Resisting the Weaponization of Language (Panel)


Rhetoric & Composition / Pedagogy & Professional

Heather Urbanski (Fitchburg State University)

As specialists in language studies, we have a particular affinity for and accompanying responsibility to use language in ethical ways. We embrace the power of language to change the world and ourselves for "good," but are rightfully hesitant to focus on the potential for language to cause harm out of concerns regarding silencing and censorship. Yet, there can be no doubt that language can and does cause harm. Abstracts are encouraged that examine such weaponization of language from a variety of perspectives including, but not limited to, "grammar" as cudgel, misgendering and/or dead naming transgender individuals, and dehumanizing language in public discourse.
We embrace the power of language to change the world and ourselves for "good," but are rightfully hesitant to focus on the potential for language to cause harm out of concerns regarding silencing and censorship. Yet, there can be no doubt that language can and does cause harm. Abstracts are encouraged that examine such weaponization of language from a variety of perspectives and disciplinary angles.