Rethinking Integration and Investment through Bridging Individual and Social Discourses (by Mehdi Babaei)

The importance of storytelling and narratives has been brought up several times in various BILD posts. Further inspired by some panel presentations at the recent Metropolis conference in Montreal, I’d like to continue this conversation, though approaching the issue from a different angle. I want to take a step back from the practical implications as discussed in the previous posts and move, perhaps to a more theoretical level, highlighting the two constructs of integration and investment. Continue reading

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Open Sesame: The power of accent (by Dr.Mela Sarkar)

“What accent sells the most cars?” asked Michaela in a post last November. She was wondering about the supposed marketing effect of juxtaposing accents (French and English Canadian, in English) in radio advertising, considering our local context of Montreal. Recently I was reminded forcibly of the very real effect of my own English Canadian accent in a distinctly non-local context. It was in Kolkata, the teeming city where I was born but did not grow up (that honour belongs to Toronto). Continue reading

“Where are you [really] from?”: A question to White British/French descendants-Canadians-settlers (by Eun-Ji Amy Kim)

“To examine Whiteness is to identify how race shapes the lives of both White people and people of colour [and Indigenous peoples]” (Yee and Dumbril, 2003, p. 100).

In her blog, Emmanueola (What’s your story?) urges all of us think about our story:

Each of us has a story to share, and educators must ensure that their students become confident and that all stories are heard and respected for what they are, even if they do not fall into conventional categories. What’s your story?“”

This blog post is my story, my story of an online dating experience. I share this story with you to challenge and perhaps think about the notion of “conventional categories” of being “Canadian”.

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Facts and Narratives: Teaching personal narrative to skeptical students (by April Passi)

This past week, I introduced my students to a new writing project: personal narrative. I’m replacing another teacher, and they have a “descriptive essay” on the syllabus, which to me to is another label for a personal narrative. Plus, I’ve taught personal narrative before, so I’m going with what I know to save some time and get the ball rolling for these students. The syllabus also stipulates that the essay is to explore the theme of tolerance: very timely, I thought.

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Sociolinguistics in Star Wars: Navigating accents and alienation in a galaxy far, far away … (by Stephen Davis)

The Star Wars film franchise is world-renowned for its fantastic science fiction storytelling, breathtaking special effects, and unparalleled original music. For readers in need of an outline of the episode trajectory, the original trilogy includes Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983); the prequel trilogy consists of Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005); the sequel trilogy features Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015), as well as two forthcoming films; finally, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) serves to bridge the prequel and original trilogies. Indeed, Star Wars has been celebrated across generations, receiving a myriad of awards and becoming one of the highest grossing film franchises of all time. Yet, for all of the reasons to obsess over this otherworldly saga, language remains at the periphery of interest for many moviegoers.

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An evening without subtitles (by Kathleen Green)

Last week, I attended the play J’Accuse, by Annick Lefebvre, at the Centre du Théâtre D’Aujourd’hui in Montréal.

The play is made up of a series of five monologues by five different (fictional) women. Each monologue is an expression of the character’s inner rage (mixed in with some joy and humour and sadness), and a sense of feeling misunderstood. The play is in French.

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