French culture and society
Mike works on French cultural history in the 20th century, especially the history of ideas and intellectuals. He has published widely on the cultural and intellectual reconstruction of France after the Second World War. He has also published several articles on relations between Britain and France in culture and ideas. He has recently published on intellectuals and religion in the 1930s, and is currently working on debates around atheism and secularism/laïcité in both countries. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal French Cultural Studies, which he helped to found, and Editor of Synergies Royaume Uni et Irlande which publishes work on language and culture.
Mike works on policy and practices relating to languages. Following an AHRC-funded project, Languages at War with Prof. Hilary Footitt (University of Reading) he has co-edited two books on the subject, and published a study of language issues during the UN and NATO peace-keeping operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the 1990s, with Dr Catherine Baker (University of Hull). He is co-editor with Prof. Footitt of a book series on Languages at War, with Palgrave Macmillan and is co-editing a Handbook on the subject.
Mike is particularly committed to strengthening the capability of people in the UK to communicate in languages other than English. He was a prime mover and member of the Nuffield Language Inquiry, which put languages on the public agenda in 2000. He is Director of the government-funded Routes into Languages programme, which aims to increase the take-up of languages in secondary and higher education, and Trustee of Speak to the future, the national campaign on languages, which aims to provoke a step change in the country's attitudes and achievements in language learning. He recently spent three weeks in Japan on a JSPS Fellowship, giving papers on issues of language policy and intercultural communication.
Beyond the UK, Mike is concerned to improve the ability of European citizens to live in a multilingual and multicultural world. He completed a substantial project for the European Commission to develop a Profile for language teacher training across Europe (2004) which several EU member states have used in appraising their programmes for training language teachers. He led the ERASMUS-funded LanQua project working with 61 European partners to develop a toolkit for quality assurance in languages across Europe. He is Secretary of the European Language Council, and Editor of the European Journal of Language Policy/ Revue européenne de politique linguistique.
Professor Michael Kelly
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