Colonizability and hermeneutical injustice in applied linguistics research: (Im)possibilities for epistemological delinking

Osman Z. BARNAWI, Hamza R'BOUL

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The field of applied linguistics is a remarkable case of deep intersection of the skewed geopolitics of knowledge (epistemic inequalities) and language (the ascendency of English as both a topic of research and academic lingua franca). The dominance of the Anglo-sphere through epistemology and language in applied linguistics renders the process of decolonization even more problematic than in other fields, for the only available tools to decolonize are those of coloniality. We argue that despite the end of formal decolonization and the incessant decolonial impulses, the Global South(s) may be still colonizable. Through ages of epistemic dominance, the Global South(s) may have encountered some tensions and challenges to exercise and legitimize ways of theorizing and doing applied linguistics research otherwise. That is, these alternative visions and praxis may again be underpinned by western traditions of thought that have shaped their foundational understandings of what language, linguistics, and practicality are. Epistemological delinking may be impossible as long as decoloniality itself is enunciated through the dominant voices and channels and according to the rationalities against which decoloniality in applied linguistics has been made to be understood. We go beyond the usual question of whether decolonization is possible, to ask: What decolonialities are possible to account for the Global South(s) and their varying degrees of colonizability? We employ what we term ‘collective introspection-retrospection’ as an epistemological journey of re-knowing, re-feeling, re-sensing, and re-imagining alternative epistemologies in applied linguistics. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-881
JournalApplied Linguistics
Volume44
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Citation

Barnawi, O. Z., & R’boul, H. (2023). Colonizability and hermeneutical injustice in applied linguistics research: (Im)possibilities for epistemological delinking. Applied Linguistics, 44(5), 865-881. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amad047

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Colonizability and hermeneutical injustice in applied linguistics research: (Im)possibilities for epistemological delinking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.