The Wager of Critical Multilingualism Studies
Keywords:Political theory, use-value, Jacques Rancière, Zapatista movement, monolingualism
AbstractThis essay reflects on the potential meanings of ‘critical multilingualism studies’ in an era of unparalleled cultural and economic porosity, exploring how such a scholarly and theoretical field might reimagine inter- and multilingual inquiry in the Humanities, Comparative Literature, Latin American Studies, critical theory, and second language acquisition. Applying insights from Jacques Rancière, Jean Beaudrilliard, Carlos Montemayor, Horacio Castellanos Moya, and Friedrich Nietzsche, Acosta interrogates the ideological distinction between ‘monolingual signification’ and ‘translational signification’, between universalist abstractions and the specific language(s) from which they issue. Taking the Zapatista uprisings of 1994 as a case study, Acosta then turns to how the ascription “monolingual” has been mobilized in Mexican public discourse.
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