The Language Year: Universals and Identities

Every year, the University chooses a major theme to articulate through a series of scientific, cultural and pedagogical activities. The year 2017-2018 was “Diversities Year”, and 2018-2019 was the year of “Europe of knowledge”. The theme selected for the academic year of 2019-2020 is that of language. 

Languages are cultural, social and political objects and they can be explored as such, for example via literary studies, but they also have cognitive and biological components. They can be explored via new technologies or as tools for developing rhetorical and critical thinking skills. While language is one of the great human universals, specific languages are rich, cultural phenomena. 

The ULB’s thematic years provide impulse for specific initiatives and events, organized within the University and in collaboration with civil society, but they also aim to showcase and support independent initiatives around the theme. These projects, from students, faculty and staff, can be supported via the thematic year, notably through increased visibility. Indeed, the ULB members are very active, and many initiatives take form, around language pedagogy, literature, cinema, rhetoric, language sciences and technologies. 

This year will be anchored in a firm intent to promote multilingualism and to raise awareness among the University of the question of disappearing languages, especially indigenous languages.  
Updated on September 17, 2019