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'Complexics-10' Seminar


Seminars for transdisciplinarity

The tenth seminar of the series Complexics, Complexics-10, was on 5th October 2016, at 18:00 h., in Sala de professors in Josep Carner building at the Universitat de Barcelona. This seminar included the following session:

Amazing Grace: An Analysis of Barack Obama’s Raciolinguistic Performances (video)
   By H. Samy Alim
   Professor of Anthropology, Linguistics, and Education
   Standford University
   Director of the Center for Race, Ethnicity and Language, the Institute for Diversity in the Arts and African & African American Studies. 

H. Samy Alim is Professor of Anthropology, Linguistics, and Education at Stanford University, where he directs the Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Language (CREAL), the Institute for Diversity in the Arts (IDA), and African & African American Studies (AAAS). His most recent books are Raciolinguistics: How Language Shapes Our Ideas about Race (Oxford, 2016) and Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, Language, and Race in the U.S. (Oxford, 2012), which addressed language and racial politics through an examination of President Barack Obama's language use--and America's response to it. Other books include Street Conscious Rap (1999), You Know My Steez (2004), Roc the Mic Right (2006), Tha Global Cipha (2006), Talkin Black Talk (2007), and Global Linguistic Flows(2009). His forthcoming volume, Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies, will appear in 2017.

American President Barack Obama is widely considered one of the most powerful and charismatic speakers of our age. Without missing a beat, he often moves between Washington insider talk and culturally Black ways of speaking -as shown in a famous YouTube clip, where Obama declined the change offered to him by a Black cashier in a Washington, D.C. restaurant with the phrase, "Nah, we straight". In this talk, I analyze Barack Obama's raciolinguistic performances -that is, his simultaneous performance of both language and race--across a number of different contexts, demonstrating the cultural and political significance of his styleshifting.