Loneliness, Ethnicity, and our Entangled Relationship with the Others (by Dr Maverick Y. Zhang)

The BILD blog continues the 2023-2024 academic year in our new biweekly format with guest blogger Maverick Zhang. Maverick is a writer, researcher, teacher educator, and activist. Over the past decade, they have engaged in a number of sociopolitical activities in Hong Kong SAR and the state of Georgia in the USA. Maverick’s scholarship deals with the complexity of multicultural and multilingual education in connection with issues around race, class, nationality, and sociopolitical struggles. Their research interests include (but are not limited to) discourse studies, teacher education, multicultural-lingual education, embodiment, critical posthumanism, post-qualitative inquiry, and functional linguistics. Maverick is on faculty in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Hunter College, NYC.

Maverick’s ResearchGate site and Youtube channel

To deal with, address, or at least talk about loneliness, it is crucial for us to look at the complex, entangled relationship between our everyday social practices and the feeling of being lonely. From a posthuman perspective, I argue that loneliness does not have much to do with physical isolation, either from social relations or from the material world, inasmuch as we only exist in our intra-actions with the human and nonhuman others (e.g., Barad, 2003, 2007; St. Pierre, 2016).

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BILD-ing over ten years: what it has meant to the builders (by 17 bloggers)

Welcome to a new academic year from BILD and to our move to biweekly rather than weekly posting. As we move into our tenth consecutive year of collective blogging—soon to be celebrated in anniversary posts—we thought we’d start out with a collaborative post, and asked our members and guest bloggers to reflect on what BILD has meant to them (click on each author’s name to be taken to their posts). I will step back and let our bloggers speak to readers directly—that’s me, Mela Sarkar, speaking, on the team behind the scenes, shucking the editorial we. Here they are, in alphabetical order by first name, in sync with our Regular and Affiliate Members pages, creating a satisfying mix of guest bloggers and BILD members old and new. My heart’s overflowing! As the most recent author to join us says below, “This blog reminds me of home.”

Alison Crump speaks:

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Scorching, sizzling summer

As all of us at the BILD/LIDA blog and our J-BILD journal prepare to take a couple of months away from full-time academic work, we wish our readers a safe and happy July and August. The end of June here in Montreal was marked by unusual “weather events.” Forest fires all across Canada, the past few years, have made many of us more aware of the need for collective action around environmental issues—the very air we breathe is at stake. On many fronts, things are heating up. It’s sometimes advisable to stay inside.

High on your list of indoor activities we hope you will put the perusal of the latest issue of our open-access journal, J-BILD (Journal of Belonging, Identity, Language and Diversity), just released—you can read it here. Open access itself, as an increasingly important player in the world of scholarly publishing, is the topic of this issue’s editorial.

And of course you can keep up with BILD/LIDA through the summer through our public Facebook page as usual.

Outdoors in cottage country, Ontario (photo credit: Arjun Roychowdhury)

Whether you choose to spend your time indoors or out, we hope the summer months are relaxing and restorative for all our BILD readers.

We look forward to resuming regular blogging in the fall, and to inviting you to help us celebrate our blog’s tenth anniversary!

Steps towards (BILD-ing) a sense of belonging in Academia (by Krystina Raymond & Kai Forcey-Rodriguez)

For our last post of the 2022-2023 academic year, we are pleased to welcome two first-time BILD guest bloggers. Krystina Raymond (She/Her/Elle) is a, multiracial and multilingual, PhD candidate in Developmental Psychology and Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. She is very passionate about language learning, taught English as a second-language in Ahmedabad, India and currently teaches elementary students in bilingual programs in Montréal, QC. Krystina continues to be devoted to issues supporting bi/multilingual education, culturally responsive anti-bias practices and disseminating knowledge to support diverse students. Kai Forcey-Rodriguez (They/Them) is an autistic (savant areas in memory, music, and language learning), non-binary, multiracial, and queer person from the United States who recently graduated from the Developmental Psychology and Education MEd program in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at the University of Toronto-OISE. One of Kai’s most notable accomplishments to this date is their scholarly work in the emerging field of Autism and Mental Health: creating frameworks to prevent suicide and nonsuicidal self-injury in Autistic people to foster well-being, through publishing their sole-authored debut, “The Risk Factors and Preventative Methods of Self-Harm and Suicidality of Autistic People”.

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.

Born on different sides of life
We feel the same and feel all of this strife
So come to me when I'm asleep we'll cross the line
And dance upon the street
—” Through the Barricades” by Spandau Ballet (Through the Barricades [Album]-1986)

This is the journey of two racialized graduate students who met in the Spring of 2021 during a student support initiatives meeting. We instantly connected on the topic of intersectionality and our similar identities. With construction hats, tape measures, and a very large toolbox derived from our brilliant minds and creative ideas, we took steps towards BILD-ing a sense of belonging in academia at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).

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Zora Neale Hurston and the Linguistic Documentation of Black America (by deandre miles-hercules)

Our guest blogger this week, deandre miles-hercules, M.A. (they/them), is a scholar of language who studies how social identification emerges through cultural and interactional phenomena, focusing especially on discourse(s) marking race, gender, and sexuality. Their past work includes publications on the semantic bleaching of intersectionality and virtue signaling, as well as expert consultation for such media outlets as CNN and Vox. deandre’s ongoing dissertation project examines contemporary discourses of controversy in the United States. They are currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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.

There has been a contemporary and resurgent interest in the language of Black America. Reports involving African American (Vernacular) English1 (AAE) can be found today in globally syndicated media outlets. The Washington Post, for example, published an August 2022 article for which I and my colleague Jamaal Muwwakkil were interviewed, detailing contemporary appropriation of Black American language. Many are discovering for the first time that the linguistic features often heard in Hip-Hop music or in motion pictures are not simply “slang” or “broken English,” but rather belong to a complex and systematic language variety2. Scholars of language, particularly in linguistics, have published copious research on the linguistic variety of Black America throughout the past 50 or so years, including technical descriptions, histories, and social implications of its use in such domains as housing, law, education, employment, healthcare, and beyond. The 2015 Oxford Handbook of African American Language contains an encyclopedic account of research on AAE. Scores of individuals—scholars, writers, artists, and so on—have contributed to the representation and study of AAE. In this regard, some of my recent research has focused on one early figure who is towering in some respects, yet underexamined in others: Zora Neale Hurston.

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