Being a conduit and culprit of white language supremacy: A duo autohistoriateoría




Caldera, Altheria
Babino, Ale Ruiz

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Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines, University of Limoges


In this manuscript, two normalistas-teachers, who are Women of Color in the United States, reflected on our experiences as educators. In a chronological narrative structure, we each told stories related to our experiences with languages and literacy. Using Anzaldúa’s autohistoria-teoría—a decolonial research methodology—we constructed situated knowledge based on our personal reflections of our experiences. More specifically, we uncovered ways we have been conduits of white language supremacy, interrogated how white language supremacy has impacted our teaching, and revealed our growth in our stance towards linguistic justice. Through the lens of raciolinguistics, we reveal our own victimization, internalized racist linguicism, and subsequent perpetuation of linguistic imperialism. Because of our professional successes as a result of English proficiency, we bought into the myth that acquiring Standard American English was necessary to ensure the success of students with racialized identities and failed to fully value language plurality. At this point in our professional journeys, however, we are committed to work characterized by 1) a recognition of the ways language and race are inextricably entwined, 2) evidenced appreciation for non-Western language varieties, 3) use of translanguaging as resistance, 4) culturally sustaining writing instruction (Woodard, Vaughan, & Machado, 2017), and 5) multimodal communication practices. Our manuscript is important because it models the kind of vulnerability, theorization, and critical reflection necessary for scholars whose work aims for decoloniality. It represents our commitment to decolonization of the self.


Article originally published in Transcontinental Human Trajectories, (8). English. Published online 2020.


Autohistoria-teoría, Decolonization of the self, Linguistic justice, Raciolinguistics, Translanguaging, White language supremacy


This is a published version of a paper that is available at: Recommended citation: Caldera, A., & Ruiz Babino, A. (2020). Being a conduit and culprit of white language supremacy: A duo autohistoria-teoría. Transcontinental Human Trajectories, (8). This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.