The consequences of English’s spread have become increasingly clear to its diverse speakers. Sometimes associated with a standardization leading to homogenization, often also with imperialism, English is increasingly understood to have no necessary connection with any country or group of countries. The willingness to accept that English has become Englishes might be less evident among so-called native speakers, but their authority is weaker than it seemed. The idea of World Englishes encourages us to re-imagine our understanding of the language. The difference between error and innovation can no longer be decided through assumptions about the language 'ownership'. In fact, the language is beginning to be a medium of the expression of identity for more and more people in very different contexts. This book puts examples from World Englishes into dialogue with postcolonial studies, in the belief that while postcolonial studies has obviously had much to say about English, it has either directly concerned or been influenced by English literary studies. The dialogue will correct misconceptions and misapprehensions in postcolonial studies, with World Englishes offering renewal for postcolonial studies. At the same time, the dialogue will also apply postcolonial studies' political and philosophical ideas to World Englishes, resulting in a postcolonial perspective on English today.
David Huddart is Associate Professor of English Literary Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
1. Involuntary Associations: ‘Postcolonial Studies’ and ‘World Englishes’
2. Grammars of Living Break their Tense: World Englishes and Cultural Translation
3. English in the Conversation of Mankind: World Englishes and global citizenship
4. Declarations of Linguistic Independence: the Postcolonial Dictionary
5. Writing after the End of Empire: Composition, Community, and Creativity
6. Slow Reading: the Opacity of World Literatures
Conclusion: English Remains, Englishes Remain
David Huddart covers an impressive range of topics, and his discussion of major contributions in the fields of postcolonial studies, critical linguistics, cultural studies and globalisation studies is intriguing. He has set the stage for many productive discussions and further research.
Ana Sobral English World Wide
May 28, 2014
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