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Creative Multilingualism

Katrin Kohl
Rajinder Dudrah
Andrew Gosler
et al.


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On behalf of the research team, the Editors would like to thank Open Book Publishers for enabling us to publish our work in an open access format, and in particular Alessandra Tosi, Adèle Kreager, Anna Gatti and Luca Baffa for their expertise and advice during the planning, peer review and production process.

We owe thanks to Jane Hiddleston for coming up with the concept of Creative Multilingualism. It has stimulated four years of excitingly interdisciplinary research and is at the heart of this collaborative volume.

We are immensely grateful to our wonderful Programme Manager Bhee Bellew and equally wonderful Web and Social Media Manager Katy Terry for their creative ideas and unstinting support throughout our project. They have been central to the fabric and work of our team, and this volume could not have been produced without them. Natasha Ryan, the Outreach and Schools Liaison Officer of Oxford’s Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, and many other individuals in the Faculty and the Humanities Division have also assisted our work with invaluable advice and support.

The universities in our consortium and our partners from beyond academia have contributed vitally to our research, our public engagement work and our policy initiatives, as have the members of our focus groups and especially our Advisory Board under the chairmanship of Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University.

Above all, we should like to thank the Arts and Humanities Research Council for its vision in funding the Open World Research Initiative (OWRI). This has enabled us to develop an ambitious research programme which has inspired us to conduct research in new ways, enriching our understanding of linguistic diversity and its significance for humanity. It has allowed us to collaborate with each other and co-create projects with our partners in a process of inspiring dialogue, opening up new questions and broadening the dissemination of our ideas. OWRI has provided a framework for joining forces with the three other teams led from the universities of Cambridge, King’s College London and Manchester respectively, while also giving us the opportunity to fund many other colleagues from the United Kingdom and other parts of the world. Their involvement has immeasurably enhanced our investigation of the nexus between language diversity and creativity.

Finally, our thanks go to the many hundreds of people who have helped us to celebrate languages and make Creative Multilingualism a manifesto for change — speaking passionately at our conferences, co-curating multilingual exhibitions, analysing prismatic translations of Jane Eyre, bringing our research to life in videos and podcasts, joining in the fun at LinguaMania, participating in our experiments, studies and creative writing workshops, and acting, conducting, singing, rapping and drumming in our multilingual performances.


Fig. 1 Mannequins Edna and Eddie helped Creative Multilingualism to make language visible at public engagement events. Here is team member Edna eliciting body part metaphors at Curiosity Carnival in Oxford’s Natural History Museum, on 29 September 2017. Photograph by Ian Wallman (2017).


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