David Machin, distinguished professor at the Institute of Corpus Studies and Applications of Shanghai International Studies University, will attend the 31st European Systemic Functional Linguistics Conference held in 24th-26th of August 2022. He will give a plenary speech titled as “The UN sustainability goals: Addressing real global problems without clear context, causalities or agents”. The main idea of his speech includes:
Much scholarly work and policy commentary has been critical of the nature of sustainability as a concept. Some even argue that it distracts from, and gets in the way of, actual concrete actions in regards to saving the planet or modifying how we behave in our societies. In this paper I am interested, in particular, in the UN sustainability goals established in 2015. These comprise a set of 17 goals which have the aim of allowing member states to work together to plan a better future in relation to things like poverty, equality, health and prosperity in ways that allow us, at the same time, to protect the planet. The goals are to be met by 2030. It has been observed that the goals are vague, overly loaded with weakly defined concepts and overburdened with aims. Here I explore how multimodal critical discourse approach can bring further insights into why the UN sustainability plan may be somewhat less than systematic or clear: Specifically, I look at how the multimodal documents used to present the goals, while appearing highly technical and systematic, are weak on context, causalities and agents.
More details of the conference is available by visiting the following link:https://event.sdu.dk/esflc22/plenary-speakers