On Institutionalized Anti-Black Linguistic Discrimination

Last week we were honoured to host sociolinguist Kelly Elizabeth Wright (U. Michigan) for a Lansdowne Lecture on the topic of Institutionalized Anti-Black Linguistics Discrimination. Due to a high volume of requests for the recording, we are publishing it here.

Wright is a scholar-activist, working for linguistic justice outside the academy, and interdisciplinarity inside the academy. As an experimental sociolinguist, she specializes in linguistic discrimination and its institutional outcomes. She identifies as a working class Black Biracial cisgender woman, an Afrolachian raised in Knoxville, Tennessee.

In this talk, Wright takes a historical and sociolinguistic perspective, underscoring how language and race came to operate as separate, yet intersectional, institutional categories. Interrogating education and law, she considers how perceptual expectations further oppress marginalized populations.

This event took place on January 24, 2022, and was hosted by Alexandra D'Arcy, Humanities Associate Dean Research.

Accompanying lecture slides can be downloaded at bit.ly/WrightLansdowne.