Sussex Centre for Language Studies

Seminar series

SCLS runs several strands of open seminars; all welcome.

Language and Culture

The Sussex Centre for Language Studies organises events in the Language Learning Centre, Arts A, twice a term. Invited speakers on a wide range of topics set language in its wider context and respond to questions from the floor. Events are free, open to all.

Insights from Italy

Franco La Torre
Marco Delogu
Thursday 24 May 2018, 4.30-6.00pm
Arts A155 *** room changed ***

Franco La Torre has recently co-authored and published 'Pio La Torre. Ecco chi sei' - a book about his father, Pio La Torre's life and fight for social justice. Pio La Torre, ex-leader of the Italian Communist Party and MP of the Italian Republic, was killed by the mafia in 1982 after he initiated a 'mafia conspiracy' law in the Italian legal system.

The second speaker is Marco Delogu: photographer, filmmaker, publisher and editor, the artistic director of FOTOGRAFIA – International Festival of Rome, and the founder of the publishing house Punctum.

Speaker Bios

Franco La Torre (Università La Sapienza, Rome, and University of East Anglia) has 30 years of in-depth experience in the fields of development, urban planning, environment, partnership-building, resource mobilization and decentralised cooperation, working in culturally and politically diverse contexts, mainly in Europe, the Mediterranean basin, the Middle East and Africa. He has been a member of the National Observatory on Constructions and Legality, the Bail Committee of SOS Impresa (an association against racketeering and blackmail), President of Freedom, Legality and Rights in Europe Network (FLARE), and member of the National Secretariat and Presidency of the anti-mafia Libera organisation. He has worked in numerous countries, including Albania, Ethiopia, Israel, Palestine and Ghana.

Marco Delogu is Director of the Italian Cultural Institute, London. His research focuses on portraits of group of people with common experiences and languages (retired cardinals, jockeys of the Palio di Siena, inmates, classical music contemporary composers, farmers, Sardinian shepherds, writers); in recent years his projects have been more focused on nature. He has published more than twenty books, and exhibited in Italy and abroad in many galleries and museums, including: Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; French Academy, Villa Medici, Rome; MACRO, Rome; Warburg Institute, London; Henry Moore Foundation, Leeds; Musée de l'Elysee, Lausanne; PhotoMuseum, Moscow.

These talks will be in English. ALL WELCOME.

For further information please contact


  • Past speakers include:
    • Rafael Argenton Freire (Sussex), Language, Literature and Independence: how an Emperor's literary salon laid the foundations of Brazilian identity in the 19th Century.
    • Dr Eljee Javier (Sussex), "Do I sound white (enough)?" - Exploring the status and identities of visible ethnic minority, native English speaker teachers.
    • Deborah Smith, International Man Booker prize-winning translator, editor and publisher, Translating from the Margins. Audio recording available (for members of the University of Sussex only).
    • Caterina Mazzilli (Migration Studies, University of Sussex), Receptive Cities - Brighton and Bologna.
    • John Walker and Marco Nardi (British Sign Language, University of Sussex), Interpreting beyond words.
    • Professor Lyn Thomas and Lewes writer Tanya Shadrick: Diaries of the Outside: Annie Ernaux's urban journals and Tanya Shadrick's Wild Patience Scrolls.
    • Professor Andy Kirkpatrick (Griffith University, Brisbane): English as a Medium of Instruction in Asian Universities: challenges and prospects. [PowerPoint slides - audio recording below]
      Andy Kirkpatrick - English as a Medium of Instruction in Asian Universities:
    • Maria Jastrzᶒbska, poet, editor and translator: Between Worlds (What makes a Polish writer Polish or a British writer British?).
    • Christophe Landry (Sussex): The Internet, social media, endangered language and identity renaissance.
    • Chris McDermott, University of Sussex lead chaplain on the Art of Conflict and the Conflict in Art.
    • True Tales from the Old Hill - launch of this anthology of sixty tales, in conjunction with the Frogmore Press and the Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research at the University of Sussex.
    • Yvonne Salt (Sussex Centre for Migration Research): 'Language, Space and Love Migration' - website - exploring the emotional side of migration, and considering how people talk about and understand their love migration.
    • Pam Thurschwell (English, Sussex) and Jeremy Page (SCLS, Sussex): 'Morrissey and Marr Revisited: A Conversation about The Smiths' - discussing the legendary 80s rock band, their significance, their legacy, and Morrissey's controversial autobiography.
      A transcript of this event has been published on the Iowa Review blog, and there is a recording available below:
      Jeremy Page and Pam Thurschwell (University of Sussex) - A Conversation about The Smiths
    • Dr Paul Davies (Philosophy, Sussex): 'Language and Fiction' - recording available - exploring the logical, moral and metaphysical problems posed by the topic of fiction.
    • John Walker (Deaf Studies, Sussex): 'Sign language and spatiality' - discussing how the relationship between spatiality and sign language is manifested.
    • Prof Andrew Hadfield (English, Sussex): 'Travel, Tourism and The Sensible Observations of George Sandys' - exploring recent and early modern ideas of the relationship between the two conceptions of travel and encounter.
    • Dr Lynne Murphy (Linguistics, Sussex): 'The most acceptable hypocrisy'? Polite words in the UK and US - exploring differences between British and American English and their implications for inter-cultural communication.
    • Dr Micheline Maupoint (French, Sussex): The role and impact of cartoons in contemporary France - considering whether political cartoons remain as a significant cultural product in an era where the existence of print media is threatened by new technological developments.
    • Sasha Dugdale (Modern Poetry in Translation journal): Modern poetry and translation - reading her own poems as well as her translations of Russian poets, with discussion of the challenges of translating poetry.
    • Jules Winchester (Sussex Conversational Humour in Intercultural Interactions - exploring some of the general theories and functions of humour)
    • Dr Simon Coffey (King's College London): Narrative Positioning and Agency in Intercultural Encounters - discussing ways in which narrative approaches can extend our understanding of the experience of language learning.
    • Alexandra Loske (Art History, University of Sussex): Languages of Colour - exploring different approaches and attitudes to colour and how it is used as a tool in various art forms and disciplines.
    • Irina Mashinski (Cardinal Points journal) and Sasha Dugdale: Poetry reading by bilingual poets and translators, in association with the University of Sussex Russian Society

Research on English Language Teaching

The Language Learning Centre also hosts occasional University of Sussex Russian Society seminars.