Projects

MEN AND RIVERS – A research project by Eleonora Bordon

The researchers Dr. Eleonora Bordon and Dr. Giorgio Osti (project leader) affiliated with  FISPPA (Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Pedagogy and Applied Psychology) at Padova University are currently engaged in a project that focuses on the socio-ecological relationships between rivers and people, whereby rivers are considered as an instigator of social aggregation that goes beyond their natural element.   

The aim of this project is to investigate the forms of social gathering that revolve around the river on both a national and international level, and the formal and informal dynamics (e.g. voluntary activities) that are put in place by people in order to understand what induces them to dedicate their interests and energy towards rivers.  
As a first step, the project entails the mapping of organizations that are active in the territory in order to recreate a physical and relational mapThis will also contribute to the creation of a database that allows for a better understanding of these dynamics. 
Dr. Bordon and Dr. Osti are particularly interested in groups involved in river clean-ups, voluntary work, cultural activities, fishing, sports activities,  hiking/cycling along river  navigating on boat, rowing clubs, art groups, and anything else associated with the river.

If you wish to have more information on this project or if you are interested in collaborating with it, please contact Dr. Eleonora Bordon at eleonora.brdn@gmail.com. 

IN OTHER WORDS: A Contextualised Dictionary to Problematise Otherness  

This project initiated by Dr. Paola Giorgis consists in the development of an online dictionary of contextualized keywords, which have been shaping the narratives of different forms of Otherness. The project involves the juxtaposition of creative proposals to reverse such perspectives.  

IOW is a critical, creative, collective, and interdisciplinary project that is at the same time a product and a process. In particular, the purpose of this online dictionary is to develop and share critical and intercultural awareness in order to challenge the (re)production and dissemination of the hegemonic discourses that dehumanize, stigmatize, and stereotype the representation of ‘the self’ in relation to ‘the other’. 

The dictionary bridges theoretical reflections and practical actions in a dialogue between different disciplines (e.g. critical linguistics, critical social studies, visual arts, cross-cultural and critical pedagogies), and it is meant to be used as a practical instrument in different social and educational contexts. It is structured as an online publication to grant free access to students, teachers, scholars, educators, activists and lay audience who wishes to simply consult the dictionary or to engage in discussions in order to problematize such representations, interpretations of reality, and even to imagine creative proposals to reverse such narratives.  

If you are interested in the IOW Project, please contact Dr. Paola Giorgis at  info@iowdictionary.org

THE UKRAINIAN CONFLICT 
(THE UKRAINE CONFLICT AS A BATTLEFIELD OF COMPETING LEGITIMIZATION DISCOURSE)

This project, financed by the Swiss National ScientifIc Foundation, was carried out between 2015-2017. The project focuses on the ongoing Ukraine conflict and describes it as a clash of different legitimisation discourses, including the Russian and Ukrainian official view, statements of the East Ukrainian separatist movements and the impact of these discourses on Polish and Czech discourses.

The focus on the Ukrainian crisis also calls for a diversification of both linguistic objects and methods. The specialisation in implicit strategies which characterises the current project will be supplemented by a selective scrutiny of explicit discourse to be conducted by means of proximisation theory in its latest version (Cap 2013). This allows us to combine our fundamentally pragmatic approach with a cognitive linguistic and critical discourse analytical orientation.

Our ultimate goal is to contribute to a new in-depth understanding of the interplay of explicit and implicit political communication in critical situations where war and peace are at stake. On the other hand, since counts of lexical expressions and grammatical constructions in a given sample of texts are an indispensable prerequisite for proximisation theory, the latter offers a valuable theoretical component which enables us to introduce quantitative methods into our research and thus make its findings better founded empirically.

BRIDGE-IT
(Adult Education Project)

BRIDGE-IT is an Adult Education project carried out between 2010 and 2012. It provides online learning tools for better integration between migrants and the resident population of EU countries, i.e. a population mainly, but not necessarily, without a personal migration experience.

BRIDGE-IT is aimed directly at the end beneficiaries of the integration process: migrants and public service providers or as we prefer to say: Adults-in-Mobility and Adults-in-Contact-with-Mobility.
These 2 different target groups are strictly interrelated as far as bureaucratic-institutional procedures are concerned. Such procedures represent the most delicate node where integration concretely succeeds or fails. For the design and creation of the online learning materials the project is foregrounding the more vulnerable groups of Adults-in-Mobility, especially those who are in a first-impact situation.

BRIDGE-IT invites service providers, as Adults-in-Contact-with-Mobility, working within bureaucratic institutions, to “be relevant”, that is, to reflect on their current communicative behaviour within multicultural settings with a view of transforming attitudes and behaviour.

Rather than cultural melting pots, BRIDGE-IT advocates for communities where different cultures and languages co-exist, where the generation of intercultural diversity generates further diversity, where all generations and all ethnic groups integrate into each other in a dynamic and dialectic relationship.This explains the acronym BRIDGE-IT which stands for Be Relevant to Intercultural Diversity Generation in Europe – Integration Team.

MERIDIUM
(Studying Multilingualism in the Mediterranean Europe)

MERIDIUM is an international project carried out between 2009 and 2012. It was aimed at studying multilingualism in the Mediterranean Europe. The MERIDIUM project is supported by a network of seven European Universities: Babeş-Bolyai Cluj-Napoca University, Brasov University, Primorska University, Malta University, Lisbon Universidade Nova, Salamanca University and Perugia University for Foreigners, which coordinates the Project. The six countries involved in the Project, Italy, Republic of Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, display different demolinguistic situations and different migratory profiles: data pertaining to each national context will be collected to draw useful comparisons between policies concerning the linguistic integration of migrants.

The main goals of the Project are:
– To investigate, in countries where ongoing immigration/emigration fluxes are observed, the level of awareness of, and the attitudes towards the presence of other languages in the everyday life context, among local population and migrants.
– To describe and evaluate linguistic policies adopted in each country, at a national and/or local level, in order to obtain favourable conditions for the linguistic integration of immigrant people.
– To create a Study and Documentation Center about Multilingualism in the Mediterranean Europe, hosted by the University for Foreigners of Perugia.