The Other and the Author (by Cristina Baz)

Cristina Baz graduated from McGill University with a B.Ed. and M.A. in Second Language Education. She currently works in translation, language teaching and administration, sometimes escaping with her co-author to work on their new books. 

You can get in touch with Cristina via e-mail or visit her Facebook page or website!

I am the Other. Being the Other is always done to you. It comes as a result of racializing discourses that form part of the West’s colonial legacy, sorting “some people, things, places, and practices into social categories marked as inherently dangerous and Other” (Dick and Wirtz, 2011, p. E2). As such, being an immigrant, especially a visible minority, in a Eurocentric world means that you will always be seen through racialized lenses. In reality, there was nothing fishy about the period and place of my birth or the schools I attended, but the mix and match of random circumstances have yielded quite an interesting “identity crisis starter pack”. Continue reading

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If you can’t be bothered to read my thesis, read this instead (by Michaela Salmon)

A few weeks ago, Lauren Godfrey-Smith wrote about her experience with 3MT. As Lauren describes, getting your PhD dissertation across to a broad audience in only three minutes is no mean feat but the challenge ultimately helps to clarify the content. Distilling a complex document into a small digestible chunk is the best and most viable way to sharing it with an audience beyond our cohort of students and academics. Continue reading

Pas devant les enfants: when is a language dangerous for children to hear? (by Dr. Mela Sarkar)

Language policy is part of the air we breathe, here in Quebec. In our BILD blog posts, most of us have taken our musings about how Quebec language policy affects our lives, and woven them into our writing.

In fact, we are presenting our collective thoughts on “Micro-level case studies of policy as lived experience” at an upcoming conference at McGill May 5, 6 and 7, called For and against models of official multiculturalism and multilingualism (here’s the program). However, we won’t have time to tell very many or very long stories. So in case there isn’t time there, I will tell mine here. Continue reading

YouTube, the ‘Montréal Switch’, and what it means to call Montréal home (by Lauren Godfrey-Smith)

I am weirdly fascinated by a comedic music video titled ‘Anglo’ by Montréal-based comedian, Mike Patterson. The video is captioned with this description (translated from French), “Are you an Anglophone? Are you annoyed when you speak in French and all the Francophones switch into English because of your accent and grammatical errors? It’s important to practice though! That’s why I wrote this song. We live in Québec, let us speak French, even if it’s not good! Speak to me in French when I buy my beer at the corner store, ostie!” (‘ostie’, referencing the host, is a religion-based expletive unique to the variety of French that is spoken in Québec, and is roughly equivalent to ‘damn it’). To give you a general idea, the video is about self-described Anglophone Mike Patterson, who in the song (entirely in French) expresses his frustration at always being spoken to in English whenever he speaks French. Since putting this video up on YouTube in 2012, Patterson’s video has received around 13,000 views and some pretty interesting comments from viewers. Continue reading