BILD, a three-year retrospective, 2013-2016 (by Dr. Mela Sarkar)

It began in the fall of 2013. Patricia Lamarre of the Université de Montréal, my McGill departmental colleague Bronwen Low, and I finally managed to get together one beautiful autumn afternoon DieuDuCiel!Menu.jpgat the Dieu du Ciel! microbrewery on Laurier (the beer is extraordinary) and we tossed around ideas for spreading the word about critical sociolinguistics research, specifically as it might be relevant to education, while thinking out loud about how important, difficult and fundamental it is to mentor junior scholars. They are the future. But they have to feel very supported in their explorations into different ways of doing “being scholars.” Continue reading

If you can’t be bothered to read my thesis, read this instead (by Michaela Salmon)

A few weeks ago, Lauren Godfrey-Smith wrote about her experience with 3MT. As Lauren describes, getting your PhD dissertation across to a broad audience in only three minutes is no mean feat but the challenge ultimately helps to clarify the content. Distilling a complex document into a small digestible chunk is the best and most viable way to sharing it with an audience beyond our cohort of students and academics. Continue reading

The trouble with labels: What is identity anyway? (By Dr. Alison Crump)

Categories and labels are troublesome. They create boundaries and borders, and mark who is in, who is out, who is allowed in, who is not. Yet, the persnickety conundrum we face, as BILD scholars, is how to talk about the things we talk about (e.g., identity), without imposing misrepresentative categories and labels on the individuals we engage with and the experiences they are sharing and co-constructing with us. We can’t do away with labels and categories – they are convenient and allow us the efficiency of communicating a message to others on the basis of a shared understanding of where boundaries lie. Of course, if our intended meaning is not shared, we have to be very explicit about what we are talking about. We need to think carefully about what it means to ascribe a label to others and how this could reproduce essentializing ideologies.
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