TABLE Colloquium Series: Wright

October 10, 2021

TABLE: Toward a Better Linguistics Environment, a colloquium series taking place this fall, continues on Monday, October 18, with a talk by Kelly Elizabeth Wright (Michigan), held via Zoom and in person in Dwinelle 370 (hybrid) from 3-4:30pm. Those who would like to attend, including Berkeley linguists, need to register for the event regardless of mode of attendance (Zoom registration; in-person registration). The talk is entitled "Raciolinguistic Ideologies as Institutionaized Linguistic Racism," and the abstract is as follows:

Raciolinguistic ideologies are said to conflate certain bodies with perceptions of linguistic deficiency. This talk - taking a historical, sociolinguistic framing - offers examples of linguistic racism across institutions as a means of underscoring the insidious and powerful nature of raciolinguistic ideologies and the long-term outcomes of their operation. We will begin with a primer on relevant bullet points of Black history in the US, focusing on citizenship and early language-based access restrictions. We will then use our knowledge of this shared social history - demonstrating how language and race operate as separate, yet intersectional, sociopolitical categories - to illustrate the operation of linguistic racism by considering several brief examples from across institutions. We will look most deeply at education and the law, interrogating the ways in which Standard language ideologies are expected and maintained in these arenas, and how violations of said expectations can work to negatively characterize or sometimes further oppress marginalized populations. I’ll preview for you my current research on ideological uptake and style shifting among Black professionals and judgments of Black professional speech which asks: what perceptual mechanisms help sustain these various linguistic oppressions? We will end by considering concrete steps we can take in our curricula and pedagogy which centralize linguistic justice goals, alongside the development of equitable and representative models of experimentation and accessible distribution of research findings in an increasingly fact phobic world.