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Creativity and Politics in the Linguistic Landscape

‘Creativity and politics in the linguistic landscape’ is a project run by Philip Seargeant, Korina Giaxoglou and Frank Monaghan of the Open University’s Applied Linguistics and Literacies (ALL) Research Group. It explores the linguistic landscape in relation to creativity in political expression and grassroots activism.

Overview

Over the last decade linguistic landscape research has emerged as an important area for the study of the relationship between language and society, with a specific focus on the ways that the written word reflects community identity and social organization in urban and online environments, and how public texts, such as signs, street and place names, billboards and T-shirts are carriers of social and cultural meaning.

This project focuses on a number of ways in which the linguistic landscape becomes a contested side for political and personal expression. Strands of the project include examinations of the way gender is represented in the semiotic landscape, how football banners are used as part of grassroots political campaigns, and how the everyday creativity of protest banners is mobilised in the context of large scale public demonstrations. The project has a number of key theoretical underpinnings. These include the use of creativity as a political resource, discourses in place, and semiotic ideologies.

For more details, contact Philip Seargeant (philip.seargeant@open.ac.uk), Korina Giaxoglou (korina.giaxoglou@open.ac.uk) or Frank Monaghan (frank.monaghan@open.ac.uk). We tweet at @philipseargeant@anthrostream and @frankmonaghan.

Publications and other resources

Giaxoglou, K. and Seargeant, P. (2017) How sexist is the urban environment? OpenDemocracy, 31 May, https://www.opendemocracy.net/korina-giaxoglou-philip-seargeant/from-sta...

Monaghan, F. (2017) ‘The Politics of Language and Creativity’ video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Krb6MMSiTw

Monaghan, F. (2017) LFC Fan Banners blog, www.lfc-fan-banners.com

Seargeant, P. and Monaghan, F. (2017) Street protests and the creative spectacle, Diggit Magazine, 20 March, https://www.diggitmagazine.com/articles/street-protests-and-creative-spe...

Demjén, Z. and Seargeant, P. (eds) (2016) Creativity in language: From everyday style to verbal art. Milton Keynes: Open University.

Seargeant, P. (2012) Between script and language: the ambiguous ascription of ‘English’ in the linguistic landscape, in Hélot, C., Barni, M., Janssens, R. and Bagna, C. (eds) Linguistic landscapes, multilingualism and social change. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, pp. 187-200.