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Istratii, Romina and Hirmer, Monika (2023) 'The role of language in diversifying knowledge production: Reflecting on the experience of Decolonial Subversions as a multilingual publishing platform.' Decolonial Subversions Special Issue 2023, 2023. pp. 77-95.

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Abstract

Decolonial Subversions was envisioned as a platform for the dissemination of decolonial perspectives by implementing a model that subverts current practices of knowledge production, validation and dissemination—both within and outside of academia. It does so by departing from mainstream standards of communication (which privilege English as language, text as format and intellect as the locus of knowing) and implementing a multilingual and multi-format publication model. This is based on the understanding that epistemic violence is perpetuated linguistically in significant ways, such as when converting multidimensional and embodied knowledge into rigidly mono-dimensional scholarly articles. Authors whose first language is not English are often forced to write in English in order to reach a wider audience and for their knowledge to be accepted as intelligible and valid. In response to this dynamic, Decolonial Subversions enables authors to submit their manuscripts in their first and working languages, as well as in an English version they can produce with the support of a translator, assistant or co-author, in addition to accepting visual and acoustic formats. This strategy aims to minimise the epistemic violence inflicted via linguistic requirements, maintain the text’s original nuance, and simultaneously ensure that the work reaches and can inform Anglophone scholarship and thinking. In this essay, we discuss this approach in detail, how our contributors have engaged with the multilingual option we provide, and some of the challenges we have faced in moving towards a multilingual publishing model. The essay provides a publisher’s perspective as a way of complementing the growing dissemination of multilingual articles reflecting authors’ vantage points.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Decolonial Subversions, publishing, English, linguistic violence, multilingualism, publisher perspective, paradigm shift
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2023 20:19
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/40905

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