Stories of Dreamers: Linguistic Privilege and Marginalisation

28 September 2017

This month we published Narratives of East Asian Women Teachers of English by Gloria Park. In this post the author explains how her book has provided a platform for six East Asian women to share their experiences of living in the midst of linguistic privilege and marginalisation.

Writing Narratives of East Asian Women Teachers of English: Where Privilege Meets Marginalization has been an amazing journey. Amazing in a sense that I was able to revisit the stories of the five fabulous women who have opened their lives to me, but also, being able to reflect on my life – the very stories that have shaped me into who I am today. While this book is about Han Nah, Liu, Xia, Yu Ri, Shu-Ming, and Gloria, the stories that unfold in each chapter can touch the lived experiences of many other women teachers of English around the world.

The stories in this book are symbolic of how issues of privilege and marginalization continue to (re)surface in our lives – how issues of race, gender, and class intersect with the English language and traverse the territories of the US and our mother lands. In our times of political turmoil where difference is negated, placed on chopping blocks, and silenced, our stories and other stories of transnational and mobile individuals become critical. Critical because these are shared stories of experiences of the Dreamers – those of us who seek out opportunities, both directly and indirectly, to live and interact humanely in this world. The stories of the six women depicted in this book may be privileged narratives, but I can’t negate the ways in which even the most privileged are somehow marginalized – the stories of privilege intersecting the linguistic and racialized discourses that continue to haunt these women and others in similar minority positions in the United States. Yes, indeed, this book has been my platform to shout out the lives we all know exist for those who are perceived to be (il)legitimate speakers and users of the English language.

Yet, these platforms are not always accessible to everyone. Those who are perceived to be powerless or special victims will never have the opportunity nor a platform to fight their battles for voice, for democracy, for visibility, for a better life, and most of all, for a chance to live out their DREAMS as the DREAMERS. While those who think that they can MAKE AMERICA GREAT have no clue about the legacy of America and those who have stepped up to build America in more ways than one. There is no singular truth in our complex world – there is no supremacy in the United States – it is a land of opportunity that should and MUST continue to champion those who need to live out their DREAMS. Each person’s dream is unique, as depicted by the stories of these six women, in that it changes with time given both local and global contexts. Narratives of East Asian Women Teachers of English is one step toward finding our voice, our agency, our democracy, our opportunity, and most of all, our DREAM to live and interact safely in this world now and in the years to come.

For more information about this book please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like Desiring TESOL and International Education by Raqib Chowdhury and Phan Le Ha.


Summer and Sport

7 August 2014

Just published this week in time for England’s latest test match, Tourism and Cricket edited by Tom Baum and Richard Butler is the first book to focus on the relationship between tourism and cricket. Here, Richard Butler explains a bit about the unique nature of cricket tourism. 

Football and rugby notwithstanding, it is summer which is really the sporting season, and nothing epitomises summer in England more than cricket. As in the United States with baseball, summer afternoons and evenings seem highly suited to the crack of a bat on a ball. There are marked similarities between baseball and cricket, both involve bat and ball, both are team sports, and yet both essentially come down to one man with a ball throwing it at one man with a bat. The other players are secondary to the personal competition between two individuals.  Both sports have contributed to the language of their respective host countries, cricket via more than twenty phrases at the last count (including “a sticky wicket” and “stumped”, as well as the summation of the spirit of the game in “It’s not cricket”) and baseball has made it into the lexicon of English clichés with “stepping up to the plate” and “striking out” at least.

Tourism and CricketWhere these summer iconic activities differ most however, is in the duration and frequency of play and the travel patterns of their supporters. While most first class cricket teams play in the region of forty games a season, including county championship, limited over and Twenty20 formats, major league baseball teams play one hundred and sixty two games in a season and up to an additional twenty one in the misnamed “World Series” should they make the playoffs. It is unlikely any baseball fan watches live all the games his or her team plays in a season,  as attendance would require massive travelling across North America with great frequency, even allowing for the fact that some days see two games played between the same teams.

In the case of cricket however, such devotion to a team is possible and the distance and frequency of travel would be much less. In the case of national teams however, patriotic cricket fans become true international tourists compared to their American counterparts, whose international experience would be mostly non-existent as baseball is only played in a very few countries with no real international competition. Thus cricket encourages tourism on a considerable scale, if not in vast numbers, certainly in terms of per capita distance covered and time involved. The travels of the “Barmy Army” as the English supporters’ association is known sees some of its members travelling  half way round the world for several weeks to support their team in test matches in Australia and New Zealand in particular. As well, it is  not just the players and spectators who travel, because, as Michael Atherton recently pointed out there are at least as many backroom staff as players.

The links between cricket and tourism are explored in our new book just published by Channel View, Tourism and Cricket: Travels to the Boundary. The book examines the origins of international cricket, issues relating to the grounds, the travails and travels of both participants and fans, and the influence of cricket on the attitudes and behaviours of the supporters.

Sport Tourism DevelopmentFor more information about this book, please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like Sport Tourism Development by Tom Hinch and James Higham.


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