Since the Colonial period a handful of languages have risen to prominence throughout the world, but none more so than English. It has been the accepted language of global business for decades and is increasingly, inexorably, becoming the common tongue on social media. What does this mean for language in general, and more specifically for the regional dialects fading out beneath its lengthening shadow?

Our panel includes Minae Mizumura, author of ‘The Fall of Language in the Age of English’ and ‘A True Novel’, who is fluent in English but writes in Japanese. She’s joined by Javed Majeed, author of ‘Muhammad Iqbal: Islam, Aesthetics and Postcolonialism’ and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at King’s College London. Up for discussion is the influence of English and its effect on worldwide languages, both over time and in the ever evolving digital realm. Ralph Dartford chairs.

About The Authors

Minae Mizumura

Born in Tokyo, Minae Mizumura moved to New York with her family when she was twelve and studied French literature at Yale University. She immersed herself in reading Japanese literature and returned home after twenty years to start writing herself. All four of her novels have won major literary awards.


Ralph Dartford

Ralph Dartford is the author of Cigarettes, Beer and Love (Ossett Observer Presents 2013) and Recovery Songs (Valley Press 2019). His forthcoming third collection, Serotonin Songs will be published by Valley Press in 2021. Ralph is writer and tutor who mainly works with people who are in recovery from alcohol and substance abuse. His spoken word performance show, Recovery Songs continues to tour nationally.

About The Academics

Javed Majeed

Javed Majeed is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at King’s College London. He did his undergraduate and postgraduate work at Oxford. His research and publications are on the intellectual, cultural and literary history of colonial India, and he is currently working on the ‘Linguistic Survey of India (1894-1927)’.

Daniel Medin

Daniel Medin is a professor of comparative literature at the American University of Paris and the associate director of its Center for Writers and Translators. His editorial projects include ‘The Cahiers Series; (Paris/London), ‘Music & Literature Magazine’ (New York) and the annual translation issue of the ‘White Review’ (London).