LAnguage, Race & Colonization

Final project Gallery 

Fall 2022

The collective work of students in English 640, Fall Semester 2022, San Francisco State University.


The L Word podcast and podcast notes/references

“Slurs are made visible by performative linguistic ideology, the idea that words can perform actions” -Jane Hill, The Everyday Language of White Racism

The L Word podcast invites you to listen in on a controversial discussion on “slurs.” The drive behind our podcast stems from the want to end the use of slurs. We will discuss how we can do that in a healing or motivating way. The language to use to accomplish this goal are the terms slur evolution, reclamation, and erasure. –We will also challenge these terms in the context of effectiveness. We want to acknowledge that the topic might spark many diving thoughts and even personal triggers, so we choose our discussion questions with that in mind. –We intend to discuss a taboo issue without becoming too exclusive. So, with that being said, please have a listen! 

~Lily, Rejennae, Dom, Maddie~

Caitlin: We feel very fortunate that we were put together in this pod. Although we weren’t able to finish the semester with Sean, this was the first semblance of community that Caitlin, Nora, and Sean experienced here at SFSU, as this was our first semester here. Angelica is almost finished with her journey at this school, and we are all grateful for her guidance throughout the semester, as well as the support we received from everyone in the pod. We decided to do our final project on the subject of the colonization of the classroom, not only in the United States, but in the world at large. We mulled over the specificities about which we were most passionate in order to create an approachable and palatable listening experience, in the form of a podcast. The information we reference throughout the podcast primarily comes from the material we covered in week 6 of class. Initially, we intended on our focus being the decolonization of the classroom, but as we prepared and discussed, we realized that we felt we had more confidence in our knowledge of the history of colonization. We touched on some strategies that may be implemented in terms of dismantling the idea of English language supremacy, but we also feel that we must have a firm understanding of the past and how we got here, in order to make any significant change. 

Angelica: My personal intended purpose of the podcast is to shine a light on our education system, and its settler colonial past. To understand education and problems we face today, we must critically dissect the roots of the institution. It’s important as a future teacher to acknowledge colonial ties to education to understand how to eradicate remenances of it today. With Malathi Iyengar piece on language policies and ideologies in U.S settler colonialism, and Leah Huff’s looking at the U.S education system through the white lens. I learned to envision a more inclusive and safe learning environment for students. Where language and culture and peoples are celebrated, not silenced or suppressed. Where children can sit in the same seats that colonized children once sat. And hold their head high with pride for being who they are, too feel valid and seen. To be told the way they speak is not inadequate, subhuman, or unintelligent.That their culture, land, and language is not replaceable. That what they offer is not second to something or someone. A place where education is truly decolonized. 

Our plan for the podcast was to look at readings that were important to our lived experience. Then to explore classroom and outside resources that would apply to our topic of education in connection to colonization. For distribution, we are planning on connecting the podcast to a QR code and taping it around school. I'm planning on printing it out and having it at the checkout counter at my job.  

Nora: I would like to begin this reflection with a sincere and warm thank you to Ms. Teresa Pratt. This class was an unforgettable experience I will only be able to visit in memory now as this semester comes to a bittersweet end. It was a pleasure getting to know you through the material, class discussions, and your own personal passions. Through this, I was able to stumble on an amazing pod which I will miss very dearly! They are the cutest and most enjoyable people to work with, on top of being excellent peers. This semester has been a whirlwind, but collaborating with a pod has made it much easier task to catch up with the curriculum and of course, Ms. Teresa’s cloud 9 of a class structure. 

Our final project entails a podcast form of entertainment mixed with insight in which we delve into the roots of colonialism and where it all started. Doing so can help the audience picture how exactly we are standing where we are now in the culmination of the colonizer’s world during the 21st century. I hope it brings awareness or at the least, sparks curiosity for another learner seeking to educate themselves further on the undoing how it all began.


nora, caitlin, and angelica

Public essays

The online Medium post "It's Giving Appropriation, Henny" by James Kreiss addresses the appropriation
of Queer language and culture by the dominant heterocis majority. Appropriation can take place online and in spoken language by the general public as well as capitalized upon by corporations. The post discusses the impact appropriation has on a marginalized group of people and how to critically navigate choosing what type of language to engage in by listening to people from those marginalized groups. I hope to inspire others to engage in a dialogue that focuses less on cancel culture but to foster a growth-centered learning environment.

You can find this article on Medium (linked at left). 



Uncontrolled Zine.pdf

Uncontrolled zine

This online zine, titled "Uncontrolled" by pod 6 focuses on how whiteness controls and regulates the English language. This control is seen in spheres like education, media, pop culture, and in each of our lives no matter whether we live. The zine focuses on how white people’s way of speaking and their culture dictates the English language and is connected to its history of European colonialism and white supremacy.  In our efforts to educate other students as well as the general public, we hope to inspire more community building through less judgment and ridicule. 

One can find flyers for this zine in various parts of the Humanities Building, J. Paul Leonard Library, Cesar Chavez Center, and our respective workplaces. Access Link Here 

-Naazley, Gurleen, Mina, and Bridget 

In the Zine my colleagues and I wanted to look at the idea of standard English and how it is, in fact, a colonial hold over. This idea that language is to be spoken perfectly, when the English language itself is a conglomeration of stolen bits and bobs of language is absurd. English is a proudly absurd language that follow very few rules that it actually tries to employ. The idea of actively trying to enforce a flawless language is something we wanted to go through and debunk. This colonialist idea of perfect language shows us the lack of respect for the rich linguistic communications that AAVE and Spanglish invite into the larger vernacular. The omission of these types of English dialects contributes to erasure of cultural language.

The zine is made with the idea of imperfection being something wonderful. We are looking to the fact that spoken English, even written English, is allowed to be fluid and ever changing with the new dialects that come from other dialects of the language itself. --Pell, Sierra

I also want to add that we have two versions of the zine: the digital version, which is formatted for screens, and the physical version, which is formatted to be printed with a double-sided printer for easy assembling. The content is exactly the same. -- Cam

640 pod 4 digital zine.pdf
Zine Final

In the zine we created, we discuss how the word "slut" is a direct attack on women. We discuss the subjects such as white feminism, the slut walk, sex workers, and POC women. We end it with resources on how we can all be better and more intersectional feminists and lift each other up. Thank you everyone for a great semester!!

Love, Addison, Sabrina, and Yaneli 

Zine Final

In the zine we created, we discuss how the word "slut" is a direct attack on women. We discuss the subjects such as white feminism, the slut walk, sex workers, and POC women. We end it with resources on how we can all be better and more intersectional feminists and lift each other up. Thank you everyone for a great semester!!

Love, Addison, Sabrina, and Yaneli 

Slurs Final Project

Dallas, Joy, Maya and Grace

Accept and Value Each Person _ Meiners .pdf

By: Roselie Roman; Student, Mother, Teacher - Global Community Member

English 640

Professor Teresa Pratt

San Francisco State University - Fall 2023

ENG 640 Final Project- Camelia Khalili.pdf

In my zine titled “Linguistic Significance: How Media Uses Language to Perpetuate Systems of Violence, Oppression, and Genocide in the Middle East,” I explore the role of language in critically shaping public perception of Middle Easterners. As an Iranian-Armenian-American I was inspired to cover this sensitive and extensive topic because I feel that I have a responsibility to aid in the exposure of how Western media uses propaganda against Middle Easterners and how it has devastating effects on Middle Eastern populations. As the ancestor of Armenian genocide survivors, I understand the dangers of propaganda and rhetoric dehumanizing a group of people. This zine examines how language has been threaded into the narratives surrounding the Middle East through media framing, propaganda, and rhetoric. 

Throughout my zine, I focus on the power of language in fostering systems of violence, oppression, and genocide in the Middle East. I drew examples from William M. Cotter’s article “Legibility and Indeterminacy in the Israel-Palestine Conflict” and Julie Peteet’s article “Language Matters: Talking about Palestine” as well as Noor Hindi’s poems. I hope as you flip through the pages of my zine you understand that this is not an indictment of any particular group but a call for compassion, awareness, and an obligation to eradicate linguistic frameworks that uphold injustice in the Middle East. Thank you. 

-Camelia Khalili, ENG 640, Fall 2023 

The playlist can be accessed through the Spotify QR code or this link: 

I created a playlist in response to Angela Reyes' "Coloniality of Mixed Race and Mixed Language' in which Reyes discusses Taglish as an elite linguistic practice. I believe that Taglish, at the present time, is not an elitist practice but more a practice of linguistic connection between Filipinos from the homeland and Filipino Americans.

My infographic playlist cover features elements of the Filipino flag, the country's flower: sampaguita (a species of the Jasmine flower), examples of where you might hear Taglish and how Taglish sounds, along with quotes about modern Taglish. I also list two other forms of Taglish: Conyo which originated from the younger generations of affluent families in the Philippines as well as Swardspeak which is slang derived from Taglish and used by many of the Filipino LGBT community. In the bottom right is my statement and feelings about Taglish. 

Many can relate to the disconnect between themselves and the country that their families came from. I found that I could find a connection to the Philippines through music. While I may not recognize many of the words, songs using Taglish help me to understand the linguistics of how Filipino songwriters connect to their audience particularly non-Tagalog speakers.

Music is a universal language. While we may not comprehend the words, we can define the thoughts, feelings, and connections music gives us.

Happy Listening.

-- Jermelyn Genove-Mangibin, ENG 640, Fall 2023

Sources available here.

This infographic about cultural appropriation versus cultural appreciation can be accessed through this link to review it in further detail.

I decided to create an infographic about the differences between cultural appreciation versus cultural appropriation. Using a variety of sources from class and from my outside findings with the help of my peers and professor such as "The Everyday Language of White Racism" by Jane H. Hill, "Give Me Back My Language! The Harmful Nature of Language Appropriation for American Minorities" by Lydia Bleyle, and "Appropriation of African American slang by Asian American youth" by Angela Reyes, I was able to use these articles and readings to take on a linguistic approach of cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation.

Through my infographic, you will be able to see that I included various forms of cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation from a physical standpoint and a non-physical standpoint as well, such as taking of languages and cultures. With this infographic, I hope to inform those that have a limited understanding of the differences between the two and take on an approach that is usually not displayed through the mass media. Through a linguistic approach, I hope for people to understand that cultural appropriation is not only through the taking of another culture through a physical standpoint , such as the commercialization of a culture's products, but it can also be taken through a culture's language and ideologies. 

There are various cultures around the world and there is too little talk about the appropriating them.  Thank you for looking at my infographic. 

-- Angela Vu, ENG 640, Fall 2023

Sources available throughout these links:

1, 2, 3