Journal of the ...Volume 12Issue Issue 1 & 2 Language and li...
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Language and literature in the information economy: the state of English, English and the state

orcid-imageRegenia Gagnier*email-imageRegenia Gagnier*

Regenia Gagnier FBA FEA FRSA MAE holds the Established Chair in English Language and Literature at the University of Exeter and Senior Research Fellowship in Egenis, Centre for the Study of Life Sciences. She is on the editorial boards of twenty-three scholarly journals and has supervised to completion eighty-seven doctorates at Exeter and Stanford. Her specialism is the geopolitics and political economy of language and literature migration since the 19th century. She was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2020. https://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/english/staff/gagnier/

email-image G.K.Bhambra@sussex.ac.uk

Abstract

The impact of colonialism and empire and then of transport, logistics, advertising, media, cinema, radio, tourism, and the internet extended the global reach of English. With 1.13 billion speakers, one in seven in the world now has some English competence. Within this global circulation of English, we have the global teaching of English language and literature, most recently captured for Britain in a June 2023 British Academy report, the relevant findings of which are the decline in the information age and under neoliberal governments of university students reading English Literature and the rise of Creative Writing and world literatures in translation. I distinguish global from world Englishes as the hegemonic language of global trade and finance from more bottom-up Englishes mixed with other languages on the streets; discuss the state of English studies globally; and propose decolonising and denationalising the curriculum. The notion of national languages, identifying a language with national unity, is a very modern idea, only about three centuries old and arising with the formation of modern nation-states. We might use the lived histories of global and world Englishes to transcend both romantic revolutionary and far-right exclusionary nationalisms in literary and language studies in favour of more cosmopolitan, multilingual, and convivial approaches.

Keywords

global Englishworld Englishlanguageliteraturetranslationworld literaturescreative writingdecolonisingcosmopolitanisminformation age
Published on: 22 May 2024
Volume: 12
Issue: Issue 1 & 2
Article ID: a11
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© The author(s) 2024.
Cite this article
Gagnier, (2024), ' Language and literature in the information economy: the state of English, English and the state ', Journal of the British Academy, 12(Issue 1 & 2): a11 https://doi.org/10.5871/jba/012.a11

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Article commentary

Normal View Dyslexic View

Language and literature in the information economy: the state of English, English and the state

orcid-imageRegenia Gagnier*email-imageRegenia Gagnier*

Regenia Gagnier FBA FEA FRSA MAE holds the Established Chair in English Language and Literature at the University of Exeter and Senior Research Fellowship in Egenis, Centre for the Study of Life Sciences. She is on the editorial boards of twenty-three scholarly journals and has supervised to completion eighty-seven doctorates at Exeter and Stanford. Her specialism is the geopolitics and political economy of language and literature migration since the 19th century. She was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2020. https://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/english/staff/gagnier/

email-image G.K.Bhambra@sussex.ac.uk