Expand the section navigation mobile menu

International Mother Language Day Celebration 2021

Join the OU community in a celebration of linguistic diversity and advocacy for linguistic justice

February 21, 2021

Sponsored by Oakland University Division of Student Affairs & Diversity and Oakland University College of Arts and Sciences


12:00 - Opening Remarks

  • Join via Zoom

12:15 - Signing Black in America

  • Screening of Signing Black in America, a Language & Life Project documentary about the unique dialect of American Sign Language (ASL) that developed within historically segregated African American Deaf communities
  • Discussion to follow

1:30 - Speaker Panel

  • Aris Clemons, Ph.D. Candidate (University of Texas Austin)

    A headshot of Aris Clemons

    Linguistics in a hyperracialized society: Fostering an ethos of anti-racism in language research

    In this presentation, I call attention to the ever increasing calls for linguistic justice, decolonization of language studies, and increased diversity and inclusion within the field of linguistics. Acknowledging and responding to the recent perspectives publications in the premier journal, Language, I argue that beyond position statements on race and increased diversity, antiracist scholarship requires transparent research subjectivities and an acknowledgment of the traditional privileging of certain positionalities and methodologies. Through a discussion of current linguistic debates, my research trajectory, and the race-based perspectives in my work, I advocate for collaborative research in the creation of more nuanced scholarship to challenge social injustices within the academy and within our society. More importantly, I speak about the ways that language studies can aid in the deconstruction of racial and pan-ethnic categories that have served to strengthen systems built on colonial frames of power.

  • Dr. Rebecca Mercado-Jones (Oakland University)

    A headshot of Rebecca Mercado-Jones

    Stop the Shit: Empowering (Alternative) Languages

    In her talk, “Stop the Shit: Empowering (Alternative) Languages,” Dr. Jones will discuss the relationship between language, ideology, and empowerment. Using a Bakhtinian lens, Dr. Jones will discuss how language holds the power to (re)produce structures of inequality or to promote solidarity and justice. Her primary objective in this talk is to legitimize and empower alternative languages which hold the potential to foster dialogue and produce change.

  • Discussion to follow

3:00 - Student Showcase

4:00 - Closing Remarks


Showcase Contributors:

Luciana Roncetti Pimenta (@disneybrpodcast) - "If I am not there yet."

Company Class - "We (Are) The People: Performing Social Justice"

Linguistics Department

Fitzgerald House F113
614 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2175
Fax: (248) 370-3144