Language, Capitalism, Colonialism: Toward a Critical History

By Monica Heller and Bonnie McElhinny

© 2017

Heller and McElhinny reinterpret sociolinguistics for the twenty-first century with an original approach to the study of language that is situated in the political and economic contexts of colonialism and capitalism. In the process, they map out a critical history of how language serves, and has served, as a terrain for producing and reproducing social inequalities. The authors ask how, and by whom, ideas about language get unevenly shaped, offering new perspectives that will excite readers and incite further research for years to come.

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Product Details

  • Division: Higher Education
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# HE000499

  • PUBLISHED OCT 2017
    From: $44.95
    ISBN 9781442606203
  • PUBLISHED OCT 2017
    From: $35.95

Quick Overview

Heller and McElhinny reinterpret sociolinguistics for the twenty-first century with an original approach to the study of language that is situated in the political and economic contexts of colonialism and capitalism.

Language, Capitalism, Colonialism: Toward a Critical History

By Monica Heller and Bonnie McElhinny

© 2017

Heller and McElhinny reinterpret sociolinguistics for the twenty-first century with an original approach to the study of language that is situated in the political and economic contexts of colonialism and capitalism. In the process, they map out a critical history of how language serves, and has served, as a terrain for producing and reproducing social inequalities. The authors ask how, and by whom, ideas about language get unevenly shaped, offering new perspectives that will excite readers and incite further research for years to come.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Higher Education
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    "...a provocative history of the ways in which language ideologies and linguistic practices have served as a warrant for structures of social difference and social inequality from fifteenth-century imperial exploration to the neoliberal globalization of the present day."
    Richard Bauman, Indiana University, Bloomington

    "Ambitious, wide-ranging, and full of fascinating detail, this book really does offer a different kind of history of linguistic ideas, one that every sociolinguist and linguistic anthropologist should read."
    Deborah Cameron, University of Oxford

    "Sweeping and breathtaking in scope, forking and turning in unexpected directions, yet deeply intimate and honest in its reflection, this book is a new model for critical engagement with the history of linguistics as a discipline."
    Joseph Sung-Yul Park, National University of Singapore
  • Author Information

    Monica Heller is Professor of Anthropology and Education at the University of Toronto, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a past president of the American Anthropological Association.


    Bonnie McElhinny is Principal of New College, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto, and former Director of the Women and Gender Studies Institute.

  • Table of contents

    List of Figures
    Acknowledgements
    Preface:  Hope 

    Chapter 1:  Language, Capitalism, Colonialism:  Walking Backward into the Future
    1.1  Language and Inequality:  A Wary Approach to a Red Thread World
    1.2  Red Flags:  Keywords, Hegemonies, Ideologies, and Warty Genealogies
    1.3  Language Out of Place
    1.4  Knotted Histories: Following the Threads through the Book
    1.5  The End of the Beginning

    PART I:  LANGUAGE, INTIMACY, AND EMPIRE
     
    Chapter 2:  Language and Imperialism I:  Conversion and Kinship
    2.1  "The First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Initiative"
    2.2  Colonialism, Imperialism, Postcolonialism, Decolonization
    2.3  Intimacy and Connection Across Five Continents
    2.4  Reduced to and by Christian Love:  Missionary Linguistics
    2.5  Family Trees, Comparative Philology and Secular Religion

    Chapter 3:  Language and Imperialism II: Evolution, Hybridity, History
    3.1 "Mixing Things Up"
    3.2  Imperialism and Industrial Capitalism
    3.3  Evolutionary Theory:  Language and/as Race
    3.4  Slavery, Plantation, Labour, Trade, and "Mixed" Languages
    3.5  Americanist Anthropology:  The Limits of Cultural Critiques of Evolutionary Racism
    American Modern: Assimilating Blackness, Disappearing Indigeneity
    American Primitive: Extracting Language
    3.6  Linguistic Relativity, Colonial Ambivalence, and Modern Alienation

    PART II:  THE CONTRADICTIONS OF LANGUAGE IN INDUSTRIAL CAPITALISM

    Chapter 4:  Language and European Notions of Nation and State: 
    4.1  "Le Symbole"
    4.2  The Emergence of the Nation-State in Europe
    4.3  Markets and Liberal Democracy
    4.4  Making Subjects Through Language
    Regimentation: Census, Standardization, Literacy
    Standardization: Grammars, Dictionaries, Canons, Pedagogies
    4.5  Language and Differential Citizenship
    4.6  Creating Peripheries
    4.7  Regulating Relations in Industrial Capitalism
    4.8  Making Scientific Linguistic Expertise

    Chapter 5:  Internationalism, Communism, and Fascism:  Alternative Modernities
    5.1  "Visions of the Future"
    5.2  Peace, Geopolitics, and International Auxiliary Languages
    5.3  Making Communist Linguistics
    Marrism
    The Bakhtin Circle
    From Language  as Action to Language as Tool in the Cold War
    5.4. Language and Fascism
    National Socialism in Germany
    Language and Race: Yiddish and Esperanto
    Race, Propaganda, and Mass Media
    5.5  Fault Lines

    PART III:  BRAVE NEW WORLDS:  LANGUAGE AS TECHNOLOGY, LANGUAGE AS TECHNIQUE

    Chapter 6:  The Cold War:   Surveillance, Structuralism, and Security
    6.1  "Black Out"
    6.2  Battles for Hearts and Minds
    6.3  The Investigation of Linguists During the McCarthy Period
    6.4  Suspicious Words, Suspicious Minds
    The Prague Linguistics Circle
    Fear of the Translator
    6.5  Infrastructure and Institutionalization: Communication Studies, Area Studies, Linguistics, Applied Linguistics
    6.6  Machine Translation and the Rise of Syntax
    Rational and Universal Principles for Linguistic Analysis: Late Structuralist Linguistics
    Freedom, Creativity, and Human Nature: The Rise of Generative Linguistics
    6.7  Nineteen Eighty-Four as a Weapon of the Cold War

    Chapter 7: On the Origins of 'Sociolinguistics':  Democracy, Development and Emancipation
    7.1  "A Dialectologist in India"
    7.2  Engineering Language:  Literacy, Standardization, and Education
    7.3  Language Policy and Planning:  Technocratic Solutions
    7.4  Domestic Development and American Sociolinguistics
    Challenging "Deficit": Three Approaches
    Fear of the Political
    7.5  Challenging Consensus
    Feminist Linguistics
    Difference and Domination: Anti-Racist Critiques
    7.6  Pidgins, Creoles, and New Nationalisms
    7.7  The Rise of Sociolinguistics in Europe:  Class and Conflict
    7.8  The End of the Trente Glorieuses

    Chapter 8:  Language in Late Capitalism: Intensifications, Unruly Desires, and Alternative Worlds
    8.1  "Nayaano-nibii maang Gichigamiin"  
    8.2  Late Capitalism:  The Expanding Reach of the Market and the Neoliberal State
    8.3  Language, Inequality, and Ideology
    8.4  Managing Your Assets:  Language Quality, Linguistic Diversity, and Citizenship
    8.5  Brave New Selves:  "I am a Business, Man!" 
    8.6  Affect, Authenticity, and Embodiment
    8.7  Recapturing the Commons
    8.8  Reclamation, Redress, Refusal, and Reimagining
    8.9  This is How We Hope

    References
    Index