War & Peace: the Message of Kinder Eggs

September 12, 2022


What is the origin of human conflict and how can we make peace? The Bible offers one answer in the myth of Babel: God ‘confused their tongues’ of humanity so that humans could no longer co-operate as a species and threaten the power of the divine. But is linguistic diversity really the source of human conflict. In this recording of a talk held at the BRLSI on September 12th 2022, Keith Kahn-Harris, author of ‘The Babel Message: A Love Letter to Language’, will argue that incomprehension can actually be a beautiful thing. He will show how something apparently trivial – the multilingual warning messages in Kinder Surprise Eggs – can allow us to appreciate the glorious, messy diversity of human language.

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