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Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices

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In “Translating Into English” within An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization (2012), Spivak eludes apprehension, spurns comprehension, and resists neat translation as I, an American educator, attempt to make sense of what is meant by an aesthetic education as Spivak translates the act of translation. Caught and othered as a language broker in learning the double bind of translation, I find no answers, only new questions as I grope toward ways to conceptualize and to name this moment for translators and language educators: (1) What does it mean to be a translator?; (2) Can and should the convenient genie of English as the language of power and globalization be pushed back into the bottle to make room for linguistic diversity?; (3) What is essentially lost in translation when indigenous languages are abandoned and no longer nuanced with meaning, when “lingual memory” is no longer available? This paper then examines the ethics and struggle of honoring Spivak’s call to be haunted in light of the double bind faced by immigrant K-12 students encountering the power of English in U.S. K-12 schools.


Originally published by Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License in Volume 9, Issue 1.