English Department DeGraaf Lecture

March 01, 2013 | 4:00 PM |
Winants Auditorium

"English Studies as Creole Scholarship: A Post-Colonial Perspective." Dr. Suresh Canagarajah. The shifts underway in contemporary social conditions call for a new alignment between the main specializations constituting English Studies: namely, literature, applied linguistics, and rhetoric and composition. The postcolonial condition has generated new language, textual, and literary practices. They bring to the fore practices that have always characterized communication, but overlooked in English Studies. Influenced by modernist values, English Studies took on a trajectory that isolated the object of analysis in order to identify the finite rules that capture the core of communicative practices. Postcolonial communicative conditions draw attention to liminalities, flows, and mixtures that require a situated, multimodal, and multisensory understanding of languages and texts, and the plurality of meanings that emerge from a negotiation of diverse contexts.

To understand such language practices, students and scholars have to draw from all three specializations and practice a creole scholarship.