Voices of Modernity: Language Ideologies and the Politics of Inequality

Voices of Modernity: Language Ideologies and the Politics of Inequality

Voices of Modernity: Language Ideologies and the Politics of Inequality

Voices of Modernity: Language Ideologies and the Politics of Inequality

Excerpt

Back some thirteen years and many life changes ago, we had an idea. Both of us had been thinking about questions of performance, how the enactment of discursive, bodily, and material forms in performative settings produces and transforms people and social relations. But we were unsatisfied with the ability of our own work and other frameworks with which we were familiar to capture the richness of events that we witnessed and the broad political, social, and historical questions that they raised. In particular, the way that friends George and Silvianita López, Francisco Pérez, or José Antonio Pérez used performances as political tools in challenging racism and nation-states seemed to be much more sophisticated than any framework we could muster in accounting for it. Sharing discomfort with received categories of language, aesthetics, culture, tradition, and other truths that generally seemed to be held to be self-evident, we had the vague feeling that some sort of magic act had been performed long before our time that transformed certain problematic categories into supposedly universal features of the world around us. While we saw our scholarly work as part of a progressive political project, we were not satisfied with our efforts to tie theorizing and analysis to struggles to challenge social inequality and structures of oppression.

At first we agreed to organize a conference. If only a wide range of scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds could get together for a few days, we hoped, our collective wisdom might help us to sort out the problems and chart more productive ways to forge ahead. After a few conversations, though, we decided that a much more sustained dialogue and a great deal of reading would be required. We made the fateful decision: we decided to write a book. Each of us accuses the other of having broached this suggestion. If we had known then that it would take thirteen years and thousands upon thousands of hours of work to accomplish this goal, we would probably have shared one last beer and another collegial abrazo and returned to our individual research projects.

Our initial efforts focused on rethinking theories and analytic frameworks of the twentieth century, particularly those that had come into . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.