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Call for Papers – 44th Groupe d’Etude et de Recherche en Anglais de Spécialité (GERAS) Conference

December 16, 2022

The 44th international GERAS colloquium, organized at ENS Paris-Saclay on March 23, 24 and 25, 2023, will focus on culture, memories, and legacies in specialized English.

Send communication proposals to email hidden; JavaScript is required before December 16, 2022.

Word or Open Office format desired.

Notifications of acceptance will be sent to authors before January 27, 2023.

We welcome communication proposals in the form of abstracts (300 to 600 words) relating, for example, to the themes indicated below:

English-speaking backgrounds and specialist areas

  • How to characterize the cultures – considered as complex systems of values, norms and representations ( Cuche 2004) – of English-speaking circles and specialized fields? Are these cultures at the origin of specific social or linguistic styles? What are the most appropriate conceptual frameworks to describe these cultural phenomena in specialized English? What are the inner workings of the interaction between language, culture and memory in specialized English?
  • Are English-speaking specialist circles and domains endowed with “collective memories”, in the sense understood by the great sociologist Maurice Halbwachs in his work Les cadre sociale de la mémoire (1925)? What would be the language manifestations of these memories in specialized texts and discourses, and how to grasp them as a scientific object in specialized English?
  • Are ethnographic approaches in specialized English (Wozniak 2019) able to grasp the constituent elements and symbolic systems of human groups assembled around a common social function , namely their “common ancestry, real or supposed, [the ] memories of a shared historical past, [their] cultural focus on one or more symbolic elements defined as the embodiment of their collectivity” (Schermerhorn 1970: 12)?

Discourse Analysis, Specialized Genres, Professional Substrate Fiction (FASP )

  • What would be the contours and lineaments of cultural and memorial elements in specialized discourses and genres? How do they manifest themselves concretely in the language, style and rhetorical organization of the texts? How do they apply, with a more or less pronounced degree of constraint, older models, potentially constituted as stylistic legacies?
  • Are the notions of “discursive memory” (Courtine 1981), “interdiscursive memory” (Moirand 1999, 2007) or even “prediscourse” (Paveau 2006, 2008) relevant for characterizing specialized discourses and genres?
  • With regard to specialized genres, should we pose with Jean Paul Bronckart (2004: 82) the hypothesis of the “pre-existence of genres of texts elaborated by previous generations, organized in a repertoire of models”, echoing the generic schemata what was John Swales already talking about in his book Gender Analysis (1990)? How do specialized discourse genres update earlier or preformulated generic conventions? In the end, do genres only reproduce pre-established cultural and memory patterns, or are there within them mechanisms for innovation and differentiation  ? How can the diachronic study of discourse genres shed light on the memory aspects and mechanisms they conceal?
  • By what ways and means does fiction with a professional substrate (FASP) provide access to the cultures, memories and legacies of specialized English-speaking communities  ? What narrative and symbolic mechanisms does she use to represent them? In addition to the language and practices of specialized circles, does the FASP also endeavor to stage specialized cultural or memorial substrates?

Didactics and LANSAD sector

  • In language teaching, we often speak of the teaching of a “language-culture”, thus marking the inseparable nature of the language system and the culture to which it is invariably linked. How would the cultural dimension be essential in the LANSAD sector? What would be the strategies for teaching or making people discover the cultures of specialized circles? Sandrine Chapon (2011) had shown that English-language legal FASPs are part of the cultural landscape of French-speaking students, and that their use as a teaching aid can facilitate access to the target culture of English-speaking legal circles. Would it be possible to extend and systematize this type of approach?Are there specialized professional cultures that are already or could be the subject of relevant and effective didactic training within the LANSAD sector  ?
  • Are there, within the LANSAD sector in France, as pointed out by Gail Taillefer (2007), specific cultural and memorial specificities? In what way are they forces of progress, or do they hinder certain advances that would be necessary? Are they challenges or opportunities?
  • What is the place of memory mechanisms in the teaching and learning of specialized languages? Is it possible to model them and draw up an epistemologically credible portrait of them, as Jean-Paul Narcy-Combes (2006) tried to do by describing two modes of memory functioning in language production and in learning tasks?
  • The didactics of languages ​​and cultures has been traversed since the beginning of the 20th century by multiple methodological currents (direct or audio-oral methods, then communicative and co-actional approaches in the more recent period, for example) A didactics of the language that would be specifically anchored in specialized English, a perspective traced by Cédric Sarré and Shona Whyte (2016 ), should it be part of, or perhaps free itself from, these major paradigms of teaching and learning? learning  ? What can we learn from the heritage of these schools of thought in language teaching? Is a right of inventory vis-à-vis them currently possible in French higher education?

Specialized Corpora, Corpus Linguistics

  •  How can corpus linguistics detect and characterize the cultural and memory aspects of specialized corpora? Does the often ineffable and immaterial nature of cultures, memories and heritages within specialized English-speaking communities hinder textometric approaches that would make it possible to trace their contours? Within specialized corpora, what would be the possible distinctive marks of cultures and memories?

Translation studies and specialized translation

  • How does the translation of texts, especially specialized documents, imply a cultural transfer? Jacqueline Guillemin-Flescher (1994) had indicated that translators are often led to transfer from one national culture to another a form of spirit of the language, that is to say a “collective stylistic” constituted around behaviors common cultures. In legal translation, Claude Bocquet (2008) had also underlined the importance of cultural parameters. How is taking into account cultural and memorial dimensions relevant for translating specialized texts  ?
  • Tools for Taylorizing pragmatic and specialized translation, “translation memories” symbolize the fact that translating often means activating statements that already exist in human communities to describe certain themes or label certain phenomena. Does the advent of artificial intelligences in translation, and the displacement that these bring about in the professional positioning of translators (more and more revisers of machine translations), profoundly modify the place of discursive, terminological and phraseological memory in translation ?
  • Does the history of pragmatic and specialized translation reveal particular cultures and traditions in the way of translating? How are today’s translators the repositories of older methodological and epistemological heritages? Are these legacies an unsurpassable horizon, a pitfall or an asset?

History and epistemology of research in specialized English

  • At a time when the GERAS community is gradually moving towards its 50th anniversary, would it be relevant to exercise a right of inventory on the memory and legacies of the work of the French School of English? specialty? What retrospective look can we take on the scientific culture that we have forged together over time? How are we the guardians and heirs of the great voices and figures that have marked our history, and built the epistemological frameworks that govern our reflections today?


Groupe d’Etude et de Recherche en Anglais de Spécialité (GERAS)
ENS Paris-Saclay