WP265 Decolonising Higher Education: Multilingualism, Linguistic Citizenship & Epistemic Justice

Stroud & Kerfoot


This paper explores in what ways language ? and multilingualism in particular ? can be rethought in order to further epistemic justice. In order to situate the question of language in a broader decolonial project, it starts by critically reviewing three main strategies that have been proposed to address epistemic injustice in South African Higher Education over the last thirty years: scaffolding into colonial metropolitan languages, intellectualization and/or endogenization, and the use of translanguaging. It argues that the role of language/multilingualism in such strategies is compromised by the ?coloniality of language? (Veronelli 2015), that is, understandings of language inherited from the colonial project. It further advances the notion of Linguistic Citizenship (LC) (Stroud 2001, 2017) as a way of disengaging from coloniality. LC informs epistemic justice by focusing on the potential carried by language(s) for ontological refashioning of selves, socialities, and concomitant knowledges, thereby offering a way to rethink multilingualism as a transformative epistemology and methodology of difference.