Citizenship and Nation: Language Policy Today

Free Public Lecture

Citizenship and Nation: Language Policy Today

How can our nation be both equal and fair, efficient and diverse, administratively and procedurally just while at the same time pluralistic and heterogenous? This question is one of the critical challenges of the 21st century, in which multilingual and multicultural societies have emerged in all parts of the world. It is no exaggeration to say that how we negotiate difference is the central challenge of our age. Language questions are inextricably linked with new challenges for social cohesion and greater risks of social conflict.

This Walter Mangold Lecture will discuss language policy and social multilingualism as the signature challenges of the contemporary world, and will trace the achievements and failures of Australian language planning. A critical notion will be to distinguish between the political nation, where uniformity and equality appear the greatest guarantee of fairness and justice, and the cultural nation, where diversity and pluralism demand recognition in the interests of recognising legitimate difference and claims for self-determination. In sum, this talk will explore participatory citizenship as a new form of citizenship, and language policy as a tool for national renovation.

The Mangold Trust Fund is a Charitable Fund which originates from a bequest made under the wills of the late Anne Marie and Erwin Herzenberg. The fund commemorates the beliefs and achievements of Walter Mangold, the father of Anne Marie Herzenberg. Walter Mangold devoted a good proportion of his life and energies to the teaching of languages, and came to the conclusion that better understanding between peoples, and the lessening of conflict, could be achieved by improving communication between them.


  • Professor Joseph Lo Bianco
    Professor Joseph Lo Bianco, Professor of Language and Literacy Education, Melbourne Graduate School of Education