This strand explores multilingualism’s revolutionary potential and creative force in language, literature, thought and the visual arts. Using the modern period (from the long nineteenth century to the twenty-first century) as the temporal framework, it examines the flowering of multilingualism inherent in a single linguistic system and one regional cultural complex, and the impact of this on linguistic, literary and cultural creativity. Creative multilingualism, conceived as the novel ways of thinking engendered in imaginative works emerging from engagement with more than one language, will inform new ways of thinking and writing about the creative impetus, underpinning any form of multilingualism and about its role in literary innovation in world literatures.

The investigators will collaborate with the English PEN to engage with authors who draw on more than one language, and with Haggerston School to explore the creative effects of multilingualism in literary composition with year 10 students.