On 16 May 2023 we celebrated the successful launch of RESPONSUS, a research group that explores and raises awareness of the role of language and visual communication in influencing our society and shaping sustainable futures.
How can language obscure moral responsibility for environmental pollution? How can it influence our food choises? What role do metaphors and images play? The way we communicate has the power to shape our understanding of the world, to influence our attitudes and behaviors, and to inspire action towards a sustainable future.
The event attracted colleagues from across the university and encouraged a true interdisciplinary discussion about the role of (visual) language and communication. The launch began with a talk from Erika Darics, who spoke about the importance of language and discourse in understanding and responding to global issues such as climate change, and highlighted the need for greater language awareness in our research and society.
This was followed by a series of workshops. Matt Drury offered a concise introduction to ecolinguistics, Femke Kramer led a writing session to cultivate our appreciation for the small details in our natural environment, Lotte van Poppel showed us the impact of metaphors and Janina Wildfeuer created an engaging exercise to understand how images and words create meaning.
This event was a successful start to foster interdisciplinary dialogue: attendees left with new scholarly insights, a greater awareness of the small details of language and communication, and new connections across faculties, united in their effort to make the world a better place. RESPONSUS hopes to achieve this through responsible communication and greater awareness of the role of (visual) language - they promised to be back with more fascinating events!
Read more on language and sustainability in our blogs
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