CFP for an edited collection: “Racing Translingualism in Composition: Toward a Race-Conscious Translingualism”

As circulated by WPA listserv:

Edited Collection Call for Proposals
Racing Translingualism in Composition: Toward a Race-Conscious Translingualism
Editors: Tom Do, Concordia University Chicago, and Karen Rowan, California State University-San Bernardino
For more than forty years, composition scholars have attended to language differences in writing instruction, pushing the field ever forward in its efforts to theorize, develop, implement, and assess pedagogical strategies that demonstrate a commitment not only to language diversity but also to racial and social justice. Most recently, the field has responded to the 2011 manifesto “Language Difference in Writing: Toward a Translingual Approach” (Horner, Lu, Royster, and Trimbur) by enthusiastically embracing translingualism, a newly articulated paradigm that seeks to create a more linguistically inclusive space for all language users (Trimbur).
The translingual approach stands in stark opposition to traditional writing instruction, which is grounded in monolingualist understandings of language and language diversity. Whereas monolingualist orientations imagine language varieties like standardized English as universal, unchanging, and largely distinct from other language varieties, a translingual approach sees differences within and across all languages as the norm and understands the boundaries between languages as fluid and permeable. Whereas traditional U.S. composition instruction views language differences as an interference that prevents language users from achieving native-like fluency in standardized English, a translingual approach understands language differences as resources for writers to draw on as they construct and negotiate meaning in and across various rhetorical, spatial, and temporal contexts. In these and other ways, the translingual approach represents a paradigmatic shift away from monolingualism as the standard and toward linguistic heterogeneity as the norm.
While burgeoning research on translingualism has centered questions of language difference, it has simultaneously decentered attention to race and racism in writing and writing instruction. To be sure, advocates for translingualism acknowledge that this new paradigm builds on the “Students’ Right to Their Own Language” resolution and related scholarship (Horner et al. 304) and position translingualism in opposition to the “continuing denigration of subordinated groups through attacks on their language” (Lu and Horner 583). Despite these important acknowledgements, the bulk of translingual scholarship overlooks racial considerations in its effort to construct language difference as the norm. On this point, Keith Gilyard critiques translingual scholarship for eliding issues of race and racism in its construction of the “linguistic everyperson” (285), a construct that flattens linguistic difference, overlooks the material and political consequences of linguistic differences, and ignores the struggles for linguistic legitimacy of racialized minorities.
Racing Translingualism in Composition seeks to extend Gilyard’s critique by examining the intersections of race, racism, and translingualism. In doing so, this edited collection moves beyond critique to engage questions of race in translingual theory, practice, and pedagogy, including: How can we reframe translingual theory, practice, and pedagogy to better engage with questions of race and racism? How might we conceptualize a race-conscious translingualism? What would race-conscious translingualism look like in practice and pedagogy?
Drawing on these questions, we invite work that explores:
  • Theoretical reconsiderations of translingualism that attend to issues of race, racism, and anti-racism
  • Research studies, including ethnographic, historic, archival, qualitative, quantitative, or classroom based research, that explore race-conscious translingual approaches to writing practice, pedagogy, and assessment
  • Administrative and/or curricular considerations for race-conscious translingual approaches 
Please submit proposals of approximately 500 words as an email attachment (in Word or .rtf) to by October 2, 2017. Acceptance notifications will be sent by November 6, 2017, and full manuscripts of 7000-9000 words will be due by February 12, 2018. Questions and queries are welcome as well.
Works Cited
Gilyard, Keith. “The Rhetoric of Translingualism.” College English, vol. 78, no. 3, 2016, pp. 284-9.
Horner, Bruce, Min-Zhan Lu, Jacqueline Jones Royster, and John Trimbur. “Language Difference in Writing: Toward a Translingual Approach.” College English, vol. 73, no. 3, 2011, pp. 299-317.
Lu, Min-Zhan, and Bruce Horner. “Translingual Literacy, Language Difference, and Matters of Agency.” College English, vol. 75, no. 6, 2013, pp. 582-607.
Trimbur, John. “Translingualism and Close Reading.” College English, vol. 78, no. 3, 2016, pp. 219-27.

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