Article published in:Language, Epistemology, and the Politics of Knowledge Production
Edited by Alfonso Del Percio, Patricia Baquedano-López, Miguel Pérez-Milans and Cécile B. Vigouroux
[Language, Culture and Society 3:2] 2021
► pp. 201–230
Imperial straightening devices in disciplinary choices of academic knowledge production
In this piece, the authors question whether critical language research, in its complex collection of researcher choices, is possible beyond the discursive imaginary of critical academic scholarship. In other words, how do (allegedly) anticolonial efforts re-orient towards contribution to the imperial record? We present three vignettes, through which we grapple with the notion that researcher choice exists within the solipsism of academia. In doing so, we frame research and scholarship as a collection of choices, which we believe are better understood as a collection of fraught dilemmas. These dilemmas recognize that all academic scholarship production and its processes are birthed from, and serve, an epistemology of hierarchical social configurations, which serve empire maintenance and expansion. As critical language scholars who bring overlapping and distinct sociopolitical, geographic, and methodological positionalities, these autoethnographic narrative vignettes allow us to begin to see the landscape of researcher choice in the processes and projects of accumulating knowledge production. We identify imperial straightening devices for legitimization into the imperial archive and examine how they work to orient and re-orient critical language scholars towards the ideological and material production of the imperial archive.
Keywords: empire, imperial archive, knowledge production, straightening devices, critical language studies
Published online: 05 November 2021
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