PULLMAN, Wash.—Linguist Carl Jubran, president of the Institut Americain Universitaire in Aix en Provence, France, will present “Understanding How the ‘Language of Power’ Shapes Identities” at 4 p.m. Tues., Nov. 10 in Butch’s Den of the Washington State University Compton Union Building (CUB, L-60).

Hosted by the WSU Writing Program, the event is free and open to the public, and will be videostreamed to WSU campuses in Vancouver, Everett, Tri-Cities, and Spokane.

Jubran is also featured at an afternoon workshop for instructional faculty and graduate students titled “Moving Beyond Deficit-Based Thinking: Toward a More Inclusive Practice of Diversity.” It is set for Noon-1:30 p.m. on the same day in the Smith Center for Undergraduate Education (CUE) room 518.

WSU Writing Program Speaker Series

“Dr. Jubran, who is internationally known in his field, will contribute to our knowledge of how to better teach to, and evaluate the work of, students at our university,” said Victor Villanueva, WSU Regents Professor and program director. “His presentation and workshop are part of the Writing Program Speaker Series which seeks to engage faculty and graduate students in an exploration of how to strengthen their writing instruction for multilingual and often linguistically marginalized students.”

Keynote lecture on understanding how the language of power shapes identities

In his lecture, Jubran will begin to answer some questions “in understanding the xenophobia, fanaticism, and bigotry that plagues our world today.  In this talk I will propose a new and more fluid definition of identity in order to overcome these global issues.”

Those questions, he said, include “What is identity, as it cannot be compartmentalized or divided into halves or thirds or separate segments?” “What role does language and culture play in the construct of identity?” “What are the social and political ramifications of the dominant discourses of identity construction on the nation-state.?” “What are the dangers associated with these dominant discourses?” And, “Historically, how has the dominant discourse of identity been used to justify imperialist aspirations that have displaced, subjugated and colonized over half of the world’s population?”

Workshop on moving beyond deficit-based thinking toward a more inclusive practice of diversity

Jubran said, “Challenging the single narrative is a necessary exercise in understanding cultural diversity. In this workshop we will explore the many layers within any given culture and disentangle the many pejorative perceptions with which we are often programmed at an early age. A close look at categorization, stereotyping, and marginalization will be explored within a specific culture. In addition, participants will be challenged to consider the more complicated identity models of colonized and fragmented subjectivities of North Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.”

Learning outcomes of the workshop are that participants will:

  • question their own identity and cultural tropes
  • be able to articulate the roots of modern racism
  • demonstrate a clearer understanding of modern antisemitism
  • gain a clearer understanding of Islamophobia
  • employ a new definition of diversity that refutes the notion of a single narrative

Jubran’s Brief Bio

Dr. Jubran participated in a Masters program at the Sorbonne, Paris IV, through New York University. He later earned his MA in Spanish Linguistics and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of California, San Diego.He has developed and taught courses in French, Spanish, Arabic, world civilization, and global studies and has led and overseen programs in France, Mexico, Morocco, Turkey, and Spain.

His multilingual fluency in French, English, Spanish, Arabic, and Hebrew positions him to lead students, faculty, and staff in developing multicultural understanding and learning the essential importance of the interconnections among social equity and justice, economic viability and environmental vitality in building a sustainable community in today’s world.

His publication and research interests include post-colonial studies, orientalism and the representation of the other as well as globalization and peace and conflict studies.


MEDIA: Xyanthe Neider, Director of Assessment, WSU Writing Program, 509-335-6471, xneider@wsu.edu