Keynote speakers & Discussants

Below you can find more information on our Keynote Speakers and Discussants.
Keynote: Annelies Kusters

Annelies Kusters is Associate Professor in Sign Language and Intercultural Research at Heriot-Watt University. She leads a research group undertaking the project ‘Deaf mobilities across international borders: visualising intersectionality and translanguaging (’ (2017-2022), funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant. Annelies’ current work focuses on the study of multilingualism, language ideologies, and international mobility. Since 2004, Annelies has engaged in ethnographic research in South-America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Her expertise in linguistic ethnography and small-scale multilingualism started in Adamorobe, a village in Ghana where, due to the historical presence of a high incidence of hereditary deafness, both deaf and hearing people use a locally emerged sign language with each other (Adamorobe Sign Language) alongside Ghanaian Sign Language and various spoken languages. Annelies has also focused on multilingual multimodal languaging between deaf signers and hearing non-signers in public spaces in Mumbai such as markets, shops, streets, food joints and public transport. Annelies currently investigates International Sign and sign multilingualism in the context of professional mobility. She also led a Carnegie-funded project on family language policy in multilingual signing and speaking families with colleagues Jemina Napier and Maartje De Meulder; and did an AHRC funded project on linguistically diverse creative signing on TV with Jordan Fenlon.

Dr. Kusters' keynote with English subtitles can be watched here.



Keynote: Ibrahima Cissé

Ibrahima Abdoul Hayou Cissé holds a doctoral degree in Linguistics, Sociolinguistics and Language Acquisition from Université Grenoble-Alpes (France) in a joint program with Leiden University (the Netherlands). He is a senior lecturer at Institut de Pédagogie Universitaire (Doctoral School), an education consultant and the Operations Coordinator at UNESCO Chair for Community Research on the Levers of Development: "Emergence through Innovation" in Bamako, Mali. His research interests include language policy, language and power, language and human rights, language acquisition and socialization in multilingual settings and language and education in Africa. Dr Cissé is also an education consultant for international organizations in Mali. As an education consultant, he works on girls’ education and education strategy for internally displaced children.

Dr. Cissé's keynote with English subtitles can be watched here, and another recording of his keynote with French and Bamana subtitles is also available here.

Keynote: Ruth Singer

Ruth Singer is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the Research Unit for Indigenous Languages and the Centre for the Dynamics of Language (COEDL), University of Melbourne, Australia. She researches multilingualism with Warruwi Community, an Indigenous community in northern Australia. Together they look at the role of Indigenous languages in the community. With Warruwi and other nearby communities in Arnhem Land, she is investigating how regional ways of being multilingual have contributed to the high levels of linguistic diversity in western Arnhem land over time. Currently completing the first print dictionary of the Mawng language, she is also coordinating the creation of digital resources for Mawng and Kunbarlang; producing films with young people, online language courses and online dictionaries. She has been collaborating with Warruwi Community on language documentation projects since 2002, and has deposited a diverse range of materials at ELAR, TLA, AIATSIS and PARADISEC. Her current work is both collaborative and interdisciplinary in outlook, incorporating joint research with Indigenous language experts, musicologists, education researchers and anthropologists. Earlier research analysed the structure of the Mawng language and its implications for the typology of nominal classification and noun-verb idioms. Ruth has a PhD from the University of Melbourne, has taught at La Trobe University (Australia) and held postdoctoral fellowships with the Language and Cognition group, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (The Netherlands) and the Wellsprings project, Australian National University.

Dr. Singer's keynote with English subtitles can be watched here.

Discussant: Nick Palfreyman

Nick Palfreyman is a deaf Reader in Sign Languages and Deaf Studies at UCLan, and works in the fields of linguistics, sociolinguistics and international development. He has collaborated with the Indonesian deaf community since 2007, and is particularly interested in Labovian and third-wave sociolinguistics, sign language typology, applied linguistics, and corpus-informed sign language teaching. As co-Director of the International Institute for Sign Languages and Deaf Studies (iSLanDS) at UCLan, Nick is committed to continuous community engagement, sharing knowledge and research skills with deaf people in the Global South in accordance with iSLanDS’ long-term aim of empowering deaf community members to conduct research on their own languages.

Discussant: Michael Rießler

Michael Rießler has published scientific articles on North Germanic and Sámi languages and Komi, among other things in the fields of language typology, sociolinguistics, language documentation and language technology. Rießler's research interests also include Sámi literature. From 2008 to 2014 he was editor of the book series Kleine saamische Schriften (together with Elisabeth Scheller). Since 2014 he publishes (together with Thomas Mohnike and Joshua Wilbur) his successor, Samica. After graduation, Rießler worked at several universities, including in Germany, Norway and Finland, and conducted extensive field research, especially on the Kola Peninsula and in other areas of northwest Russia. He has also worked for the Äʹvv Skolt Sámi Museum. 2014 and 2017–2018 Rießler had Fellowships at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies. In autumn 2016 he was visiting professor at the École Normale Supérieure. For three semesters between 2017 and 2019 he was a representative of the Chair of General Linguistics at Bielefeld University. In 2015 he was appointed as Privatdozent at the University of Helsinki (venia docendi in Finno-Ugric languages) and in 2018 at the University of Turku (venia docendi in general and Finno-Ugric linguistics). In 2020 Rießler was appointed Professor of general linguistics at the University of Eastern Finland.

Discussant: Pierpaolo Di Carlo

Pierpaolo Di Carlo (PhD Linguistics 2009, Florence) is postdoctoral associate at the Department of Linguistics, University at Buffalo – SUNY. His areas of interest include the study of traditional forms of multilingualism in rural Africa, language ideologies, language documentation, African anthropology, and the languages and societies of the Hindu-Kush area (Pakistan – Afghanistan). Pierpaolo has done extensive fieldwork in Pakistan and Cameroon, has published in journals like "Language", the “International Journal of the Sociology of Language”, and the "International Journal of Bilingualism". He currently coordinates both a research project called KPAAM-CAM (PI Jeff Good)—focused on the documentation of multilingualism in rural areas of Cameroon—and the virALLanguages initiative, through which accurate information about COVID-19 has been translated in about fifty under-resourced languages of Cameroon, Pakistan, and Indonesia.