Linguistics and English Language

Rector Debora Kayembe's Inaugural Lecture

Rector Debora Kayembe's Inaugural Lecture now available.

Rector Debora Kayembe

The recording of university Rector Debora Kayembe’s inaugural lecture - The Importance of Languages and Cultural Diversity in the Conflict Zone as Instruments for a Durable Peace and Justice is now available to watch.

Organised by Lauren Hall-Lew, Debora’s lecture was the first lecture of the PPLS Global South Speaker Series, sponsored by the Committee for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). The aim of the series is to “seek out…the work of non-Western researchers and researchers of colour who have been excluded from the canon.” The series was first proposed in 2017 by psychology postgrad student Jess Brough.

Debora spoke of her early life in the Democratic Republic of Congo; earning her degree at Université Libre de Kinshasa; being forced into exile for her work and coming to the UK in 2005; and moving to Edinburgh in 2011 and qualifying as a barrister.

“Language, above all else, is identity”

The lecture makes the importance of an understanding of linguistics when acting as a translator clear.

Despite the seriousness of the subject matter, Debora delivered her lecture with charm, informality and, above all, a sense of humour.

We've learned from our peers that true Peace is not merely the absence of tension or war; it's the presence of justice, peace is freedom and it's dedicated to the recognition of human rights. In multilingualism, it takes more than two languages to be an interpreter or translator; the role of the linguists shall be the facilitator who is crucial in the recovery of survivors of war.

Debora KayembeRector

The full recording of Debora’s lecture is now available:

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