Hello again! First of all, excuse the title of this post. It hit me on the plane and I actually chuckled to myself before realising (a) I was alone and so my spontaneous laughter looked weird, and (b) it really is a terrible pun. Nonetheless I thought I’d give it a go. Let me know what you think.
Anyway, this week Amanda and I travelled to Copenhagen, Denmark to represent CASS at a set of events organised by the RELINE Legal Linguistics Network at the University of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Law. The aim of the two-day series of talks was to explore and promote interdisciplinary thinking between the areas of linguistics and legal research. The first day was a course where PhD students (mainly with a legal interest) could present some of their own research as well as interact with professors Anne Lise Kjaer, Wolfgang Teubert, Vijay Bhatia, Lawrence Solan and Jan Engberg, who each gave talks too. As someone from the “linguistics camp” with almost no knowledge of legal practice it was really interesting to hear about how the analysis of language can be useful in the study of legal documents. Reassuringly, some of the PhD students from a law background told me they were clueless about linguistic analysis, so I suppose that was the point of putting us all together in the same room for the day! The professors on hand each had their own niches of interest and I was particularly excited to meet Larry Solan since I realised fairly early on that I had read one of his articles during the new Forensic Linguistics module this year. He just so happens to be a really nice guy too!
This was also the day where I had a slot to present my undergrad research on the same-sex marriage debate (slides now available here). Had I known, when writing the original assignment during the Easter holidays (and while being ridiculously distracted by rehearsing for this), that I would end up presenting about it in Copenhagen later in the year I would have laughed out loud – a lot. But I was thrilled to be able to give academic presenting a go, and especially in a fairly intimate setting around a table in a meeting room in the beautiful city centre building that contains the Faculty of Law. What’s more – I think it went okay! I managed to stick to time and keep the attention of the room while rabbitting on about same-sex marriage for a few minutes.
The second day was a seminar where the professors from the first day – as well as Amanda – got to present at more length about their work and the interdisciplinary possibilities between linguistic and legal analysis. It seems there is lots of room for further research to be done and I’d love to be involved in this in some way if I can be of use! This was followed by a very pleasant drink on the rooftop terrace above the building and a gorgeous meal at Restaurant Höst where we chatted about future steps in working with the people from Copenhagen again.
Overall it was a great trip and what I’d like to think as a successful first foray into presenting in a non-undergrad academic environment. It was certainly very encouraging to chat with so many interesting people and I’d like to thank CASS for funding my trip. I hope to go back again soon (especially if I can squeeze in another trip to the theme park too!).