Our 2nd project meeting took place online due to Covid-19 restrictions

Katerina (coordinator, HWU) dialling in from her home in Edinburgh
Steve (Scots researcher, HWU), joining from his home outside Edinburgh
Veronica (Learnmera) in lockdown in Portugal, looking very happy indeed!
Mark (Cornwall Council) joined from his home in Cornwall
Garazi (Moviéndote) joined from her office in Bilbao, where the lockdown had just been lifted
Áile (Saami Council) from her office in Karasjok, where the lockdown had just been lifted
Beaska Niilas (Saami Council, Sámi researcher) also dialled in from Karasjok.

With the help of technology, we were able to hold an online partners’ meeting on the 10th of June instead of our planned one in Karasjok. We had already held a catch-up meeting in April online, where we discussed the current and next stages of the project and made sure that everyone is all right and coping with the situation at the moment. In these two meetings we discussed the project’s progress, dissemination, internal and external reviewing procedures, and Covid-19 contingency planning. The full agenda of the meeting can be found here

Progress

  • We received a very positive review of our Intellectual Output 1 and of the progress of our project so far by the external evaluator, Dr Philip McDermott, Senior Lecturer, School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences, University of Ulster.
  • We submitted a progress report to our funder, Erasmus + UK, and we are awaiting results and any recommendations.
  • Intellectual Output 2 is the application itself, which will be ready in beta version by April 2021. Partners have completed the translation of about 4,000 vocabulary items for each language, which was no easy task, as there were many untranslatable terms (there are no words for yes or no in Cornish), terms with complicated translations (‘to own something’ in Gaelic) and other terms with more than one translations (see snow terminology  in Sámi).
  • Partners are now in the process of translating phrases and dialogues, developing the grammar tabs and the culture tabs. After this, we will be producing audio files for all these terms and phrases!
  • The developers will have the app backend ready soon, so the app will start taking shape.
  • Intellectual Output 3 will be the pilot testing of the app which will be carried out by remote users as well as participants in our multiplier events in all partner countries in the summer of 2021.
  • The app is scheduled to be launched at the Final Dissemination Conference in Cornwall in September 2021.

Next project meetings

–> September 2020 (online)

–> December 2020 (online)

–> March 2021: Bilbao or Karasjok – to be confirmed!

Will the March 2021 meeting take place in Karasjok?
Or in Bilbao?

If you are an educator, the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe has just opened a call for #AdultLearning community to share their stories. 

Why not share yours at https://epale.ec.europa.eu/en/blog/community-stories-initiative?

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/IndylanP
Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectIndyLan

Stay safe everyone!

For any questions or comments, please contact us at info@indylan.eu

InterTrainE Newsletter: May 2020

Welcome to the fourth newsletter of our Erasmus+ project Intercultural Training for Educators (InterTrainE). The 26-month project (2018-2020) is led by Heriot-Watt University and the Coordinator is Dr Katerina Strani from the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies

InterTrainE includes 7 partners from 4 countries (UK, Finland, Italy and Greece) and aims to develop an intercultural training programme for educators teaching adult migrants.

The partners are:

Specifically, the project is developing a modularised training curriculum with qualification standards specialised for Adult Education.

It will also produce a handbook for trainers including a theoretical framework of basic concepts, learning outcomes and the training package itself which will include practical exercises and, where possible, case studies.

All the training materials will be uploaded to a publicly accessible Moodle platform, which will be accessed via our website.

Covid-19 impact on our project

These last few months have certainly been different and difficult for many of us. Many aspects of our work and our lives have changed as we are being affected in ways we could not imagine.

In light of the rapidly changing situation with the Coronavirus pandemic, the team decided that our Joint Staff Training Event which was due to take place on 04-08 May 2020 in Rethymno, Greece, had to be postponed. 

If circumstances allow it, we will reschedule for some time in autumn 2020 or winter 2021.

We hope we will be able to organise our Training Event in Rethymno in the near future.
Our flyers are ready and waiting for our JSTE … 🙁

Our 4th project meeting took place online due to Covid-19 restrictions

With the help of technology, we were able to hold an online partners’ meeting on the 18th of May instead of our planned one in Crete. We discussed the current and next stages of the project and made sure that everyone is all right and coping with the situation at the moment. The meeting agenda can be found here.

During this online meeting, the team – joined by our external evaluator, Dr. Jim Crowther – discussed the impact of Covid-19 on our project, the communications between our coordinator and the National Agency and an eventual request for our project’s extension. This would allow us to carry out our Joint Staff Training Event and Multiplier Events in the future, hopefully once the situation with Covid-19 will be clearer.

Progress

  • Our teams have completed our Curriculum development on intercultural education and training for Adult educators, which was developed based on O1 and O2 results, and our Intellectual Outputs 5 and 6, the Training guide for adult educators and the course syllabus with final material and useful information and tips will be made available to Adult educators and all interested parties. We also submitted a further progress report to the funder in April 2020, and we are awaiting the results and any recommendations.
  • We are now working on our Output 4, the learning materials for our online platform. The objective is to elaborate a set of sample training materials organised in modules and divided into topics. We are working on the development of the MOOC, where the training materials will be uploaded and adapted.
  • Our  External Evaluator, Dr Jim Crowther gave us his comments and evaluation of our overall progress and we were happy to confirm that our work runs smoothly despite all the difficulties we face. We are very grateful to our external evaluator for his feedback and guidance so far. His expertise and engagement with the project are invaluable.

You can find all our completed outputs (IO1, IO2, IO3, IO5, IO6) on our website: http://intertraine.eu/outputs

Remember that our website and our outputs are available in all project languages: English, Italian, Greek and Finnish.

The InterTrainE Moodle platform

During our meeting, our Finnish partner also showed us the Moodle platform and we discussed the final stages of Intellectual Output 4 – the online course. Finally, we discussed the outputs’ evaluation and peer reviewing process.

LFI colleagues taking us through the comprehensive Moodle platform and through all the features

In the meantime, and as we all await developments on current circumstances, the InterTrainE partners have been busy getting used to working from home and still trying to engage with our audiences. We are continuing our research activities and development of material from home or from the workplace for those of us who are allowed to do so!

Chrysi from Creative Learning Programmes (CLP) working from home in the UK
Katerina (the coordinator) from Heriot-Watt University working from home in the UK.

Monica from Studio Risorse back in her office in Matera, Italy!
Babis and Dimitra from KEKAPER back in their office in Rethymno, Crete !

We are very excited and looking forward to presenting our platform soon, as online education has a more crucial role than ever before to support and connect learning communities. Stay tuned and check out our activities on our website:   http://intertraine/eu

Online resources accessible now

While you are anxiously waiting for our updates (😊 😊), you can have a look at these online resources and tools for learners, teachers and educators during the outbreak of COVID-19 provided by EU-funded projects:

https://ec.europa.eu/education/resources-and-tools/coronavirus-online-learning-resources/eu-funded-projects_en

If you are an educator, the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe- has just opened a call for #AdultLearning community to share their stories. 

Why not share yours at https://epale.ec.europa.eu/en/blog/community-stories-initiative ?

Stay safe, everyone!

Project website and social media accounts

Our project website includes information and updates on our project, as well as all Intellectual Outputs to date. The website is available in all partner languages – English, Greek, Italian and Finnish.

Updates are published regularly on social media. To make sure you don’t miss out:

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Research Gate  

Our next newsletter will be out in Autumn 2020, so stay tuned!

Contact

For any questions or comments, please contact the project coordinator:

Dr Katerina Strani

Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies

Henry Prais Building

Heriot-Watt University

Edinburgh EH14 4AS

UK

Tel: +44 131 451 4216

A.Strani@hw.ac.uk

Sign language interpreting in international conferences & high-level meetings: Pioneering work at Heriot-Watt University

By Jemina Napier

Click here to see blogpost in International Sign

In December 2019, the Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland and the Heriot-Watt University BSL team (SIGNS@HWU) had the privilege of hosting a curriculum development meeting to discuss a potential pioneering new Masters programme in Sign Language Interpreting in Conferences and High-Level Meetings, as well as the delivery of a ‘taster’ course in 2020 in order to boost the number of International Sign interpreters currently working in these contexts.

Participants included representatives from key stakeholder Deaf community and sign language interpreting organisations, including the World Federation of the Deaf, World Association of Sign Language Interpreters, European Union of the Deaf, European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters, Overseas Interpreting, the AIIC Sign Language Network and the National Technical Institute of the Deaf-Rochester Institute of Technology; as well as independent experts with experience as deaf and hearing International Sign interpreters and interpreter educators.

Participants at the development meeting, December 2019

The curriculum development project has been part-funded by the Directorate General for Interpretation (SCIC) at the European Commission, with support for staff time from the Heriot-Watt University School of Social Sciences and Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies (LINCS). 

The project has been established in recognition of the increasing demand for sign language interpreters to work at international conferences and high-level meetings, and also to increase the numbers of International Sign interpreters accredited through the WASLI-WFD International Sign interpreter accreditation system.

SCIC recognised Heriot-Watt University as being the ideal university to develop a new Masters programme, as LINCS been offering courses in Conference Interpreting since 1970 and is one of only four UK university departments that have been granted membership of CIUTI, an international body which brings together universities which specialise in translating and interpreter training. LINCS is also a partner with the Magdeburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany and HUMAK University of Applied Sciences in Finland in the delivery of the European Masters in Sign Language Interpreting (EUMASLI). Thus, we will draw together our expertise in training both spoken and signed language interpreters to deliver this pioneering course. It is hoped that the new Masters programme will commence from September 2021

2020 intensive course

The first step in the curriculum development project is to offer an intensive ‘booster’ course in June 2020.

The intensive 5-day course on sign language interpreting in international conferences and high-level meetings (SLIC) for professionally qualified national sign language interpreters focuses on strengthening International Sign skills, enhancing awareness of relevant European and international institutions, as well as practical translingual interpreting skills, working between primarily English and International Sign but also other spoken and signed languages.

This intensive course has three goals:

(1) To prepare interpreters to apply for WASLI-WFD International Sign interpreter accreditation.

(2) To boost the number of International Sign interpreters working internationally, but particularly in Europe to meet needs at the European Commission, the European Parliament, at United Nations Geneva, and also for academic conferences and political meetings.

(3) To trial curriculum content for a potential new Masters programme in Sign Language Interpreting at Conferences to be offered through Heriot-Watt University LINCS.

  • The overall aim of the intensive course is to work towards readiness for applying for accreditation either with WFD-WASLI, or for EU or UN accreditation.
  • Completion of the intensive training course is no guarantee of accreditation or offers of work as an International Sign interpreter

Course content

The final course content and delivery will be finalised once the language combinations of the participants have been confirmed. Overall, using a case study approach, the 5-day course will include discussions and practical sessions on:

  • The International Sign/ multilingual interpreting landscape
  • EU and international organisations
  • Enhancing translingual skills
  • International Sign ‘therapy’
  • Applied interpreting skills
  • Unilateral interpreting
  • Bilateral interpreting
  • Relay interpreting
  • Critical reflective practice
  • One-to-one structured feedback on interpreting
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Professionalism and ethics

Our state-of-the-art digital interpreting and sign language labs will be available exclusively for use by students on this course, as well as access to bespoke visual software for recording and annotating sign language interpreting work.

The course will be delivered primarily by leading sign language, deaf studies and sign language interpreting researchers, educators and practitioners at Heriot-Watt, including:

  • Professor Jemina Napier: Accredited WFD-WASLI International Sign interpreter, AIIC Associate member, Registered Qualified BSL/English interpreter, Accredited Auslan/English interpreter, expertise in research and teaching on sign language interpreting
  • Professor Graham H. Turner: Sign language policy and Interpreting Studies academic, co-founder of the EUMASLI and Heriot-Watt BSL UG programmes, expertise in research and teaching on sign language interpreting and BSL policy
  • Dr Annelies Kusters: Deaf Studies academic, expertise in research and teaching on deaf ethnographies, professional mobilities, translanguaging and International Sign
  • Dr Robert Adam: Accredited WFD-WASLI International Sign interpreter, Registered Qualified BSL-ISL interpreter, Registered Qualified BSL-English translator, expertise in research and teaching on sign language contact and sign language interpreting. (joining Heriot-Watt staff in April 2020)
  • Dr Stacey Webb: Certified ASL/English interpreter, expertise in teaching sign language interpreting and research on sign language interpreting pedagogy
  • Andy Carmichael: Accredited WFD-WASLI International Sign interpreter, AIIC Associate member, Registered Qualified BSL/English interpreter, Accredited Auslan/English interpreter, Chair of the board of Association of Sign Language Interpreters UK (ASLI UK), in-house interpreter at Heriot-Watt, expertise in training and mentoring sign language interpreters
  • Christopher Tester: Accredited WFD-WASLI International Sign interpreter, AIIC Full member, Certified ASL/English interpreter, PhD student at Heriot-Watt, expertise in training sign language interpreters

In addition, further input will come from LINCS academics who are experts in teaching multilingual, spoken language conference interpreting, and external collaborators with expertise in International Sign and International Sign interpreting.

Who is this course for?

  • This intensive course is targeted at sign language interpreters from any country who have not yet achieved WFD-WASLI International Sign interpreter accreditation, or are already accredited but do not feel that they have previously received sufficient training and would like more professional skills development. Priority will be given to applicants who are not yet accredited.
  • Applications are particularly encouraged from interpreters who are deaf, female or from ethnic minorities.
  • A quota of places will be offered to European-based interpreters due to the part funding of the course by the European Commission.

Course dates

Date: 8th-12th June 2020

Venue: Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Campus, Scotland

Applicants for the intensive course must meet the following essential criteria:

  • Hold a national sign language interpreting qualification (or equivalent)
  • Have a minimum of 5 years post-qualification (or equivalent) experience in national sign language interpreting
  • Have extensive experience of national sign language interpreting in conference or high-level meetings (minimum of 50 hours)
  • Evidence of IS conference interpreting experience (minimum of 20 hours)

Applications from deaf or hearing interpreters from countries that do not have established undergraduate sign language interpreting programmes, or professional infrastructure will be considered on a case-by-case basis for the equivalent knowledge and experience.

How to Apply click here to get more information and how to apply

IndyLan Newsletter – January 2020

Welcome to the first newsletter of our Erasmus+ project Mobile Virtual Learning for Indigenous Languages (IndyLan). The 26-month project (2019-2021) is led by Heriot-Watt University and the Coordinator is Dr Katerina Strani from the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies

IndyLan includes 5 partners from 4 countries (UK, Finland, Norway and Spain) and aims to develop a mobile application which will help to learn the languages and cultures associated with the following indigenous languages: Gaelic, Scots, Cornish, Basque, Galician and Saami. The project will develop an educational tool designed specifically for users to learn not only some of Europe’s endangered languages but also more about the cultures of the people who speak these languages.

The partners are:

The IndyLan application will help speakers of English, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish to learn Gaelic (designated as ‘definitely endangered’), Scots (‘severely endangered’), Cornish (‘critically endangered’), Basque (‘severely endangered’), Galician (a minority language) and Saami (‘severely endangered’). 


The tool constitutes a gamified language-learning solution in the form of a mobile application. Smartphones have become a popular educational tool and the number of the smartphone and tablet users of all ages is constantly growing in the EU. The application is building on a previous project, Moving Languages, with the key difference that IndyLan will produce one application for all languages, and not multiple language-specific applications as Moving Languages did. IndyLan will contain around 4,000 vocabulary items (both terms and expressions) in about 100 categories. The modes that will be available in the application are: Vocabulary; Phrases; Dialogues; Grammar; Culture; Test. 

The app will be launched at the Final Dissemination Conference in Cornwall in September 2021. It will be available for download globally for free in both iOS and Android. Like all language-learning apps, IndyLan is complementary to other language- and culture courses and can be considered to be part of self-study material.

Our vision is for the IndyLan app to contribute to endangered language learning and revitalisation so that these languages remain alive and relevant in contemporary societies and economies. 

News and updates

Our kick-off meeting took place in Edinburgh on 07-08 October 2019. 

Partners met at Heriot-Watt University‘s Riccarton campus and discussed the project’s timeline, milestones and deadlines. They agreed on the project logo and on the design of the website. Each partner gave an overview of their contribution. The project evaluation procedures were also finalised, and the procedure of appointing an external evaluator was agreed upon. The external evaluator for the project will be Dr Philip McDermott, Senior Lecturer, School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences, University of Ulster. The full agenda of the meeting can be found here.

(L-R) – Áile Jávo (Saami Council), Mark Trevethan (Cornwall Council), Katerina Strani (HWU), Veronica Gelfgren (Learnmera Oy), Naroa Bengoetxea (Asociación Moviéndote)

The first Intellectual Output is a short needs analysis, which will be published in early February. The 2nd Intellectual Output will be the application itself, which will be ready in beta version by April 2021. The 3rd Intellectual Output will be the pilot testing of the app which will be carried out by remote users as well as participants in our multiplier events in all partner countries in the summer of 2021. The app will be launched at the Final Dissemination Conference in Cornwall in September 2021. It will be available for download globally for free in both iOS and Android.

Discussing the budget
A long but productive day!
Discussing the vocabulary and going through more than 4,000 terms!
Finished! Now time for the partner dinner.
(L-R): Katerina Strani (HWU), Veronica Gelfren (Learnmera Oy), Mark Trevethan (Cornwall Council), Naroa Bengoetxea (Asociación Moviéndote), Áile Jávo (Saami Council)
The IndyLan project partners with our Intercultural Research Centre Directors Ullrich Kockel and Máiréad Nic Craith

Our project website will soon be available, so stay tuned!

Next project meeting:

10-11 June 2020

Karasjok, (Sápmi) Norway

Hosted by the Saami Council Headquarters

 Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/IndylanApp

 Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectIndyLan

For any questions or comments, please contact the project coordinator:

Dr Katerina Strani

Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies

Henry Prais Building

Heriot-Watt University

Edinburgh EH14 4AS

UK

Tel: +44 131 451 4216

A.Strani@hw.ac.uk

The INCS in LINCS 2019-2020

LINCS stands for Languages and INterCultural Studies and our core purpose is to create multilingual, multicultural, global citizens. To achieve this, the “INCS” in LINCS also specialises in Cultural Studies such as living cultural heritage, intercultural dialogue, migrant identities and intercultural communication. 

Our Cultural Studies section manages the cultural studies courses and programmes we deliver. Courses include Global Heritage, Cross-Cultural perspectives on Society, Intercultural perspectives on Sustainable Development, as well as the Global Courses (taught in all HWU campuses) Intercultural Issues in Business and Management (Undergraduate – also offered as part of Graduate Apprenticeship programmes), and Intercultural Communication in the Workplace (Postgraduate). It also manages our MSc Cultural Heritages programme family, which includes our MSc in Cultural Heritage Management with Tourism. Cultural Studies staff and students are also members of our Intercultural Research Centre (IRC).

People 

Staff

Katerina Strani is the Head of the Cultural Studies section. She has a background in Languages and Political Theory and her PhD thesis (2011) focused on communicative rationality in the public sphere. Her research is interdisciplinary, and she is interested in how multilingualism and multiculturalism shape contemporary society and politics at all levels. Following an EU-funded project on hate speech and racism (RADAR), Katerina has developed a keen research interest in race relations and the language of racism. She has published papers on these topics, as well as intercultural dialogue from the perspective of belonging and heritage, discourses of Europeanness and hate communication. She has led EU-funded projects in intercultural training for educators, mobile tools for refugees and newly-arrived migrants as well as for learning indigenous languages, and has participated in a GRCF-funded project on digital tools for Rohingya refugees in SE Asia.

Katerina teaches International Politics, Society and Institutions in Contemporary Europe, Intercultural Issues in Business and Management and Conference Interpreting. She is a Chartered Linguist, a Member of the Political Studies Association, the International Communication Association and the University Association of Contemporary European Studies. For a list of publications and funded projects, please click here.

Email: A.Strani@hw.ac.uk Twitter: @KaterinaStrani 

Máiréad Nic Craith is Professor of European Culture and Heritage. Máiréad’s academic career began with a lectureship at the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Irish Studies, funded as a result of the Irish Government’s commitment to the Anglo- Irish Agreement. Subsequently, she was Director of the Academy for Irish Cultural Heritages at the University of Ulster, set up in the aftermath of the Good Friday Agreement to undertake cross-community research, teaching and outreach activities. During that time, she collaborated with government and charitable organisations, such as the European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages, Derry City Council, Diversity 21, the Ulster American Folk Park, and the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. Collaborative projects included a commissioned report for Fermanagh District Council on cultural and linguistic policy. She led a report on African migration in Northern Ireland commissioned by the Community Relations Council, and organised a symposium on peace agreements and (mis)communication (in honour of the Nobel laureate John Hume). In 2007, she was invited by the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Washington, to prepare a brief relating to culture and language issues in Northern Ireland. Since her arrival to Heriot-Watt University in 2012, Mairead has developed links with national organisations such as the National Library of Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland, and international organisations such as POLIN (Museum of the History of Polish Jews). Having collaborated with organisations such as the UN in Geneva, the Scottish-Polish Heritage Project in Edinburgh and the Community Relations Council in Belfast, she is deeply committed to enhancing awareness of the potential of heritage to make a positive contribution to society (see her TEDx talk on Intangible Heritage 2015). From 2016- 2019, she was involved in a HORIZON 2020 European-wide collaborative research project on cultural heritage and social identity and cohesion. For a complete list of Máiréad’s publications, please click here.

Email: M.NicCraith@hw.ac.uk Twitter: @mairead_nc 

Ullrich Kockel is Professor of Cultural Ecology and Sustainability at HWU, as well as Emeritus Professor of Ethnology at the University of Ulster and Visiting Professor in Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas. He has a diverse academic and professional background, switching from a career in industrial management (Shell) to academic positions in Economics, Political Science, Sociology, and later Irish Studies and Ethnology. In 2003 he was elected to the Academy of Social Sciences and in 2012 he was elected to the Royal Irish Academy. 

Ullrich’s overarching research interest is in sustainable local and regional development, especially the appraisal, planning and management of heritage and other cultural resources, approached from an interdisciplinary perspective rooted in anthropology, cultural ecology and political economy. He has conducted fieldwork and led projects throughout Europe. He is currently leading a work package in a €2.5m Horizon2020 project, CoHERE, on cultural forms and expressions of identity in Europe. For a complete list of Ullrich’s publications, please click here

Email: U.Kockel@hw.ac.uk Twitter: @KockelU

Kerstin Pfeiffer is the Director of Undergraduate Teaching Programmes in LINCS. Her academic background is in literature and history, and her PhD work focused on new theoretical approaches to medieval biblical drama. She is secretary for and co-founder of the BASE (Bodies, Affects, Senses and Emotions) working group at the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF) and was the School of Social Sciences representative on Subject Panel B (Design, Visual Arts, Architecture, Creative Writing, Film, Drama & Theatre Studies, Cultural Policy (Policy, Arts Management & Creative Industries), Music, Television Studies) of the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities for 3 years.

Kerstin’s current research interests lie in the area of theatre and performance studies and particularly in the investigation of the afterlives of older dramatic forms and the role of drama in shaping, maintaining and challenging notions of identity and community. She has published on these topics and presented her research at many international conferences. For a list of Kerstin’s publications, please click here.

Email: K.Pfeiffer@hw.ac.uk Twitter: @DrKPfeiffer 

Claudia V. Angelelli is Professor and Chair in Multilingualism and Communication. She is also Professor Emerita at San Diego State University and Visiting Professor at Beijing University of Foreign Studies. Her research sits at the intersection of sociolinguistics, applied linguistics and translation and interpreting studies. She designed the first empirically-driven language proficiency and interpreter readiness tests for The California Endowment and Hablamos Juntos (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation). She has been PI in research projects in Argentina, Australia, the European Union, and the United States. She has also led ISO 13611: Standards on Community Interpreting and co-authored The California Standards for Health Care Interpreters. Ethical Principles, Protocols, and Guidance on Interpreter Roles and Interventions. She teaches Intercultural Communication in the Workplace and Translation and Interpreting Studies. For a full list of publications, please click here

Email: C.Angelelli@hw.ac.uk

John Cleary is Associate Professor and Director of Studies for Exchange Programmes. With a background in Applied Linguistics, English and TESOL, John teaches British Culture & Society, Film Studies, Introduction to Languages and Intercultural Studies, and Society and Institutions in Contemporary Europe. He has coordinated many projects on internationalisation, pedagogy and intercultural communication in Europe, Turkmenistan and South-East Asia. For a list of John’s publications, please click here.

Email: J.A.Cleary@hw.ac.uk

PhD students

Chiara Cocco – Cc80@hw.ac.uk

Thesis topic: Festivals and folklore through the lens of affect and emotions: the case study of Sant’Efisio in Sardinia, supervised by Máiréad Nic Craith and Kerstin Pfeiffer

Chiara’s research explores the relationship between cultural heritage performance and collective identity construction. Drawing upon previous studies and theories which analysed national and cultural identity construction in sites of heritage and memory (Knudsen, 2011; Arnold-de Simine, 2013; Wight, 2016), in this research the focus shifts from museums to ceremonies. The thesis suggests that dynamic heritage avenues, such as folklore and festivals, could be also considered “places” of identity construction. It also explores the dynamics of identity construction and representation in festivals, through the lens of emotion and affect (Smith, 2006). For this purpose, the research adopts the Festival of Sant’Efisio in Sardinia as its case study, mainly because of its popularity among Sardinian population and visitors, and its longevity (it has been celebrated in the island every year since 1656). Moreover, as a Sardinian woman who has been living in Scotland for over five years, Chiara considers this festival as part of her cultural heritage and Sardinian belonging. Her research is, therefore, also a means through which she can keep connected to her original home despite the physical distance. Twitter: @ChiaraCocco88 

Jos Collins – jc120@hw.ac.uk

Thesis topic: Living Tradition and Cultural Revival: Scottish Folk Drama in the 21st Century, supervised by Kerstin PfeifferGary WestNeill Martin and Donald Smith.

Jos’s research project results from a partnership between the IRC, Celtic and Scottish Studies (University of Edinburgh) and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland (TRACS, Scottish Storytelling Centre). It examines the reasons behind the resurgence of interest in this old art form and folk custom and its cultural implications. It seeks to investigate the motivations for participants and what these can tell us about modern attitudes to concepts like tradition and authenticity. The main aim of the project is to explore the place of revived folk drama in contemporary Scottish society through the following objectives: to produce a survey of Scottish folk drama activities today; to examine community-led performances and related activities ethnographically; to evaluate the motivations and aspirations of participants and organisers and to assess their contribution to aspects of local identity, ideas of tradition, and community dynamics; to investigate how folk drama as a living practice contributes to developing conceptualisations of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Scotland; and to contribute to the newly emerging ‘Creative Ethnology’ movement led by the three institutions involved. 

Naomi Harvey – neh1@hw.ac.uk

Thesis topic: Collecting and preserving access to Intangible Cultural Heritage within the digital environment: Evaluating New Models for Scotland, supervised by Máiréad Nic Craith and Ullrich Kockel. Co-supervision from heritage specialists is provided by Alistair Bell, Sound Curator, National Library of Scotland and Scotland’s Sounds Project Manager, and Dr Hugh Hagan, National Records of Scotland, whose expertise includes oral history and community heritage. 

This research is funded by the AHRC through the Scottish Cultural Heritage Consortium Scholarship, 2016-19. It critically examines issues surrounding digital preservation and access to ICH in Scotland, through the case study of Scotland’s Sounds. The project will examine how Scotland’s Sounds can ensure the sustainability of ICH sound collections, encompassing issues of: (1) collecting sound in a digital environment (2) digital access and preservation of sound material; (3) sustainable relationships between creators, community organisations and public institutions. The aim is to provide a theoretically informed critical analysis of the opportunities and challenges that advances in digital technology present for heritage organisations seeking to enhance the value, profile and understanding of ICH. Twitter: @ArchiveGnome

Lucy Lannigan – lml5@hw.ac.uk

Thesis topic: ‘Sustainable Communities and Cultural Heritage Management: A closer look at the Isle of Skye’, supervised by Ullrich Kockel and Kerstin Pfeiffer

With a focus on local communities, this thesis will analyse the sustainability of communities on the Isle of Skye and how concerns over growing tourism have affected the cultural heritage of this island. The aim is to provide practical advice and analysis in order to better manage the relationship between local communities and the tourism industry, in relation to sustainability and cultural heritage management. The theoretical framework will focus on the link between sustainability and cultural heritage management, discussing how we can develop and nurture the future sustainability of communities on the Isle of Skye in terms of heritage and culture. Emphasis will also be placed on external factors such as social and traditional media, as well as the Bridge to Skye, detailing how this has impacted the local communities, tourism industry, overall economy and daily lives of the islanders. This thesis will address the necessity in taking measures to ensure that tourism growth can be effectively managed in the present and subsequent future, in relation to sustainability, to ensure that the cultural heritage of the island is preserved and that the relationships fostered between the local communities and the tourism industry remain positive.

Alastair Mackie – am279@hw.ac.uk

Thesis topic: ‘Becoming a smaller part of a larger whole: changing perceptions of European identity in the Scottish independence movement’, supervised by Katerina Strani and Ullrich Kockel.

This thesis explores how the perception and understanding of European identity has changed in Scotland since 2014. Is the adaptation of European identity for the purposes of supporting independence merely a political, strategic use of collective identity, or has the debate on EU membership resulted in a wider transformation of the role of Europe in identity formation in Scotland? By means of ethnographic fieldwork, this project aims form a better understanding of the function of Europe within the identity formation of people in Scotland since the Brexit referendum. The thesis aims to link the ethnological study of European identity to concepts of vulnerability and shelter from small state studies. If Scotland were to become an independent state it would be considered a small state in Europe. Due to their size, small states have less resources than larger states, making them more vulnerable to their external environment. Small states may seek ‘shelter’ with larger states or international organisations to counteract their vulnerability. The thesis will ask how perceived vulnerability influences the formation of European identity and whether European identity offers a form of shelter by being conceptualised as a support for Scottish independence. Twitter: @asbmackie

Catherine McCullagh – cjm5@hw.ac.uk

Thesis topic: ‘Curating Heritage for Sustainable Communities in Highly Vulnerable Environments: The Case of Scotland’s Northern Isles’, supervised by Ullrich KockelDonna Heddle and Ian Tait.

Catherine is undertaking practice-based research with people in the archipelagos of Orkney and Shetland. Her research is funded through an SGSAH ARC Studentship. The research practice is a project to co-curate a virtual museum of the Northern Isles, and is funded by Museums Galleries Scotland, the Hugh Fraser Foundation and Shetland Museum and Archives. Catherine’s interests include creative ethnology; exploring the radical politics of co-curation as a mode for communities mobilising shared authority and cultural democracy towards more socially just and sustainable futures; collaborative deliberation of value formation and social learning for sustainable development; identity-work; and developing new ways of knowing and working through praxis. For more information on Catherine’s background and research, click here. Twitter: @kittyjmac and @NorthernNousts

Marc Romano – mhr7@hw.ac.uk

Thesis topic: Brexit and Heritage Futures in Scotland: The Auld Alliance – Establishing a Counter-Heritage, supervised by Katerina Strani and Máiréad Nic Craith

As one of the longest relationships in the history, the Auld Alliance challenges the recent Brexit discourse, which seeks to establish a new geography outside of Europe. In its pursuit of a separatist utopia free from bonds of European policy, Brexit offers a fictionalised geography that denies Scotland’s seven centuries of European cultural belonging. Marc’s PhD research is an exploration of the Auld Alliance as a re-reading of Scotland’s heritage discourse with a view to establishing a counter-heritage (to that which lies in the wings post-Brexit), one that establishes an identity that cannot readily disentangle itself from European culture. In a country where almost 20% of its population are in fact from foreign origin and in which 5% of the total population came from European Union, such political discourse endangers its multicultural stability. Perhaps it is reflection of why Scotland voted to remain at 63%.  

Ozge Yalinay – oy30@hw.ac.uk

Thesis topic: Interpreting Istanbul Grand Bazaar as a traditional marketplace: contemporary cultural discourse, supervised by Babak Taheri and Máiréad Nic Craith This research is intrigued by work of cultural discourse scholars, including Foucault, Said and Bakhtin, whose theory of cultural consumption space provides with the conceptual vocabularies such as ‘orientalism’ and the ‘third space’. These spaces are unusual, anti-structured and exceptional. Framed within such notions, the material and imaginary landscape of Istanbul Bazaar offers such venue for cultural consumption experience in non-Western context. The primary aim of this study is to bring together contemporary cultural discourse in a traditional marketplace, with particular focus on the Istanbul Bazaar, testing the usefulness of such theory as an interpretive framework in a specific exceptional space in non-Western context. More specifically, this study aims to offer insight into an understanding of Western consumers’ journey and experience, examining the dynamic process that flows from pre-visit to post-visit. The mixed-method approach is used to collect data from both visitors and locals in order to answer the aim of this study. The qualitative approach is applied using observation, netnography and interviews, while the quantitative approach is applied using questionnaires. For a list of Ozge’s publications, please click here.