Luxembourg at the crossroads: New directions, shifting perspectives
After two years of Covid restrictions, the long-awaited Luxembourg Colloquium was finally able to take place in person this year on Friday 13th May. Thankfully, the addition of the online platform allowed speakers and audiences to attend from the UK, Luxembourg and beyond. It was a pleasure to have the esteemed HE Mr Jean Olinger, the Luxembourg Ambassador to the Court of St James’s, and HMA Ms Fleur Thomas, the British Ambassador to Luxembourg open the colloquium with compelling speeches on the value of education and international cooperation during these challenging times.
Our first session saw students discuss expressions of national and regional identities, with themes ranging from Luxembourgish mythology to the fantastically unique Minetter Metal music. Debates revolving around identity then paved the way for a host of individual and group presentations focussed on inequality and social change in Luxembourg. The students’ enthusiasm for their topics was captivating, and their material was highly praised by students and staff alike.
“An excellent range of research papers from people at many levels of their career, very interesting and confident performances, especially from the undergraduate students!”
In the latter half of the Colloquium, PhD students from The University of Sheffield and The University of Luxembourg gave insightful presentations on their ongoing research. Gabriel Rivera Cosme from Luxembourg inspired a thought-provoking conversation surrounding language ideologies within the Luxembourgish teaching sphere, and Cian Hurley’s inquisitive investigation into the linguistic landscape of Kirchberg unquestionably altered audience members' perspectives.
Finally, the colloquium concluded with an inaugural lecture from Sheffield’s very own Professor Kristine Horner. ‘Looking through the prism’, Professor Horner’s lecture shed light on the importance of small languages and small states and magnified the importance of viewing sociolinguistics issues through a new lens. After closing, a reception at Jessop West allowed audience members and presenters to continue discussions in a more intimate space. This year's Luxembourg Colloquium has certainly been a bright spot amidst the past two arduous years of quarantines. It was a tremendous success for all and a superb display of academic excellence with attendees describing the work as vibrant, reflexive, and stimulating.
“Kristine and the Luxembourg department are absolutely fantastic and a massive highlight of my whole time at university”
“The diversity of attendees is wonderful and I’m so glad Luxembourgish has a place in Sheffield”
Written by Leo Harrison, Rebecca Tomlinson and Cian Hurley, postgraduate students at the University of Sheffield.
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