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Published: 2022-06-20

Language studies is hosting the research conference Sig Writing

NEWS On 20–22 June, the Department of Language Studies is hosting Sig Writing – a research conference that brings together 300 participants, from around the world, in writing research.

Text: Sandra Lundström

– This is one of the largest research conferences globally in the area of writing research. It is organised once every other year, and this is the first time the conference is at Umeå University which is fantastic, says Eva Lindgren, professor at the Department of Language Studies.

Writing research includes several dimensions: Sig Writing brings together researchers who are interested in understanding the cognitive, social and developmental processes involved in writing, who are concerned with designing writing instruction in various educational settings, or with exploring the functions of writing in different social and institutional contexts.

– Technology changes how we communicate and how we perceive means of communication. Writing has always been important in achieving democratic change, and it is perhaps even more important today because technology gives everyone access to writing, says Eva Lindgren.

This year, the theme for Sig Writing is right to write and one of the keynote speakers is Hanna-Máret Outakoski, associate professor in Sámi studies, who talks about the importance of writing and reading Indigenous heritage languages.

– Writing and reading an Indigenous heritage language is a right that is protected by many important resolutions and is recognized as a part of everyone’s equal value. The development of literacy in the heritage language contributes, among other things, to strengthening one’s identity and to enriching cultural expressions. The development of indigenous peoples’ perspective in writing is an important part of the Indigenous citizenship and democratisation that includes oppressed voices, says Hanna-Máret Outakoski.

Ahead of the conference, 17–19 June, a graduate school with 30 doctoral students from 10 different countries, was held on the theme Integrating multiple perspectives on writing.