The Research Group “Intercultural Studies (English-Spanish): Pragmatic and Discourse Issues” was founded in 2001 by Prof Pilar Garcés Conejos, then Associate Professor serving at the English Language Department of the University of Seville. Throughout its history, the Research Group has gathered various researchers from different Universities in Spain and now it gathers 5 researchers based at both Pablo de Olavide University and the University of Seville.
In 2002, the Research Group started a series of biennial international conferences, whose English name is International Symposium on Intercultural, Cognitive and Social Pragmatics. This initiative is known as EPICS after the Spanish acronym forEncuentros de Pragmática Intercultural, Cognitiva y Social.
EPICS seeks to be a forum where applied linguists and practitioners in the field of pragmatics can meet, share experiences, discuss common problems, and present their latest research. EPICS also wishes to create awareness among graduating students of the usefulness of and growing interest in this area of linguistic expertise. For this reason, each of the EPICS conferences tries to focus on distinct sub-fields of pragmatics or any of its extant theoretical frameworks.
EPICS III was chosen as the venue for the international launching of the JournalIntercultural Pragmatics (Mouton de Gruyter). EPICS VI will host the European launching of the Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict (John Benjamins).