During my graduate study, I took several courses on sociolinguistics, linguistic variation, and world Englishes. From the beginning, I’ve had a strong affinity for Kachruvian world Englishes. The world Englishes approach that was advanced by Braj and Yamuna Kachru posits that the global spread of English has led to a pluricentric world, one where there are a number of local varieties of English that are used for a variety of purposes. Two things that are important with this approach is that no variety is inherently any better than any other; and, that people from these contexts, often post-colonial nations, are using local varieties of English to write about cultural experiences in their home countries.
In Fall 2016, I taught a course called Language, Identity, and World Englishes at NYU Shanghai. In this class, students completed a world Englishes analysis of a piece of contact literature. I was, simply put, blown away by the result. This led me to decide to collaborate with four of my students on a journal article that examines how China English is used to construct queer identities in Ha Jin’s “The Bridegroom.” This analysis will look at both linguistic creativity from the world Englishes paradigm with a focus on how Ha Jin uses China English to craft queer identities for his characters. The story of the bridegroom focuses so much on the regulation of sex and sexuality in cultural revolution China. So, our analysis will also look at how Ha Jin and the characters in “The Bridegroom” short story make sense queer bodies. We’ll also talk about how culture and language mediate these experiences.
May 2017 Update
- Feedback from co-authors obtained.
- Began revising the paper.
- Completed drafting IAWE presentation.
- IAWE presentation will take place on 1 July 2017 at 8:15am (Syracuse, NY).
April 2017 Update
- Draft of paper completed and sent to co-authors for comment. Awaiting feedback.
March 2017 Update
- Drafting of paper 75% complete.
- IAWE submission accepted for presentation at annual conference.
- Began drafting presentation.
February 2017 Update
- Drafting continue.
- Version of paper submitted to IAWE 2017 in Syracuse.
January 2017 Update
- Student analyses have been reviewed with project relevant passages selected.
- First author review of “The Bridegroom” has been completed.
- Partial first draft has been compiled.
- Literature review and theoretical framework have been sketched.