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Current and recent PhDs

Constance Mbassi Manga

Research Area

 
• Camfranglais
• Hybrid urban linguistic registers with a special interest in Pidgins/Other African hybrid registers
• Language and Identity/Ethnicity in Post-Colonial Diasporic Populations
• Super-diversity in African urban contexts
 

Biography

Born in France, I spent my childhood and my teenage years in multilingual and multiethnic/superdiverse environments (my country of origin, Cameroon, and in Paris, France), so I have personal knowledge of Camfranglais, and I share some of the respondents’ views about language choice and identity.

I was further sensitised to multilingualism and linguistics by my professional experience as a translator and an interpreter, and later on as a translation and a transcreation (project manager). Moreover, throughout my adult life, my interest in issues of Language and identity in the context of globalisation and transnational migration is ever increasing, as I have lived in Africa and In Europe, and have emotional, linguistic and cultural ties to 3 continents (incl. the USA).

For my MRes, I conducted a study on ‘Language Practices of Francophone Cameroonians in London’, and I took a ‘Language contact & bilingualism’ course which sharpened my interest for, and my knowledge of, these areas of research.

For full references about Camfranglais, please visit: http://www.camfranglais.blogspot.com/

My thesis

My ethnographic research is about Camfranglais, a hybrid urban register (a mixture Cameroonian national languages, mainly Beti-Fang, Bamileke and Duala languages, French, English, Cameroon Pidgin English, and other languages), in use by diasporic adult Cameroonians living in Paris, London and Louisiana and on internet-based blogs dedicated to Camfranglais.

My study aims at:

- Clarifying and/or overcoming some of the terminological, theoretical and methodological anomalies and contradictions in the study of Camfranglais;

- Examining what happens to Camfranglais once it is relocated in Europe, structurally, interactionally, ideologically, and symbolically.

- Uncovering and discussing the implications of the use of this counter-hegemonic speech form by middle-aged diasporic Cameroonian professionals for the prolific research focusing on mixed urban registers among marginalised youth in Europe, and stereotypical notions of ethnic minority and diversity in Western megacities.

Academic background and work experience

Academic background

• DTLLS/PGCE (ongoing)

• Masters in Research/King’s College London

• Chartered Institute of Linguists’ Diploma in Translation (English-French)

• British Institute Certificate in French and English Translation

Work experience

Translation: I have been working for over 20 years as a translator/interpreter, and for the last 5 years as a translation/transcreation project manager.

Teaching/lecturing: I have been working as a lecturer of French and Translation in Further Education since 2010.

I took part in the Brilliant Club PhD Tutoring Scheme from November to December 2012 in a secondary school in Kent (see http://www.thebrilliantclub.org/for-our-phd-tutors/)

I worked as a workshop leader in primary and secondary schools from 2008 to 2011.

Research: I worked as a Research Assistant for a project led by Dr Nwajiaku-Dahou (University of Oxford) on ‘Being and Becoming Ethnic in Africa and Europe’ (podcast – brief talk about the results here: http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/reporting-results-same-difference-nigerian-brits-french-senegalese-what-they-said-what-audio)

Networks and workshops: RWLL, MDA, Incolas, Linguistic Ethnography Forum (mailing list)

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