This course provides an opportunity for all us to critically reflect on our own positionalities in contemporary globalisation. Focusing on language and communication, we critique widely held notions, such as the view that globalisation will result in the homogenisation of cultures or in the global dominance of English, and that globalisation will lead to more equality or better access to knowledge and resources for everybody, including people from postcolonial places. The course assumes that globalisation cannot be understood in such simplistic terms and that we must turn towards explaining complexity if we want to understand our current superdiverse global societies. The notion of voice will allow us to analyse such complexity in a linguistically grounded way. A selection of state-of-the-art academic readings will acquaint students with key analytical concepts of voice in globalisation research. The readings will also provide students with important case studies that demonstrate how globalised people construct their own voices and those of their communities to make global complexity meaningful for their lives. Examples of such complex voices are drawn from a variety of case studies, including hip hop in the global south, refugees in the global north and international tourism. These complex voices, while being powerful for some, are not heard and silenced by others. The course aims to create space where we can all develop critical faculties for discussing and writing about/within globality. I trust in my hope that this can help us not merely to understand ‘interesting’ aspects of linguistic power and communicative inequality in globalisation, but also to rethink how our own languaging can help us in our diverse interests to promote global justice.
Unlearning, globalisation, inequality, race, voice, languaging, translanguaging, complexity, superdiversity, hypersubjectivity, neoliberalism, World Englishes, global south, Blackness, social movements, migration, tourism
Fridays 09:30 – 12:20, Room tba
The course will consist of lectures immediately followed by tutorials or the other way around. The lectures will provide students with detailed overviews of current issues and discussions in the field of language, communication and globalisation. The tutorials will be student-led and will offer opportunities for in-depth discussions of the weekly readings. The tutorials will also introduce students to important study skills, such as critical writing strategies and slow reading techniques. In the latter half of the semester, students are asked to prepare short presentations on topics of their choice. It is mandatory to book at least two office hours to discuss your learning progress, plan your written assignments and discuss your position within globalisation. Students who miss more than three classes, for whatever reason, will be considered as not having completed the course and will not receive a final grade.
Assessment is 100% coursework, which comprises five components as listed below. A failure to complete a component on the specified due date will result in a 0 for that particular proportion of the grade. Further specification about the content, analysis and formatting as well as grading of your coursework will be distributed at the beginning of the semester.
- 5 October: Reflection on your learning progress (500 words, 20%)
- 18 October: Idea for an essay (10%),
- November: In-class presentation (10%)
- 1 November: Essay draft (10%)
- 23 December: Final essay (1,600 words, 50%).
- You will understand how globalisation is shaped by complexity.
- You will learn how to challenge simplistic understandings that depict globalisation as leading to homogenisation and/or greater equality.
- You will begin to unlearn your own position in globalisation and critically reflect on your privilege and marginalisation.
- You will acquire the patience to work through, understand and critically evaluate difficult academic articles.
- You will learn and revise key writing skills that help you present your ideas to a specialised audience in a critical fashion.
- You learn how to critique our globalised societies; this will help you to make informed and reflective decisions in your lives as democratic citizens.
Bhatia, Aditi (2015) Construction of discursive illusions in the ‘Umbrella Movement.’ Discourse & Society 26(4): 407-427.
Blommaert, Jan (2010) The Sociolinguistics of Globalization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Collins, James P., Stef Slembrouck and Mike Baynham (eds.) (2009) Globalization and Language Contact: Scale, Migration, and Communicative Practices. London: Continuum.
Coupland, Nikolas (ed.) (2010) The Handbook of Language and Globalization. Malden, MA: Wiley- Blackwell.
Canagarajah, Suresh A. (2013) Translingual Practice: Global Englishes and Cosmopolitan Relations. Abingdon: Routledge.
Flowerdew, John (2017) Understanding the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement: A critical discourse historiographical approach. Discourse & Society 28(5): 453-472.
Hansen Edwards, Jette G. (2016) The politics of language and identity: Attitudes towards Hong Kong English pre and post the Umbrella Movement. Asian Englishes 18(2): 157-164.
Vaish, Viniti (ed.) (2010) Globalization of Language and Culture in Asia: The Impact of Globalization Processes on Language. London: Continuum.
Pennycook, Alastair and Sinfree Makoni (2019) Innovations and Challenges in Applied Linguistics from the Global South. Oxon: Routledge.
Shilliam, Robbie (2015) The Black Pacific: Anti-colonial Struggles and Oceanic Connections. London: Bloomsbury.
(students are expected to read core readings before class)
Lecture: Accounting for complexity
Blommaert, Jan (2016) From mobility to complexity in sociolinguistic theory and method. In: Nikolas Coupland (ed.) Sociolinguistics: Theoretical Debates. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 242-261.
Hannerz, Ulf (1992) The nature of culture today. In: Cultural Complexity: Studies in the Social Organization of Meaning. New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 3-39.
Rennen, Ward and Pim Martens (2003) The globalisation timeline. Integrated Assessment 4(3): 137-144.
Lecture: Globalisation old and new
Tutorial: Slow reading
Canagarajah, Suresh A. (2013) Recovering translingual practices. In: Translingual Practice: Global Englishes and Cosmopolitan Relations. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 35-55.
Appadurai, Arjun (1996) Here and now. In: Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 1-23.
Scholte, Jan Aart (2005) Globalization debates. In: Globalization: A Critical Introduction. 2nd edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 13-48.
Lecture: Superdiversity and hypersubjectivity in neoliberal capitalism
Tutorial: Referencing, citing, paraphrasing and codemeshing
Hall, Kira (2014) Hypersubjectivity: Language anxiety, and indexical dissonance in globalization. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 24(2): 261-273.
Bisbee, James, Layna Mosley, Thomas B. Pepinsky and B. Peter Rosendorff (2020) Decompensating domestically: The political economy of anti-globalism. Journal of European Public Policy 27(7): 1090-1102.
Blommaert, Jan and Ben Rampton (2011) Language and superdiversity. Diversities 13(2): 1-22.
Park, Joseph Sung-Yul (2016) Language as pure potential. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 37(5): 453-466.
Vertovec, Steven (2007) Super-diversity and its implications. Ethnic and Racial Studies 30(6): 1024-1054.
Tutorial: Finding your voice as an author
Li Wei and Zhu Hua (2020) Tranßcripting: Playful subversion with Chinese characters. In: Jerry Won Lee and Sender Dovchin (eds.) Translinguistics: Negotiating Innovation and Ordinariness. Oxon: Routledge, pp. 179-193.
García, Orfelia and Li Wei (2014) The translanguaging turn and its impact. In Translanguaging: Language, Bilingualism and Education. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 19-44.
Makalela, Leketi (2016) Ubuntu translanguaging: An alternative framework for complex multilingual encounters. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 34(3): 187-196.
Pennycook, Alastair (2016) Mobile times, mobile terms: The trans-super-poly-metro movement. In: Nikolas Coupland (ed.) Sociolinguistics: Theoretical Debates. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 201-217.
Public Holiday ***no classes***
SUBMISSION DUE – 5 October 2020: reflection on your learning progress (500 words, 20%)
Lecture: Beyond World Englishes
Tutorial: ‘English’ argumentation logics in your writing
Seargeant, Philip and Caroline Tagg (2011) English on the internet and a ‘post-varieties’ approach to language. World Englishes 30(4): 496-514.
Kachru, Braj B. (1985) Standards, codification and sociolinguistic realism: The English language in the outer circle. In: Randolph Quirk and Henry Widdowson (eds.) English in the World: Teaching and Learning the Language and the Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 11-30.
Leimgruber, Jakob R. E. (2013) The trouble with World Englishes. English Today 29(3): 3-7.
Omoniyi, Tope (2006) Hip hop through the world Englishes lens: A response to globalization. World Englishes 25(2): 195-208.
Reading Week ***no classes ***
Please use this week to review completed readings and do your own literature research to deepen
your knowledge of topics that you find fascinating.
SUBMISSION DUE – 18 October 2020: idea for an essay (10%)
Lecture: The Global Caribbean
Tutorial: Blackness, racism, colourism, allyship
Slade, Benjamin (2018) Overstanding Idren: Special features of Rasta talk morphology. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 33(2): 280-306.
Ortiz, Fernando (1947) Cuban Counterpoint. Tobacco and Sugar. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, pp. 97-103.
Fanon, Frantz (1952) The Black man and language. In: Black Skin, White Masks. London: Pluto, pp. 19-40.
Lecture: The Black Lives Matter movement
Tutorial: Critique, dissent, coloniality and social injustice
Carney, Nikita (2016) All Lives Matter, but so does race: Black Lives Matter and the evolving role of social media. Humanity and Society 40(2): 180-199.
Epstein, Brian (2019) Biko and non-white and black: Improving social reality. In: George Hull (ed.) Debating African Philosophy: Perspectives on Identity, Decolonial Ethics and Comparative Philosophy. London: Routledge, pp. 97-117.
Holt, Lanier Frush and Matthew D. Schweitzer (2020) More than a black and white issue: ethnic identity, social dominance orientation, and support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Self and Identity 19(1): 16-31.
Thompson, Debra (2020) The intersectional politics of Black Lives Matter. In: Fiona Macdonald and Alexandra Dobrowolsky (eds.) Turbulent Times, Transformational Possibilities: Gender and Politics Today and Tomorrow. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp. 240-257.
SUBMISSION DUE – 1 November 2020: essay draft (10%)
Lecture: Hip hop in the global south (Guest lecture by Quentin Williams, University of Cape Town, tbc)
Tutorial: Student presentations
Williams, Quentin E. (2012) The enregisterment of English in rap braggadocio: A study from English-Afrikaans bilingualism in Cape Town. English Today 28(2): 54-59.
Dattatreyan, Ethiraj Gabriel and Jaspal Naveel Singh (2020) Ciphers, hoods, and digital DIY studios in urban India: Negotiating aspirational individuality and spatial collectivity. Global Hip Hop Studies 1(1): 25-45.
Lin, Angel (2009) “Respect for da chopstick hip hop”: The politics, poetics, and pedagogy of Cantonese verbal art in Hong Kong. In: H. Samy Alim, Awad Ibrahim and Alastair Pennycook (eds.) Global Linguistic Flows: Hip Hop Cultures, Youth Identities, and the Politics of Language. New York: Routledge, pp. 159-178.
Wilson, Michael J. (2011) ‘Making space, pushing time’: A Sudanese hip-hop group and their wardrobe-recording studio. International Journal of Cultural Studies 15(1): 47-64.
Lecture: Europe’s refugee ‘crisis’
Tutorial: Student presentations
Eades, Diana (2005) Applied linguistics and language analysis in asylum seeker cases. Applied Linguistics 4(1): 503-526.
Blommaert, Jan (2001) Investigating narrative inequality: African asylum seekers’ stories in Belgium. Discourse & Society 12(4): 413-449.
De Genova, Nicholas (2018) The “migrant crisis” as racial crisis: Do Black Lives Matter in Europe? Ethnic and Racial Studies 41(10): 1765-1782.
Lecture: Tourism and the ‘globalised’ self (Guest lecture by Sean P. Smith, University of Hong Kong)
Tutorial: Student presentations
Smith, Sean P. (2019) Landscapes for “likes”: Capitalizing on travel with Instagram. Social Semiotics. Ahead of Print.
Heller, Monica, Adam Jaworski and Crispin Thurlow (2014) Introduction: Sociolinguistics and tourism – mobilities, markets, multilingualism. Journal of Sociolinguistics 18(4): 425-458.
Vrasti, Wanda (2013) Chapter 3: Multicultural sensibilities in Guatemala. In: Volunteer Tourism in the Global South: Giving Back in Neoliberal Times. London: Routledge, pp. 56-85.
Lozanski, Kristin (2011) Independent travel: Colonialism, liberalism and the self. Critical Sociology 37(4): 465-82.
Lecture: Recap, discussion and closing
Tutorial: Student presentations
No assigned readings
SUBMISSION DUE – 23 December 2020: final written assignment (1,600 words, 50%)
– Please read in detail
The University’s definitions on “plagiarism” are as follows:
Plagiarism refers to “direct copying of textual material or wilful use of other people’s data and ideas,
and presenting them as one’s own without acknowledgement, whether or not such materials, data and
ideas have been published” (Paragraph 6, HKU’s “Regulations Governing Students’ Academic
Conduct Concerning Assessment”). In other words, a person is committing plagiarism if he/she
paraphrases or quotes the work of another person without clearly identifying (according to academic
conventions) the borrowed material and documenting its source.
Self-plagiarism refers to “reuse of one’s own data or repeat of previously published written work, or
part thereof, in a ‘new’ publication without acknowledging that the data set has been used or written
work has been published elsewhere” (Paragraph 3.1, HKU’s “Policy on Research Integrity”). For
instance, if a student re-uses largely or fully the contents of his/her past assignment submitted
elsewhere and without acknowledging so in the “new” assignment, it can constitute self-plagiarism.
Plagiarism is a very serious offence and it is strictly prohibited in all assignments and examinations:
“A candidate shall not engage in plagiarism nor employ nor seek to employ any other unfair means at
an examination or in any other form of assessment” (Paragraph 6, HKU’s “Regulations Governing
Students’ Academic Conduct Concerning Assessment”). Students should use proper citations and
provide sources wherever necessary.
There are severe penalties for plagiarism in the School of English. Students found plagiarizing may be
failed not only in the plagiarized oral or written assignment but in the course. Their case will also be
considered by a School panel which may decide on further penalties depending on the gravity of the
offence. This may involve disclosure of the plagiarism committed to teachers of other courses within
the School. The panel may also decide to lodge a complaint with the University's Disciplinary
Committee which can result in other penalties. For details, please refer to the “Protocol on the
Handling of Plagiarism” available on the Faculty’s website.
There are clear university guidelines in the “What Is Plagiarism” booklet. Students should read these
guidelines carefully and revisit them from time to time, especially before submitting an
assignment. Ignorance about the nature and definition of plagiarism is never an excuse and will not be
accepted.The School of English prepared the “Guidelines for Citing and Documenting Sources” (PDF) for students to download.
Please read HKU’s Turnitin webpage for information on this originality checking engine, which
“offers originality checking on students' work for proper citation or potential plagiarism. Once a paper
is submitted to Turnitin, it will compare with documents in a continuously updated database
consisting of current and archived web pages, millions of student papers worldwide, and collections
of newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, e-Books and e-Texts”.
Final advice: In case of doubt, consult your teachers or tutors.