Hartmut Haberland
Table of contents

Some time in the 1990s, at a symposium on bilingualism at Harvard, a student asked the participants to relate to the ‘hegemony of English’ in the nation’s public school. A professor is reported to have asked ‘what is hegemony?’. The same professor is said to have discouraged one of his students from quoting Antonio Gramsci by saying “It is bad pedagogy to drop names of esoteric authors that one accidentally stumbles upon.” (Macedo, Dendrinos and Gounari 2016: 1–3). What does this anecdotal evidence show? Although Gramsci’s concept of hegemony had had an “enormous impact” (Haug 2004: 2) since the 1970s, this impact was still not acknowledged by all in language studies in the 1990s. A decade later, when Macedo et al. was published (originally in 2003), the situation had changed so radically that ‘hegemony’ had become a household word that apparently did not even need a definition any more.

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