English Language Matters More Than Ever — Dr. Jessi Grieser presents the 2023 Goldtrap Lecture

CATEGORIES: Department Events
April 5, 2023, 12:00-2:30pm | Ross 212

FDC has invited Dr. Jessi Grieser as the speaker for the 2023 Goldtrap Lecture.

“At the cornerstone of the discipline of English is why we collectively call it “English” in the first place—the shared language at the core of the literature we read and the writing we do and teach. Yet our assumptions of shared understandings and common preparation often mean that the linguistic aspects of English often take a backseat to other scholarly concerns. The result is that even as literatures written in English increasingly reflect a diverse growing global populace of English speakers, and we try to make English studies a place where scholars of all backgrounds find intellectual challenge and interest, we still continually combat the forces which keep our populations of students and colleagues homogeneous and which privilege non-humanistic concerns. In this talk, I draw on my work as a linguist of American Englishes, especially African American Englishes, to make a case for the importance of taking a language-first approach to thinking about the discipline of English, in service of fostering inclusion, creating justice, and welcoming the diverse speakers, readers, and writers who will secure the future of the discipline in the 21st century and beyond.”

Jessi Grieser is an associate professor of linguistics in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in Sociolinguistics from Georgetown University. Her research takes discourse analytic and variationist approaches to studying the linkages between language and race and place identities, African American Language, and language and gentrification, as well as language online. Her first book The Black Side of the River: Race, Language and Belonging in Washington, D.C. was released by Georgetown University Press in 2022, and her second monograph The Language of Professional Blackness will be published in early 2023 via the Publications of the American Dialect Society.

The schedule on Wednesday, April 5 will be:

  • 12:00-1:00pm: Meeting with grad students and faculty
  • 1:10-1:50pm: Presentation
  • 1:50-2:30pm: Q&A