Ryuko Kubota–February 23, 2014

Please click on this link within 90 minutes of the start of  this seminar: 


                                 DR. RYUKO KUBOTA

The Multi/Plural Turn in Research and Practice in Language Studies:
Postcolonial Theory, Neoliberalism, and Complicities

February 23, 2014
7:00 p.m. Eastern Time/New York USA
(convert to your time zone)

Ryuko Kubota University of British Columbia

Ryuko Kubota
University of British Columbia

Dr. Ryuko Kubota is a Professor in the Department of Language and Literacy Education in the Faculty of Education. Her primary research area is critical applied linguistics with a focus on culture, multiculturalism, written discourse, race,

and critical pedagogy. She has two books including Demystifying Career Paths after Graduate School: A Guide for Second Language Professionals in Higher Education (2012; Information Age Publishing; with Yilin Sun) and Race, culture, and identities in second language: Exploring critically engaged practice (2009, Routledge; with Angel M.Y. Lin). Demystifying Career Paths offers concrete information and useful suggestions to graduate students who are seeking employment at institutions of higher education in North America and other parts of the world. This book also targets entry-level faculty members who are exploring increased participation in professional activities. The book features critical turning points in career

Demystifying Career Paths

Demystifying Career Paths

trajectories, demystifies hidden institutional structures, and illuminates blind spots that are critical for career success. Race, Culture and Identities in Second Language explores critical issues of race, culture, and identities in second language education addressing such key questions as How are issues of race relevant to second language education? How does whiteness influence students’ and

Race, Culture, and Identities in Second Language

Race, Culture, and Identities in Second Language

teachers’ sense of self and instructional practices? How do discourses of racialization influence the construction of student identities and subjectivities? How do discourses on race, such as colorblindness, influence classroom practices, educational interventions, and parental involvement? And How can teachers transform the status quo? Dr. Kubota’s articles have appeared in such journals as Canadian Modern Language Review, Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, Foreign Language Annals, Journal of Second Language Writing, Modern Language Journal, TESOL Quarterly, Written Communication, and World Englishes. She is an editor of Race, culture, and identities in second language: Exploring critically engaged practice (2009, Routledge).

Dr. Kubota’s web seminar will address how in applied linguistics and language education, an increased focus has been placed on plurality and hybridity to challenge monolingualism, the native speaker norm, and the modernist view of language and language use as unitary and bounded. The multi/plural turn parallels postcolonial theory in that they both support hybridity and fluidity while problematizing the essentialist understanding of language and identity. However, postcolonial theory, which has been influenced by poststructuralism, met criticisms in the 1990s in cultural studies for its Eurocentric orientation and disparity between theory and practice. Furthermore, the conceptual features of the multi/plural turn resonates in part with neoliberalism and neoliberal multiculturalism that support diversity, plurality, flexibility, and difference while promoting both colorblindness and new racism. The multi/plural trend is prone to support the neoliberal principles of human capital in critiquing the modernist fixed understanding of linguistic forms and practices. This presentation will examine the multi/plural trend drawing on some critiques of postcolonial theory and neoliberal ideologies and propose an increased attention to issues of power and inequalities.

 Dr. Ryuko Kubota was born and raised in Nagano, Japan. She earned her BA in English (Linguistics) from Rikkyo University in Tokyo in 1980. She has taught English at junior and senior high school in Japan and TESOL at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont. After earning her Ph.D. at The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Dr. Kubota has been on faculty the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and then joined the University of British Columbia where she holds the rank of Full Professor.

Dr. Kubota’s research addresses larger social issues of the positioning of nonnative speakers, teachers, and researchers in school contexts, especially attending to different forms of racism, which perpetuate the racial, cultural, and linguistic hierarchy of power and prevents them from having valuable opportunities to learn about diverse views and human experiences. She also investigates racial identities of teachers, their instructional and institutional experiences, the students’ engagement with them, and wider political issues that affect all these topics. Her research brings these issues to public engagement with focused attention on the knowledge generated by research to the general public and policy makers so that more equitable policies are developed, supported, and implemented.

Access Dr. Kubota’s website.
Watch a lecture by Dr. Kubota, click here.
Read an interview with Dr. Kubota, click here.

Sampling of Dr. Kubota’s Publications

Kubota, R., & Sun, Y. (Eds.) (2012). Demystifying career paths after graduate school: A guide for second language professionals in higher education. Charlotte: NC: Information Age Publishing.

Kubota, R. (2012). Memories of war: Exploring Victim-Victimizer Perspectives in Critical CBI in Japanese. L2 Journal, 4, 37-57Available from http://escholarship.org/uc/item/2c88h039

Kim, S. & Kubota, R. (Eds.) (2012). Special Topic Issue: Supporting nonnative-English-speaking instructors to maximize student learning in their courses. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching.

Kubota, R. (2012). The politics of EIL: Toward border-crossing communication in and beyond English. In A. Matsuda (Ed.), Principles and practices of teaching English as an international language (pp.55-69)Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Kubota, R. (2011). School curriculum and assessment in Japan: Politics in foreign language education. In Y. Zhao et al. (Ed.), Handbook of Asian education: A cultural perspective (pp. 214-230). New York: Routledge.

Kubota, R. (2011). Questioning linguistic instrumentalism: English, neoliberalism, and language tests in Japan. Linguistics and Education, 22, 248-260. doi:10.1016/j.linged.2011.02.002

Kubota, R. (2011). Learning a foreign language as leisure and consumption: Enjoyment, desire, and the business of eikaiwa. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 14, 473-488.

Kubota, R. (2010). Cross-cultural perspectives on writing: Contrastive rhetoric. In N. H. Hornberger & S. L. McKay (Eds.), Sociolinguistics and language education (pp. 265-289). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Kubota, R. (2010). Critical multicultural education and second/foreign language teaching. In S. May & C. Sleeter (Eds.), Critical multiculturalism: From theory to practice (pp. 99-112). New York: Routledge.

Kubota, R. (2010). Critical approaches to theory in second language writing: A case of critical contrastive rhetoric. In T. Silva & P. K. Matsuda (Eds.), Practicing theory in second language writing (pp. 191-208). West Lafayette, IN: Parlor Press.

Kubota, R., & McKay, S. (2009). Globalization and language learning in rural Japan: The role of English in the local linguistic ecology. TESOL Quarterly, 43, 593-619.

Kubota, R. (2009). Internationalization of universities: Paradoxes and responsibilities. The Modern Language Journal, 93, 612-616.

Kubota, R. (2009). Rethinking the Superiority of the Native Speaker: Toward a Relational Understanding of Power. In Neriko, M. Dorr (Ed.),“Native speakers” revisited: Multilingualism, standardization, and diversity in language education (pp. 233-247). Mouton de Gruyter.

Kubota, R., & Lin, A. (Eds.) (2009). Race, culture, and identity in second language education: Exploring critically engaged practice. New York: Routledge.

Kubota, R. (2009). Spiritual dimensions in language teaching: A personal reflection. In M. S. Wong & S. Canagarajah (Eds.), Christian and critical English language educators in dialogue: Pedagogical and ethical dilemmas (pp. 225-234). New York: Routledge.

Kubota, R. (2008). A critical glance at romance, gender, and language teaching. Essential Teacher, 5(3), 28-30.

Kubota, R. (2008). Critical approaches to teaching Japanese and culture. In J. Mori & A. S. Ohta (Eds.), Japanese applied linguistics: Discourse and social perspectives (pp. 327-352). Continuum.

Kubota, R., & Catlett, S. (2008). Spanish only for foreign language at the elementary school (FLES): Competing discourses in local language policy. Foreign Language Annals, 41, 102-118.

Shin, H., & Kubota, R. (2008). Postcolonialism and globalization in language education. In B. Spolsky & F. M. Hult (Eds.), The handbook of educational linguistics (pp. 206-219). Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Kubota, R., & Austin, T. (2007). Critical approaches to world language education in the United States: An introduction. Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, 5 (2&3), 73-83.

Shi, L., & Kubota, R. (2007). Patterns of Rhetorical Organizations in Canadian and American Language Arts Textbooks: An Exploratory Study. English for Specific Purposes, 26(2), 180-202.

Kubota, R., & Lin, A. (2006). Race and TESOL: Concepts, research, and future directions. TESOL Quarterly, 40(3), 471-493.

Kubota, R., & Lehner, A. (2004). Toward critical contrastive rhetoric. Journal of Second Language Writing, 13, 7-27.

Kubota, R. (2004). Critical multiculturalism and second language education. In B. Norton & K. Toohey (Eds.), Critical pedagogies and language learning (pp. 30-52). Cambridge University Press.

Kubota, R. (2004). The Politics of cultural difference in second language education. Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, 1(1), 21-39.

Kubota, R. (2003). Unfinished knowledge: The story of Barbara. College ESL, 10(1 & 2), 11-21.

Kubota, R., Austin, T., & Saito-Abbot, Y. (2003). Diversity and inclusion of sociopolitical issues in foreign language classrooms: An exploratory survey. Foreign Language Annals, 36(1), 12-24.

Kubota, R. (2003). Critical teaching of Japanese culture. Japanese Language and Literature, 37, 67-87.

Kubota, R. (2003). New approaches to race, class, and gender in second language writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 12(1), 31-47.

Kubota, R. (2001). Discursive construction of the images of U.S. classrooms. TESOL Quarterly, 35(1), 9-38.

Kubota, R (2001). Teaching World Englishes to native speakers of English: A pilot project in a high school class. World Englishes, 20(1), 47-64.

Kubota, R., Gardner, K., Patten, M., Thatcher-Fettig, C., & Yoshida, M. (2000). Mainstream peers try on English Language Learners’ shoes: A shock language experience. TESOL Journal, 9 (4), 12-16.

Kubota, R., & Ward, L. (2000). Exploring linguistic diversity through World Englishes. English Journal, 89(6), 80-86.

Kubota, R. (1999). Japanese culture constructed by discourses: Implications for applied linguistic research and English language teaching. TESOL Quarterly, 33(1), 9-35.

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