UMES to Host Fifth International Conference

  • Thursday, October 23, 2008

    Khoc, Akec - Sudanese AmbassadorPRINCESS ANNE, MD - The fifth annual International Conference on African Languages explores "The Role of Languages in World Peace," beginning Thursday, November 6, through Saturday, November 8, on the campus of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

    "I have been hard at work in the field of African languages for 23 years," said Dr. Chester Hedgepeth, professor of English and director of the UMES African Language Project.  "We love our labor so dearly, that we must share and interact with a greater community of individuals who also enjoy the dedication of such a noble field of study."

    A wide array of programming includes topical plenary and concurrent sessions and high profile luncheon speakers. Special invited guests include Akec Khoc, the Sudanese ambassador to the United Nations, and Jacqui L. Robinson, staff and faculty development manager for the Associate Directorate for Education and Training at the National Security Agency National Cyrptologic School.

    Among topics slated for discussion are: Language Through Music: the Drum Speaks; Preservation of the Diversity of African Languages; The Impact of Language on African Development; Escaping Babel: The Need for a World Language; and Language Development and Social Linguistics.  The UMES linguistic team, comprised of faculty, and graduate students who work under the direction of Hedgepeth, will serve as facilitators throughout the conference.  The research conducted by Hedgepeth and his team of linguists and machine translations engineers have resulted in the publication of several readers, or textbooks, featuring some of the 1,700 distinct languages of Africa.

    Hedgepeth has initiated outreach African Language Programs at Cairo University, Ain Shams University and Aswan University and is planning lecture tours at the same universities during the winter session of 2009.  Other measurable outcomes include the institution of an Arabic course at UMES.

    Registration for the fifth annual International Conference on African Languages is open to the public.  Conference fees, which include materials and meals, are $175 per person.  Onsite registration costs $125.  Each participant is responsible for making his or her own hotel arrangements.  A list of hotels, a registration form and more information about the conference are posted online at www.umes.edu/alp; click on conferences.

    For more information about the UMES African Language Project, call 410-651-6559.

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    Suzanne Waters Street, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, sstreet@umes.edu.  

    Photo Caption:  Sudanese Ambassador Akec Khoc presents at the fifth annual International Conference on African Languages slated for November 6-8 at UMES.

     

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