impact

Some thoughts on ‘impact’, the theme at iMean 2015

by Craig Evans

It was the fourth meeting for iMean, a biennial linguistics conference first held at UWE in 2009. Jointly organised by staff and students from UWE and the University of Warwick, this year’s event took place at Warwick. Here are some of my thoughts on the main theme of the conference…

‘Impact’ was the theme at this year’s iMean conference. I was there as a student volunteer helping out for four days in April. ‘Impact’ emanates from a source, and I had the opportunity to experience firsthand the source in question at iMean 2015, that is: the linguistics research community. Or at least, I should say, a variety of academics from across the world whose research focus is language. This seems to be an important distinction to make now that the onus falls increasingly on the individual researcher – rather than research community – to justify their work in terms of its ‘impact’.

It was fascinating, as an English Language and Linguistics undergraduate still fairly new to the world of language research, to observe seasoned academics as they grappled with this buzzword ‘impact’.

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iMean Conference 2015

by Craig Evans

Back in April, the fourth iMean conference was held at the University of Warwick. This was the first iMean outside of UWE. The conference – started in 2009 and staged every two years – is organised by Jo Angouri and Kate Beeching. This year, UWE’s Helen Watts was at the helm coordinating a group of Warwick and UWE students to help ensure the smooth running of the event, which by all accounts was a great success.

Rachael and I were there representing UWE’s English Language and Linguistics undergraduates. It was an exciting opportunity to experience a different university campus, to meet others interested in language research, and to experience some fascinating talks by academics at all levels. During our four days at the conference, we helped out with registration, organising signage, and directing delegates to the right rooms. In return for our efforts, we were able to attend the talks we wanted, to enjoy free breakfasts and a free drinks event, and to gain some valuable work experience (always good for the CV).

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