The Global English Department
Due Date: 01-31-2019
English studies is being forced to reckon with its Anglo-American insularity. After engaging critiques generated from and by postcolonial studies, it now must confront the changing audience for and composition of English as a discipline. Moreover, with the English language emerging as a global academic lingua franca, the demand for English is expanding even as the discipline sees declining prospects in the anglophone center. The Global English Department aims to explore the implications of this expansion from a truly global perspective. By global, we mean contributions from a wide geographical range, along with essays that gauge how English departments struggle with the pull of Anglo-American centrality, negotiate their peripheral status, seek to overcome the discipline’s neglect of its global spread, and structure themselves in relation to their particular circumstances. We want to analyze to what extent “out here” beyond the Anglo-American “center” disciplinary conceptions are challenged by their import/export to regions where not only linguistic difference but also social, political, and cultural histories impact institutions, teachers, and students. We also hope to explore the broad field of English studies in its multiple disciplinary manifestations: language, literature, and rhetoric. We welcome theoretical engagements as well as case studies of individual regions and institutions. Overall, we hope this book will reflect pressures and opportunities raised by the internationalization of English’s research paradigms. While we welcome the latter development, we believe that not enough attention has been given to the ways in which the profession itself is becoming increasingly internationalized. The movement of researchers, teachers, and pedagogies across borders and (increasingly) away from the centers where English is traditionally spoken will become a defining issue for the discipline in the decades to come.