East Asian Humanities Workshop: Junko Mori
Speaker(s): Junko Mori (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
"Teaching and learning of East Asian languages in the era of ‘trans-’"
Junko Mori, Professor of Japanese language and linguistics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Thursday, May 5, 2022
4:30 - 6:00 PM PDT
East Asia Library 224 (social hour to follow)
The last two decades have seen a surge in the use of the ‘trans-’ prefix that acknowledges the fluidity and complexity of social practices and activities observed in late modernity: transnational, transcultural, translingual, translanguaging, transdisciplinary, just to name a few. These ‘trans-’ terms in essence challenge the existence of borders, boundaries, categories, and associated ideologies, and celebrate the possibilities of transcending these orthodox understandings. Yet, at the same time, these terms also recognize the very existence of traces of the past and their continuous impact on our practices and activities today.
This presentation considers how these recent developments that acknowledge various aspects of ‘trans-’ realities and discontents apply to teaching and learning of East Asian Languages in U.S. institutions of higher education. I will first offer a brief overview of the transdisciplinary framework presented by the Douglas Fir Group (2016), focusing on the macro- and meso- layers of the ecological systems discussed in their framework. Subsequently, I will review the history of East Asian Language Programs in U.S. higher education, examine commonly observed institutional policies and structures in today’s higher education, and consider how they serve as enablers or obstacles for exploring and implementing innovations and collaborations inspired by the trans- turn. Finally, the chapter concludes by summarizing the renewed, nuanced understanding of constructs such as language, learners, teachers, and teaching and learning activities that have emerged from the critical reflection of infrastructural conditions and imagining the future of language education.
Hosted by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Stanford University. Co-sponsored by the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages.