li bon taan kineweytamihk: World Premiere of Riel’s Heart of the North (by Dr Heather Phipps)

Heather Phipps, affiliate BILD member, is now at the University of Regina. We have missed Heather’s blog posts, and look forward to more.

The performance of Riel’s Heart of the North at Conexus Arts Centre was dedicated to the memory of Dr. Dominic Gregorio and to his family.

The dramatic musical production of Riel’s Heart of the North had its world premiere on March 9th, 2019 in Regina, Saskatchewan. This creative work by Métis poet Dr. Suzanne Steele (Gaudry) and composer Neil Weisensel tells the story of Louis Riel (Métis) and in particular “focuses on the beauty and love of the homeland and of its people, the heart of the north”. In the programme for the performance, Dr. Suzanne Steele refers to drawing inspiration from the Métis feminist scholar Dr. Sherry Farrell Racette’s (2004) doctoral dissertation “Sewing ourselves together: clothing, decorative arts and the expression of Métis and Half Breed identity”.  Dr. Suzanne Steele’s (2019) creative work highlights the important role of Michif women in “sewing together” our country. Steele notes: “I devised the central themes of this work—the creating, the mending, the sewing, of the wounded of this world, but most importantly the beauty that comes from the love our women’s hands – this I celebrated.”

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Being a Sociolinguist Who Teaches Grammar (by Kathleen Green)

I’ve been really interested in language since I was a teenager. I was fascinated, from a young age, by the power dynamics hidden behind linguistic interactions and the ways that some forms of a language come to be labelled as “correct” and others as “incorrect,” often in a thinly veiled effort to legitimize class-based or race-based power differences. That fascination is what motivated me to study linguistics and led me to become a language teacher. For a few years now, I have been teaching business English at a French-language university in Montreal. As a language teacher, I am usually expected to be the person who clearly defines for my students what is “correct” language use and what is “incorrect.” I’m amused by this irony.

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I am not your prototype (by Rhonda Chung)

This week’s blog post includes a linked audio file. Just click on the link below if you would like to hear the post read aloud. Scroll down to read the text.

We take what we know (declarative knowledge) and we make something out of it (procedural knowledge), and if we keep doing that thing enough times, it becomes part of who we are (automaticity).

Who says cognitive science isn’t poetic?

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Être ou ne pas être, ce n’est pas la question (by Dr Valérie Harvey)

This week’s blog post includes a linked audio file. Just click on the link below if you would like to hear the post read aloud. Scroll down to read the text.

Notre guest blogger cette semaine est Valérie Harvey, docteure en sociologie de l’Université Laval. Pendant ses études, elle s’est intéressée aux difficultés que les femmes japonaises rencontrent quand elles souhaitent concilier famille et travail. Elle s’est ensuite penchée sur l’utilisation des congés parentaux par les pères québécois. Originaire de Charlevoix (Québec), elle a étudié plusieurs langues avant de tomber amoureuse des sonorités du japonais et de poursuivre son apprentissage à Kyoto, pendant un an et demi. Valérie est collaboratrice à l’émission Les Éclaireurs d’ICI Première Radio-Canada, en tant que sociologue. Elle est aussi l’auteure d’une dizaine de livres (romans, essais, carnets de voyage) avec des thèmes touchant le Japon, l’Islande ou le Québec.

Scroll to the end of Valérie’s post for links to her internet sites.

En français ou en anglais, l’essentiel de ma phrase se concentre au début, autour du sujet et du verbe. Le fait que je parle français, que j’ai appris l’anglais, ne m’a jamais préparée à penser autrement ce rapport au monde : quelqu’un (sujet) agit (verbe).

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Something to think about: English-only linguicism (by Jacqueline Peters)

“English is not the speech of exile. It is the language of conquest and domination.”

“Something to think about” was the subject line of an email that Megan Neely, the now former director of graduate studies at Duke University in North Carolina, sent her ethnic Chinese biostatistics graduate students. According to her email, these students had been “observed” speaking Chinese in the student lounge and study area. This deleterious action was reported to Neely by two self-appointed language sentinels who were faculty members. These faculty members went to Neely’s office to request photos of her biostatistics graduate students (Neely is also an assistant professor of biostatistics), in order to be able to recognize the students, who were not only speaking Chinese but speaking it LOUDLY (caps in original) and make note of their names so they could spot them if they came in for internships or master’s supervision.

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