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Keynote - A Human Ecological Perspective (A. Phipps)


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Keynote at Brussels June 2015 Symposium

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Keynote - A Human Ecological Perspective (A. Phipps)

  1. 1. ‘What does it mean to be languaged in today’s world?’ A Human Ecological Perspective Alison Phipps University of Glasgow
  2. 2. Today’s World Anthropocene Royal Geological Society 2011
  3. 3. Language in the Anthropcene “Extractivist attitude to language – the fossil fuel of rhetoric which we burn in our universities” (Michael Cronin – yesterday)
  4. 4. Questions pointing to absence “What does it mean to live in communities?” (New Scots project: 2013) “What does it mean to be languaged?”
  5. 5. Languaged What does it mean? To be […] Languaged In today’s World.
  6. 6. To be languaged Passive form Enlanguaged Porosity (Irigarary) Human beings are porous: open to air and light.
  7. 7. What does it mean? Open to diverse ecological contexts of learning. Open to pollution. Open to colonisation. Open to monopoly. Open to militarisation. (Brueggemann)
  8. 8. Today’s World “Globalisation takes place only in capital and data. All else is damage control.” (Spivak 2013, p. 3)
  9. 9. Critical Effects: (Post)colonial N’Gougi wa T’iongo “Accept theft or die”
  10. 10. On the Postcolony: Mbembe • “We should first remind ourselves that, as a general rule, the experience of the Other, or the problem of the “I” of others and of human beings we perceive as foreign to us, has almost always posed virtually insurmountable difficulties to the Western philosophical and political tradition.”
  11. 11. Butler: “Can we find ethical and political ways of objecting to forcible and coercive dispossession that do not depend upon a valorization of possessive individualism?”
  12. 12. What are your languages? My language is […] I speak […] I have […] My English […] Why are you learning [….] Language Lobo? Language Wrangles
  13. 13. Glossophobia Critique Excavate the ideological roots of monolingualism (Gramling…) ….and multilingualism Historicize Mythologize Poeticize/ aestheticize Collectivize Salvage ethnography Decolonize (the University)
  14. 14. Theoretical & Critical Perspectives? Does glossophobia produce positive (individual) psychological effects? If so, happiness for whom? To do what? At whose expense? 1)Feminist, queer 2)Postcolonial
  15. 15. Lauren Berlant: Cruel Optimism An incitement to inhabit and track the affective attachment to what we call “the good life” which for many is a bad life which wears out the subjects, who nonetheless find their conditions of possibility within it.
  16. 16. Sara Ahmed: The Promise of Happiness “Can we rewrite the history of happiness from the point of view of the wretch? If we listen to those who are cast as wretched, perhaps their wretched-ness would no longer belong to them. The sorrow of the stranger might give us a different angle on happiness not because it teaches us what it is like must be like to be a stranger, but because it might estrange us from the very happiness of the familiar”
  17. 17. Happiness work has a Political Economy • Political economy: Happiness gets distributed in all sorts of complicated ways. • “To be a good subject (good language learner) is to be perceived as a happiness-cause, as making others happy. To be bad is thus to be a killjoy.” • Index certain forms as normative which serve the unimpeded flow of (linguistic) capital
  18. 18. Ahmed: The Killjoy • “To killjoy, is to open a life, to make room for life, to make room for possibility, for chance.” • If ethics is to preserve the freedom to disagree, then ethics cannot simply be about affirmation, or for affirmation, understood as good encounters.
  19. 19. “Estrangement” - Verfremdung To the forces of monolingualism and ‘English-only’ happiness; to the glossophobia of linguistic imperialism the multilingual subject stands as a quixotic figure. The multilingual collective, is terrifying. A killjoy. Saumoud A condition requiring artistry. And defiance.
  20. 20. Killing the Joy of Good English
  21. 21. Researching Multilingually: • Killjoy methods; • Taking the standpoint of the ‘wretched’ • Languaged/ing under Pain and Pressure. • Troubling the cult of English/monolingually masked research.
  22. 22. What does it mean to be langauged in today’s World? • Working within demands for Justice • Decolonizing the University • Addressing epistemic violence (Pillay 2015) • Attempting to think and act from positions which do not valorize individual possession • Liberation theology; Anthropology; Philosophy; • Artistic
  23. 23. Epistemic Violence “they came with the bible and we had the land, they told us to close our eyes. We opened our eyes, and we had the bible, but they had the land”.
  24. 24. Africa is a Country • “Because the university is a place of authoritative knowledge, certified knowledge, it is at the heart of epistemic violence. It is where authorized and legitimate knowledge is cultivated, preserved and protected but also changed.” (Pillay)
  25. 25. “Deep language learning and unconditional ethics are […] out of joint with this immensely powerful brave new world-machine “ (Spivak 2013) (26).
  26. 26. A human ecological language Perspective – with Glenn Levine ● Context ● Complexity ● Capabilities ● Conflict ● Compassion Responding to these creatively, reflexively and ethically defines for us the characteristics required for a human ecological language pedagogy.
  27. 27. Asserting Multilingualism in face of death /theft • Nazmi Al Masri – TEFL model/ AFL quality • Employability/peace project • Conflict and Compassion are central concerns •
  28. 28. Presenting IUG as a multilingual campus: – an allied position in conflict .1‫اللغة‬‫العربية‬ 2. English .3‫עברית‬ 4. Braille 5. Arabic sign language 6. Art, Languages & technology designing gifts & furniture by engineers & physically impaired people (Mosaic Works, Arabesque work)
  29. 29. Nau mai Haere Mai Karakia Whakawhanaungatanga Whakapapa o te ao Māori -Whakarongo (Visual-kite-ā-karu) -Titiro (Audio-Rongo-ā-taringa) -Kōrero (Kinaesthetic-Mahi-ā-tinana) ¨
  30. 30. Māori - Mihi (Decolonising Methodologies) Te Whakapapa o Alison Tēna koutou katoa e te whānau whānui Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa I tēnei wā o te tau. Ko ‘Calmac’ tōku waka Ko Clyde tōku awa Ko Maunga Lomond tōku maunga tapu Ko Yorkshire-Scottish-Blen tōku iwi Ko Phipps-Swinfen-Andmariam tōku hapū Ko West End tōku marae I te taha o tōku papa ko Fred rāua Gertrude ōku tīpuna I te taha o tōku māmā ko Leonard rāua Annie ōku tīpuna. Ko Roy rāua ko Anne ōku mātua. Nā reira tēnā koutou katoa