Call for Papers: AAUSC Volume 2010

AAUSC Volume 2010


Glenn S. Levine, University of California, Irvine
Alison Phipps, University of Glasgow

Series Editor:
Carl Blyth, University of Texas at Austin

1. Title
Critical and Intercultural Theory and Language Pedagogy

2. Scope and Focus
Critical theory, cultural studies, postmodernity as a label for today’s world, and postmodernism as an intellectual movement have come to mean many things to diverse academic fields of inquiry and different sectors of society. Yet many of those who study and teach languages in the North American context have largely ignored crucial theoretical issues that have been taken up in a wide range of fields, from literary studies to anthropology to management. And on the “other side of the fence,” those in literary and cultural studies often have viewed what happens in language classrooms as irrelevant to the intellectual work of the academy. This dilemma was recently fleshed out in the MLA ad hoc committee report, “Foreign Languages and Higher Education: New Structures for a Changed World” (; language departments and professionals were challenged to find new ways to bridge the gap between conventional language instruction and more advanced ‘content’ courses, to better integrate and articulate language instruction with the goals and mission of a liberal arts education, and to pursue new ways for language instruction at all levels to contribute to students’ development as global citizens.

To foster this important endeavor, the goal of the volume is to explore the role of language teaching and learning in a postmodern world and the ways that literary theory, critical theory, social theory, cultural theory, and other theories, can or already do contribute to our thinking about curriculum, teacher training, and language teaching and learning. The volume should inform language program directors and instructors about these theories, as well as provide fuel for discussion and debate in language departments as they work toward addressing and implementing proposals put forth in the MLA Report. The volume thus seeks to bridge the language-literature/culture divide that is still the reality of many language departments. The group of projected contributors, who come from diverse fields within and outside of applied linguistics and SLA, represents a new direction for the AAUSC series. The twofold purpose is to provide a forum for those scholars to weigh in on issues of second-language teaching and learning, and to foster a dialogue among scholars from many fields who are concerned with critical issues of language, learning, and education.

With regard to the place of theory in language pedagogy, the volume aims to bring theoretical debates center stage for language professionals and to tackle the suspicion in which theorists are thought to hold practitioners and in which practitioners are thought to hold theorists. The editors take the view that for new forms of belonging to be imagined for our plurilingual times, and for political questions of language to truly inform language practice, then theories are needed which are strong enough to bear the weight of collective and individual self-reflection. There is, in language studies, an urgent need for thinking which may bring about a new consciousness of the import, place and incontestable profundity of the activity-practical and engaged-of language learning. Indeed, it is the editors’ view that much of the theory developed over the last few decades in the humanities and social sciences has overshot the political and practical realities of classrooms and language learning practices. This volume, then, seeks to think about the fundamental textures of shared intercultural experience in teaching and learning languages. Without such a focus, then language pedagogy risks being left with little to say, and little conceptual novelty with which to say it, when faced with the profound questions raised by the politics of our current age.

3. Suggestions for Possible Topics
Manuscript proposals are welcome that consider any aspect of how theory can, should, or does relate to, inform or impact language curriculum, program direction, teacher training, or teaching practice. The intended readership includes language program directors and coordinators, basic language instructors, and language department faculty at large. Though we envision most contributions to be in essay form, we also welcome empirical research reports exploring connections between theory and issues of language teaching and learning. The focus may be as broad or narrow as the author(s) choose; they can deal with broad concepts or with specific features or aspects of language, culture, teaching, learning, etc. Specific questions of interest include but are not restricted to the following:

* Theory and theories
o An accessible ‘introduction’ to a specific theoretical framework in terms of its relevance for language education and/or language program design and direction
o How do specific theories (e.g., social theory, critical theory, sociocultural theory, cultural theory, complexity theory) relate to or inform particular aspects of language curriculum and teaching?
o How can language program directors and language teachers best make use of or ‘apply’ theory in designing curricula and teaching?

* Postmodernism and postmodernity, and preparing global citizens through language education
o Investigations/interrogations of issues of race, gender, class, postcolonialism etc. as these relate to collegiate language education
o Issues of globalization and language education
o Critical pedagogy and/or contribution of collegiate language instruction to social change
o Transcultural communication and intercultural communicative competence as a vehicle and goal for collegiate language education
o Language socialization and literacy perspectives

Whatever the specific focus, each contribution should address in concrete terms the implications or applications of particular theories for language program directors and language teachers, and ideally, each should also speak to scholars working in the author’s field of inquiry, highlighting what they could learn from issues and aspects of language teaching and learning.

4. Timeline
Interested parties should submit abstracts to both editors by May 1, 2009. Potential contributors will receive feedback through a blind peer-review process by June 1, 2009. All manuscript submissions will also be blind peer-reviewed.

The deadline for full-length manuscripts is September 15, 2009, and final revisions will be due by March 15, 2010. Please note that the deadlines for full- length manuscripts and final revisions may be subject to change. The volume will appear in November, 2010 at the annual AAUSC meeting held in conjunction with the MLA Convention.

Please direct inquiries to Glenn S. Levine ( or Alison Phipps (