Babylon, Center for the Study of Superdiversity



We focus on interdisciplinary and collective research efforts, in an attempt to explore the limits of current disciplinary frameworks. We focus on a broad range of research topics and areas, covering issues that occur at the strictly local level as well as on the global level, and creating a sound basis for comparative work and theoretical generalization, and we do so by means of paradigmatic orientations towards super-diversity, complexity and mediation, with an immediate contact with partners in the field.

Migrant Liter@cies

Babylon is one of the partners in the Migrant Liter@cies project.

One of the main objectives of this project is the analyzing of best practices and methodologies of adult migrant literacy programs in the countries of the partnership and the development of innovative practices, including the creative use of ICT for language learning, using for example mobile devices and social media: APPs, Whatsapp, videogames, etc. More information can be found on the project website.

Babylon - Migrant Literacies

European Civil Society Platform for Multilingualism

Massimiliano Spotti is member of the Multilingualism Expert Group of the ECSPM. More information about the ECSPM and its activities can be found on

Babylon - ECSPM

Report on the 6th International Conference on Multicultural Discourses

Babylon Multicultural Discourses - poster Babylon Multicultural Discourses - speaker

Babylon's research program 2018-2020

Superdiversity online and offline

Social life in the 21st century is increasingly led in online as well as offline contexts, with intersections between both structuring everyday activities as well as institutional ones. In the domain of social, cultural and linguistic diversity, the online world has become a dense new layer of diversification complicating both the phenomena on the ground as well as public debates about them and existing social-theoretical approaches to them.

Babylon puts the online-offline nexus central in its engagement with diversity in society and will focus over the next couple of years on several key issues in research.

  1. The precise nature of new forms of social interaction in the online-offline world, with special attention to new forms of multilingual and multimodal practice;
  2. The effects of online-offline social life on identities, both individual and collective;
  3. The emergence and formation of new communities in the online-offline world;
  4. The importance of learning practices and knowledge distribution in the formation of identities and communities;
  5. The development of security as a key institutional format structuring the online-offline world;
  6. The tensions and overlaps between moral orders and worldviews articulated in online-offline social practices;
  7. The social-theoretical implications of all this, and the adequacy or inadequacy of existing theoretical and methodological frameworks for addressing the new forms of social life we observe.

Babylon will address these research issues in continued collaboration and dialogue with the partners in the INCOLAS consortium, with a number of new partners, and with the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity.

Babylon logo Tilburg Papers in Culture Studies (klein)

Latest Tilburg Papers in Culture Studies

paper 223 - Jan Blommaert & Ico Maly: Invisible Lines in the Online-Offline Linguistic Landscape

Paper 222 - Jan Blommaert, Ying Lu & Kunming Li: From the Self to the Selfie

Paper 221 - Najma Al Zidjaly: Digital activism as nexus analysis: A sociolinguistic example from Arabic Twitter

Paper 220 - Ico Maly: The global New Right and the Flemish identitarian movement Schild & Vrienden: A case study

Paper 219 - Friederike Grosse: Theoretical implications for researching complex identity construction in superdiverse contexts through linguistic repertoires: An organic perspective

Paper 218 - Marie Maegaard & Kristine Køhler Mortensen: Meeting the Greenlandic people: Mediated intersections of colonial power, race and sexuality

Paper 217 - Ying Lu: Emojis as a cash cow: Biaoqingbao-hatched economic practice in online China

Paper 216 - Jan Blommaert: Family language planning as sociolinguistic biopower

Paper 215 - Robert Moore: Pathways of sociality: Linking contexts to each other in space and time

Paper 214 - Ben Rampton & Louise Eley: Goffman and the everyday interactional grounding of surveillance

Paper 213 - Ico Maly: Populism as a mediatized communicative relation: The birth of algorithmic populism