Seminar: Semiotics of absence: Voice and agency in the Refugee-scape

Seminar: Semiotics of absence: Voice and agency in the Refugee-scape

An MLAL research seminar will take place next Thursday 22nd March at 11.00 in C1079:
 
Dr Máiréad Moriarty (School of MLAL)
 
Semiotics of absence: Voice and agency in the Refugee-scape
 
Keywords: Voice, Agency, Refugee-scape,  orders of visibility, social activism.
 
In this paper I would like to call for broader attention amongst semiotic landscape studies to social activism. I argue that by taking a semiotic landscape approach to the current Refugee crisis we can engage more readily with the rapid, unpredictable and multi-semiotic character of forced mobility and offer a critically enabled route to social activism.  The paper adds to recent work published in Ruby (2015) which illustrates how the semiotic landscape can be become a site of social contestation.  Focusing on a case study of resistance to Direct Provision in Ireland I examine how the most disempowered members of a community can use the semiotic landscape to gain voice and agency and in so doing, they can challenge existing regimes of power, despite the apparent absence of their voice in public discourse.  Drawing on recent work by Milani (2017) and Stroud and Guissemo (2015) I contend that the ‘order of visibility’ framework can act as a lens through which the semiotics of absence can be investigated. 
 
References
Milani, T.M., 2017. 9VW The Politics of the Margins. In  Kerfoot, C. and Hyltenstam, K. Entangled Discourses: South-North Orders of Visibility (pp.173-187). Routeldge:UK.
Ogbu, H.U., Brady, B. and Kinlen, L., 2014. Parenting in Direct Provision: Parents' Perspectives Regarding Stresses and Supports. Child Care in Practice, 20(3), pp.256-269. 
Rubdy, R., 2015. Conflict and Exclusion: the linguistic Landscape as an Arena of Contestation. In Conflict, Exclusion and Dissent in the Linguistic Landscape (pp. 1-24). Palgrave Macmillan UK.
Stroud, C. and Guissemo, M., 2015. Linguistic Messianism. Multilingual Margins: A journal of multilingualism from the periphery, 2(2), pp.7-20.