Chair’s Welcome

The COMELA, The Annual Conference on Mediterranean and European Linguistic Anthropology, akin to its global siblings (The CALA, The MEALA, The SCAALA, The AFALA, The COOLA), has emerged to reinvigorate the fundamental roots and principles of Linguistic Anthropology, and to re-localize the field, thus marrying the focus on Mediterranean and European regions and work by Global academics.
The COMELA 2020, at The American College in Greece, September 2-5, 2020, arrives as a highly symbolic juncture in Mediterranean and European cum Global Linguistic Anthropology. The COMELA 2020, themed Bounded Languages … Unbounded, exposes the current Linguistic and Anthropological climate in Europe and the Mediterranean. Borders are constantly contested, and ethnicity and nation alike shift yet re legitimize their communities and heritages, thus reigniting a dedicated scholarship and praxis in the field of Language and Society.
The theme for the COMELA 2020 constitutes a theme pertinent to the current state of all Mediterranean and European regions vis-a-vis their global analogues.
Impervious boundaries throughout Europe and the Mediterranean are now as pervasive as at any time throughout history, not least through a migration effected by political and economic instability. Here, the Mediterranean and Europe have historically motivated the renegotiation of languages, where junctures form between shifting language, society, notions of heritage, and ethnolinguistic subjectivities. The term ‘bounded’ describes the spatiotemporal articulations yet alignments of populations throughout global time and space, that is, the ways in which language and ethnicity legitimize themselves so to reaffirm communities of ethnolinguistic practice as they migrate and return to their heritage locations. The term ‘unbounded’ signifies efforts by these ethnicities to renegotiate transnational privileges, through developing both heritage and global capital, an effort central to neoliberal intentions.
The COMELA 2020 will build and extend global networks of Mediterranean and European Linguistic Anthropology, collating work within Linguistics, Anthropology, Sociolinguistics, Sociology, Cultural studies, and Linguistic Anthropology, all pertinent to the Mediterranean and Europe, but throughout worldwide arenas. Through the Conference, global academics will juxtapose knowledge, expertise, and valuable Linguistic and Anthropological data, through the interpersonal and inter-institutional networks constructed by the COMELA. To ground these efforts, the COMELA, with The American College in Greece at the centre, networks an ever-growing number of institutions globally.
With over 120 Academics prominent in the field on its Scientific Committee, over 120 institutions globally as affiliates, with major official partner Taylor and Francis Global Publishers, and a global network of partners in Linguistic Anthropology, The COMELA 2020, The Annual conference on Mediterranean and European Linguistic Anthropology, September 2-5, 2020, at The American College in Greece, in Athens, as a fully non-profit Conference on Linguistic Anthropology, brings to life the original yet progressive intentions of Linguistic Anthropology, in and for the Mediterranean and Europe.
We thus welcome you to the COMELA 2020, the Annual Conference on Mediterranean and European Linguistic Anthropology in Athens, Greece, September 2-5, 2020, and to the COMELA in whole.

Professor Helena Maragou

The Conference on Mediterranean and European Linguistic Anthropology 2020, The COMELA 2020
School of Liberal Arts and Sciences
College of Arts & Sciences, The American College in Greece