The programme entitled Creative Multilingualism is led by Professor Katrin Kohl of the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
In an innovative collaboration between colleagues in Modern Languages, Linguistics, English, Anthropology and Biology, it will act as a research hub that draws on methodologies from disciplines including neuroscience, comparative literature, translation studies, theatre studies, music and education in order to gain an enhanced understanding of the vital part linguistic diversity plays in our thinking, social interaction, cultural life and global engagement.
The areas investigated include scientific creativity – Oxford biologist Dr Andy Gosler will enable children across the world to find out the different names of the barn swallow along its global migratory path.
Together with over one hundred partners, the researchers will investigate the role of languages in relation to key contemporary issues such as social cohesion, migration, security, health, business and diplomacy. The initiative is designed to give a significant impetus to the study of modern languages in the UK.