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English Studies as Creole Scholarship: Reconfiguring the Discipline for Postcolonial Conditions

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The shifts underway in contemporary social conditions call for a new alignment between the specializations constituting English Studies: namely, literature, applied linguistics, and rhetoric and composition. Postcolonial social movements have generated new language, textual, and literary practices. These developments bring to the fore practices that have always characterized communication, but ignored in English Studies because dominant paradigms have not been sensitive to these practices. Influenced by modernist values, English Studies took on a trajectory that isolated the object of analysis in order to identify the finite rules that capture the core of communicative practices. Postcolonial communicative conditions draw attention to liminalities, flows, and mixtures that require a situated, multimodal, and multisensory understanding of languages and texts, and the plurality of meanings that emerge from a negotiation of diverse contexts. To understand such language practices, students and scholars have to draw from all three specializations and practise a creole scholarship.
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Keywords: English Studies; applied linguistics; interdisciplinarity; literature; postcoloniality; rhetoric and composition

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Applied Linguistics and English,The Pennsylvania State University, University ParkPA, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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