Symposium on "English and Ethnicity" at the University of Alabama, Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2002

Catherine Evans Davies cdavies at BAMA.UA.EDU
Sun Sep 22 17:10:54 UTC 2002

We would like to let everyone on ADS-List know about the 26th Symposium of the
University of Alabama English Department, Oct. 31- November 2, 2002.  The
message includes a link to the website with registration information, etc.  If
you click on the "Signs of Race" icon on the webpage you will see that this is
one of five related symposia.

                          ENGLISH and Ethnicity
Organizers:  Catherine Evans Davies, Janina Brutt-Griffler, Lucy Pickering

For inquiries:  cdavies at

Our focus in this symposium will be the use of English as a resource for the
representation of ethnicity as an aspect of sociocultural identity.  Our
theoretical position is that ethnicity is potentially an aspect of the
identity of every person, and that English can be used to signal a wide range
of ethnicities in a wide range of contexts.  Such a position problematizes
certain key notions: the notion of identity must be conceptualized as complex,
multifaceted, and socially constructed through a process of situated
interpretation; the notion of ethnicity must be conceptualized as both
subsuming and transcending earlier notions of "race" as well as including a
wide range of perceptions of relevant cultural background; English itself must
be conceptualized not as a monolithic linguistic entity with one "standard"
form, but as a highly complex linguistic construct with spoken and written
forms, and a wide range of dialectal variation that can be conveyed through
shifts at all levels of linguistic organization (prosodic, phonological,
lexical, morpho/syntactic, pragmatic, discoursal). The symposium includes
papers which address regional, national, and international contexts in the
exploration of the relationship between English and ethnicity.  We would like
to attract a diverse audience, including linguists, literary scholars,
creative writers, students, educators, psychologists, journalists and local
community leaders.

                   Overview of the Symposium

Thursday Evening Program: October 31,  7:00 p.m.,  Morgan Hall Auditorium

“English in the Black Experience:  A Sociolinguistics of
Dr. Alamin Mazrui, Dept. of African-American & African Studies, Ohio State

Friday Sessions: November 1: Ferguson Center Theater (9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) -
registration at 8

Session 1: 9-12  Frameworks:

“The Discursive Framing of Phonological Acts of Identity: Welshness through
Dr. Nikolas Coupland, Cardiff Centre for Language and Communication Research,
University of Cardiff, Wales, UK

"In Black and White: Racial Prejudices and Linguistic Practices among
Dr. A. Jacqueline Toribio, Dept. of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese,  Penn State

"The Chinese Experience of Basic English"
Dr. Yunte Huang, Dept. of English and American Literature and Language,
Harvard University

Session 2:  2-4  Representations:

“Representing Jewish Identity through English”
Dr. Cynthia Goldin Bernstein, Dept. of English, the University of Memphis

“Signalling Gay Identity and Ethnicity---Changing Linguistic and Semiotic
Dr. Ronald R. Butters, Linguistics Program, Duke University

Bankhead Writers Series: 4:30, Ferguson Forum: Simon J. Ortiz and Yunte Huang

Saturday Sessions: November 2: Ferguson Center Ballroom (9:00 a.m. - -5:00
p.m.) - registration at 8

Session 3:  9-12 Contexts:

“Speaking for Ourselves:  Maintaining Native Cultural Integrity Despite
Speaking English” Professor Simon Ortiz, Dept. of English, the University of
Toronto, Canada

“English and the Construction of Aboriginal Identities in the Eastern Canadian
Dr. Donna Patrick, Dept. of Applied Language Studies, Brock University, Canada

“Constructing a Diaspora Identity in English: The Case of Sri Lankan Tamils”
Dr. A. Suresh Canagarajah, Dept. of English, Baruch College, City University
of New York

Session 4:  2-5 Connections:

“Teaching English among Linguistically Diverse Students”
Dr. John Baugh, School of Education, Stanford University

“Language and Race in Transnational Space:  Rethinking Mestizaje”
Dr. Marcia Farr, Dept. of English and Linguistics, University of Illinois at

“African American Language and Culture: African and Creole Roots"
Dr. John R. Rickford, Dept. of Linguistics, Director of African &
Afro-American Studies, Stanford University

8:00 p.m.: The Alabama Blues Project:  Willie King and the Liberators

This symposium is supported by * The College of Arts & Sciences * The Provost
* The Dean of Arts and Sciences * The Arts & Sciences Diversity Committee *
The College of Education * The Department of American Studies and the
African-American Studies Program * Capstone International Programs *  The
Department of  Religious Studies and the Aaron Aronov Endowment for Judaic
Studies * The Creative Writing Program * The History Department * The
Psychology Department * The Modern Languages and Classics Department * The
Anthropology Department * The English Language Institute *  Stillman College
*The Alabama Humanities Foundation, the state affiliate of the National
Endowment for the Humanities*

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