Saturday, May 28, 2016

Benedict Anderson: Imagined Communities

Imagined Communities is often cited as the single volume that changed the way that a range of disciplines view nationalism. Written as a response to the failure of Marxist scholars to account for why (typically) men were willing to lay down their life for their country, Anderson equates the nation to a modern religious force in most people's lives, providing them through print and other media technologies with a community that they imagine are carrying out the same activities at the same time in countless locations in the same nation.
I read the whole book (229 pages), from the perspective of critiquing Identity studies, so that I could use this quote: "Out of this estrangement [from one's own unremembered childhood past] comes a conception of personhood, identity (yes, you and that naked baby are identical) which, because it cannot be 'remembered,' must be narrated. Against biology's demonstration that every single cell in a human body is replaced over seven years, the narratives of autobiography and biography flood print-capitalism's markets year by year." (p.204) and write this statement: Anderson (2006) explains in glorious detail how one of the most apparently stable forms of identity - Nationalism - is the product of a particular historical moment, conducive to the economic transformation from imperial state, supported by divine right, to capitalist state, supported by economic might, enabled by mass education, print literacy and linguistic imperialism.
So worth it!!
(This last bit is from my review)
As a footnote, I found this obituary on the author, but there are plenty of others.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

IJLS Special Issues

Two special issues of the International Journal of Language Studies focusing on Systemic Functional Linguistics have recently been published.

Volume 10 no.2 is entitled "Systemic Functional Linguistics and (Critical) Discourse Analysis"
It features the following papers:

  • Teresa OTEIZA & Claudio PINUER: Appraisal framework and critical discourse studies: A joint approach to the study of historical memories from an intermodal perspective
  • Felipe Leandro de JESUS, Debora de Carvalho FIGUEIREDO & Fabio Santiago NASCIMENTO: Screening the unspeakable: The representation of gender/sex roles and same-sex love in Brokeback Mountain
  • Viviane HEBERLE & Marcos MORGADO: Discussing the representation of immigrants: An integrated view from SFL, CDA and Multimodality
  • Hector J. MCQUEEN: Exploring the intonation of appraised items in one speech by Obama: The case of prominence
  • Lucia Ines RIVAS & Miriam Patricia GERMANI: Analysing correlations between generic patterns and prosodic realizations in interviews in English
  • Tazanfal TEHSEEM: Investigating character construal of rape victims in Pakistani news reporting
Volume 10 no.3 is entitled "Systemic Functional Linguistics and Education"
It features the following papers:

  • Lucia ZUPPA & Susana REZZANO: The construction of the role of the teachers in academic articles on ICT and education
  • Susan HOOD & Jo LANDER: Technologies, modes and pedagogic potential in live versus online lectures 
  • Mark Shiu-kee SHUM, Dan SHI & Chung-pui TAI: The effectiveness of using 'reading to learn, learning to write' pedagogy in teaching Chinese to non-Chinese speaking students in Hong Kong
  • Mary MACKEN-HORARIK & Carmel SANDIFORD: Diagnosing development: A grammatics for tracking student progress in narrative composition
  • Maria Susana GONZALEZ: Discussion and challenge: Linguistic resources
Both of these issues are available for FREE from the IJLS Academia page.