Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Global Arts and Cultures
Maya Krinsky; Karan Mahajan
This paper introduces the concept of "extralingual citizenship," which I define as an expansion of translingualism to include the ethnoracial logic of the nation-state and demonstrates the entanglement of language, governance, and education in the policing of knowledge infrastructures and discursive practices. I am interested in the codification of postcolonial disparity into the teaching, social performance, and material assessment of English language users, and the infrastructural disqualification of World Englishes (and their amalgams) in favor of a standardized English. I frame extralingualism as a kind of citizenship, shifting the focus of English pedagogy/practice from the syntactical/etymological concerns of language use to the agentive prospects of the language user.
I extend the work of translingual scholars such as Trimbur, Cannagararah, and Gilyard—the latter of whom famously pointed to translinguism’s “tendency to flatten language difference”—as well as Kachru on World Englishes (1993), Tupas on unequal Englishes and extralinguistic value (2015), and Flores and Rosa on raciolinguistic ideologies (2015), to frame extralingualism as a kind of citizenship that reflexively informs societal access and individual subjectivity, particularly in postcolonial societies that remain indentured to the remnants of colonial infrastructure within their state machinery. This social value is mediated by ideologies of the nation-state, the native speaker, racial and casteist supremacy, the ethnocentric myth of the monolithic nature of English, its hegemonic status over other languages, as well as the commodification of language in contemporary markets – attitudes that were manufactured during the colonial era and remains largely undisputed in public consciousness, policy, and technology
Centered in India, the study frames English as an archive of the memory and afterlife of colonialism, exploring extralingualism through:
- Vishwanathan’s exploration of English literary study in colonial India,
- autobiographical fictions by Ahmed Ali, Ramabai Ranade, and Shevantibai Nikambe,
- a juxtaposition of formative language debates of the Constituent Assembly of India with the National Education Policy 2020, and
- a comparison of India’s English coaching industry with Writing Centers in India’s private liberal arts schools to speak to the English-markets reified by extralingually-differentiated World Englishes.
My aim is to reframe English as a contested linguistic field where multiple Englishes become analogous to the respective forms of capitalism, sociality, and subjectivity constructed through them.
Shankar, Prateek, "Citizens of the English Language: Sociolinguistic Perspectives on Postcolonial India" (2023). Masters Theses. 1129.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.
Anthropological Linguistics and Sociolinguistics Commons, Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education Commons, Cultural History Commons, Language and Literacy Education Commons, Language Interpretation and Translation Commons, Literature in English, Anglophone outside British Isles and North America Commons, Modern Languages Commons, Other English Language and Literature Commons, Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures Commons, Other Rhetoric and Composition Commons, Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies Commons, South and Southeast Asian Languages and Societies Commons