Workshop: Code-Meshing in the Classroom

“Should Writer’s Use They Own English?: A Conversation on Code-Meshing in the Classroom”

A Faculty Discussion with Dr. Vershawn Ashanti Young, Associate Professor in Drama and Speech Communication, University of Waterloo (Canada)

Organizers: Ahyana King, Director of Intercultural Affairs; Sean Meehan, Director of Writing

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The format will be a brief presentation by Dr. Young followed by ample time for our questions and conversation with him. Dr. Young’s scholarship argues that teachers should value the linguistic principle of “code-meshing” over “code-switching,” and more broadly, should understand how we might listen for and support a broader diversity of literacies in our classes. While relevant to writing courses, this discussion surely opens onto larger questions of diversity in all of our classes and across campus: how we value it, in practice as well as in principle. So, please attend even if you aren’t teaching a course that involves writing.

Later in the evening [Litrenta Lecture Hall, 7-8 pm] you will have another opportunity to converse with Dr. Young at “#TalkThatTalk: A Roundtable Conversation About the Student of Color Experience on College Campuses.” Further details on this campus conversation will be coming from Ahyana King.

In advance of the lunchtime discussion, please read “Should Writers Use They Own English?” (attached). This essay will give you a critical and creative experience with the issues involved in what Dr. Young means by code-meshing. Should you want to do some further reading into Dr. Young’s scholarship and the critical conversation he engages, I have also attached his article “Nah, We Straight: An Argument Against Code-Switching.”


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