Language of Racism Symposium
Welcome to The Language of Racism Symposium at CC Webpage!
The Language of Racism Symposium has been postponed until September 2020. Details on the new date, location and schedule for the symposium will be posted soon on this site. As we look forward to gathering for the symposium in September, The CC Department of Anthropology is happy to share the scholarly presentations on this page.
About the Symposium
The Language of Racism Symposium in Tribute to Jane H. Hill will bring together four scholars to present on and discuss the role that language plays in the production and reproduction of everyday racism. Symposium speakers will also address the influence of linguist and anthropologist Jane H. Hill, author of The Everyday Language of White Racism, on their own antiracist and social justice-oriented scholarship. The symposium speakers are Norma Mendoza-Denton (UCLA Anthropology, author of Homegirls: Language and Cultural Practice Among Latina Youth Gangs), Elaine Chun (University of South Carolina English Language and Literature, contributor to Raciolinguistics: How Language Shapes Our Ideas About Race), John Baugh (Washington University Arts and Sciences, author of Linguistics in Pursuit of Justice), and Jacqueline Messing (University of Maryland Anthropology, contributor to Indigenous Language Revitalization in the Americas).
About Jane H. Hill
Jane H. Hill was a renowned linguist and four-field anthropologist whose interdisciplinary work contributed to various fields and areas of scholarship including comparative grammar of Uto-Aztecan languages, the evolutionary foundations of language, nonhuman primate communication, cognitive linguistics, language and worldview, early cultivation and migration in the Americas, language loss and endangered languages, language and power, the political economy of language, and the language of racism. Regarding her work, Hill stated “I attempt a precarious balancing act among diverse commitments: to the detailed documentation of languages and cultures and specialized expertise in technical tools such as comparative linguistic analysis, to the understanding of the scope and diversity of human history that is the glory of anthropology, and to using what I learn to advance social justice and mutual respect among human beings.” Drawing on Hill’s insights on discourse and racism, anthropologist Shalini Shankar has called for linguistic scholars to explore the potential of linguistic scholarship to address racism and social injustice (Shankar 2016). Jane Hill, Regents’ Professor Emerita of Anthropology and Linguistics at the University of Arizona, passed away on November 2nd, 2018. This symposium honors Hill’s critical contribution to the still emerging field of the language of racism, or raciolinguistics, and provides an opportunity for scholars to address racial injustices perpetrated in everyday language use and language policy.
About the Presentations
The following video lectures by Dr. Christina Leza (Colorado College Department of Anthropology) and Dr. Adam Hodges (CU Boulder Department of Linguistics), review some of Hill’s critical concepts related to racism and language with examples from original research. The student presentations are final project presentations by students in the CC Anthropology class The Language of Racism, Anthropology 312.