Rosemary Salomone (St. John's University) joins the GLOBE Webinar Series to discuss her new book 'The Rise of English: Global Politics and the Power of Language' (Oxford University Press). Helder De Schutter (KU Leuven) will then offer some reflections before an audience Q&A.
About the book: Spoken by a quarter of the world's population, English is today's lingua franca. The language of business, popular media, and international politics, English has become commodified for its economic value and increasingly detached from any particular nation. This meteoric "rise of English" has many obvious benefits to communication. But the rise of English has very real downsides at times generating intense legal conflicts. In Europe, imperatives of political integration, job mobility, and university rankings compete with pride in national language and heritage. In countries like India, South Africa, Morocco, and Rwanda, it has stratified society along lines of English proficiency and devalued commonly spoken languages.
In The Rise of English, Rosemary Salomone offers a commanding view of the unprecedented spread of English and the far-reaching effects it has on global and local politics, economics, media, education, and business. From the inner workings of the EU to China's use of language as "soft power" in Africa, Salomone draws on a wealth of research to tell the complex story of English--and, ultimately, to argue for English not as a force for domination but as a core component of multilingualism and the transcendence of linguistic and cultural borders.
About the author: Rosemary Salomone is the Kenneth Wang Professor of Law at St. John's University School of Law (USA). Trained as a linguist and a lawyer, she is an internationally recognized expert and commentator on language rights, education law and policy, and comparative equality.
Moderator: Kari Otteburn (KU Leuven)