The international academic at the crossroads:: between the local and the ‘international’ at the university

    Activity: Talk or presentationLecture and oral contribution


    This paper looks at a series of examples of interactional negotiation of the identity of the international academic in a one-to-one interview with a Danish-born-and-educated researcher with a personal history as an exchange student in an English-speaking country. This individual’s own negotiation of the pressure on academics to perform in international professional contexts in English is counterpointed all the time with the negotiation of local Danish identity and context, an identity that ultimately ‘means the most’, as the interviewee demonstrates in various ways, while also affording the possibility of a ‘space between’, giving a reflective distance from the local. These examples of reflective workplace talk illustrate one individual’s response to the local-global tensions of the international, but locally-anchored, university work place. Several extracted examples from the interview will demonstrate how this particular academic works with his own understanding of how his personal, social and professional identities intertwine the locally-anchored and the supra-national bonds he has at one and the same time. As the thematic session places special attention on “the strategies the individuals adopt for navigating the boundaries (language, workplaces, country etc)… in constant negotiation”, we will see this exemplified in sociolinguistic cues such as diversified code-use and shifts of perspective in the interview. The paper suggests that the population scale of Denmark contra many other much larger (English-speaking) countries leads its internationalized citizens to negotiate this space in similar ways, and in this our individual academic can be said to be representative of at least one general way of co-negotiating the juxtaposition of Danish and international identity.
    Period22 Aug 2012
    Event titleSociolinguistics Symposium 19: Language in the City
    Event typeSymposium
    LocationBerlin, GermanyShow on map