Call for Abstracts: Applied Linguistics & Social Justice Special Issue

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Monday, February 24, 2020 at 12:00 AM (EST) to Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 1:00 AM (EDT)

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Call For Abstracts for Applied Linguistics & Social Justice Special Issue: Deadline March 13th at 9 PM PST

The field of applied linguistics is concerned with “real world problems”. In order to truly engage with the real world it is essential to recognize systemic inequities and their relationships with language(s). This special issue will consider the range of interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological approaches that applied linguists have utilized in collaboration with academics, practitioners, and varied communities to address social (in)justices. Such work involves working collaboratively to ensure that social institutions are inclusive of everyone’s needs and wants, which means full and equal participation, equitable distribution of resources, access to opportunities, a recognition of the histories of oppression, and consciousness-raising for resistance (Bell, 2007). 
A social justice-oriented applied linguistics would recognize the micro, meso, and macro root causes of systemic (in)justice and the ways that language is implicated in these issues. These include an applied linguistics that centers our most pressing issues such as, but not limited to, language and the criminal justice system (cf. Baran & Holmquist, 2019), US Census categories (Zentella, 2019), interpreters in health care contexts (Martinez et al, 2017), sports team mascot names (Avineri & Perley, 2019), ”language gap” (Avineri et al, 2015), bilingual education (Flores & Garcia, 2017), anti-colonial language education (de los Rios et al, 2019), terms like “illegal” immigrants (Rosa, 2019), oppression and indigenous and endangered languages (Leonard, 2018), and social media representations of different cultural groups (Smalls, 2019). Therefore, it is essential to examine and dismantle how societies are structured in order to create transformative solutions in collaboration with all involved.
In recent years, the field has begun to focus explicitly on public engagement, advocacy, and social justice. For example, in 2016, AAAL created the Public Affairs and Engagement Committee (and Applied Linguistics and Social Justice listserv) and the AAAL theme that year was Applied Linguistics Applied. The BAAL highlights applied linguistics efforts focused on real world issues and social change. There have been efforts at critical applied linguistics (Pennycook, 2001), engaged applied linguistics, social justice and English language teaching (Hastings, 2016), anti-racism and English language teaching (Motha, 2016), and decolonizing language education (Lopez-Gopar 2016, Macedo 2019). There has also been an increasing acknowledgment of a lack of (racial) diversity in the field itself (and therefore epistemic injustice) (Bhattacharya, Jiang, & Canagarajah, 2019, Kubota, 2019). These movements are alongside broader conversations about the relationships between language and social justice (cf. Avineri et al., 2019, Piller, 2016), sociolinguistic justice (Bucholtz et al. 2016) and linguistics in the pursuit of justice (Baugh, 2018).
This special issue of the journal Applied Linguistics encourages interdisciplinary theoretical, practical, and methodological contributions that call for applied linguistics as a social justice-oriented discipline. Papers in the special issue will include an explicit framing of social justice in relation to individuals, communities, languages, and contexts. The papers will provide readers with multiple approaches to social justice as it relates to language in a variety of real world contexts. Abstracts should clearly outline how social justice frameworks are central to the scholarship, pedagogy, advocacy, and/or activism presented. 
Papers may focus on micro, meso, and/or  macro levels of applied linguistics and social justice. Examples included below:
Micro: biases, classroom activities, differentiation, equity, ethics, experiences, identities, interpersonal/intercultural interactions, intersectionalities, histories, how language is used to describe/elevate/marginalize particular groups of people, inclusive teaching practices, language use in gatekeeping institutions, lesson planning, materials selection
Meso:  curriculum design and assessment, institutional structures, language policies, language varieties, power and privilege dynamics
Macro: decolonizing pedagogy, hegemony of English, histories of oppression and structural inequalities in the communities/countries/regions where languages are taught and learned, how different languages are valued/perceived, language ideologies, power dynamics, which languages get taught and learned at the global scale
Papers co-authored by scholars, community members, and practitioners are especially encouraged. Contributions from both early career and seasoned scholars will be invited. Diverse formats will be explored, including individuals in conversation with one another as well as audio/video/media components. Attention will also be paid to citations/references to ensure that a diversity of voices are being acknowledged in the works themselves. Overall, the special issue will provide a forum for creating collaborative multilingual spaces in which societal inequities can be both explored and resisted through the inclusion of diverse voices and ways of knowing. 
Please send 350 word abstracts to by Friday March 13, 2020, 9pm PST to be considered for inclusion in the special issue proposal. Authors will be notified by early April if their abstract will be included in the proposal. Please contact Netta Avineri and Danny C. Martinez at the email above with any questions.