I’m doing a research project on “blogging as pedagogy” as part of a reflective exercise to digest the experience of doing a blog with my graduate cohort last term. I can’t think of a better place to write about some of my preliminary findings than here on this blog. Continue reading
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.
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.
Emmanouela is a PhD student in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. Her academic journey entails studies in Modern Languages (MSt) and Language Education (MSc) and she is passionate about studying the ways in which languages and people evolve over time and through social interaction.
While this post isn’t exactly a response to Dr. Heller’s post from two weeks ago, I feel like her post sets the stage for this one. I suggest that you read hers first, if you haven’t already.
For a long time now, I have found comfort in scholarly argumentation about power imbalances and struggles. A big part of this is about finding a way to articulate, in a rational, logical, structured way, things to which I initially react on an emotional, or a gut level. Continue reading
BILD has given me the opportunity to discover multiple points of view about socio-cultural change and identity fluidity. This safe space has also allowed me to delve into and question different aspects of linguistic change and diversity. An inherent characteristic of language is its variation. In recent months, I’ve been thinking about the dynamics of language variation: how languages move on, change, and diversify themselves from their “root”. I’ve also had similar thoughts about the speakers of these languages. With my research focus on minority language communities, specifically adult heritage language learners and mixed heritage identities, I’ve been wondering how these learners and their identities are being realised in relation to the “three waves of language variation” (Eckert, 2012) in sociolinguistics. Continue reading
Monica Heller is Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto. Her most recent book, with L. Bell, M. Daveluy, M. McLaughlin and H. Noël, is Sustaining the Nation: the Making and Moving of Language and Nation (2015, Oxford University Press).
A few months ago Mela Sarkar asked me to consider contributing a blog post. I told her I wasn’t sure what I had to say. Then, well, Autumn 2016 happened, and it became obvious that the least I could do was to write what I was thinking, which is that this is, once again, a time when attention to language-as-power is really, really, important. I was moved to write today, because before lunchtime I was drenched in evidence. Continue reading