Transcending Monolingual Worldviews: Magnifying the Impact of Knowledge in Academe and Society

This is a post to simply share a public talk I gave at Cornell University in March 2022, titled “Transcending Monolingual Worldviews: Magnifying the Impact of Knowledge in Academe and Society.”

BLURB: All societies, and especially diverse ones like the US, are multilingual; translingual
communication mediates life and professions and makes knowledge grow and work. Yet, myths
about language set up barriers, inhibiting free exchange and application of knowledge. These
myths include the ideas that knowledge must only be produced, can only be exchanged, and is
applied best through dominant languages—damaging assumptions that adversely affect many
domains, but particularly knowledge work by academics across the disciplines. Harm caused by
this suppression of languages has been long documented in the literature in language, writing,
and communication studies. Drawing on the research and his own efforts to counter language
ideologies, Dr. Shyam Sharma will present a framework and share practical strategies, showing
how transcending monolingual worldviews (and mobilizing all languages) helps academe and its
scholars to magnify the impact of the knowledge they produce, both transnationally and within
US academe and society.

Incidentally, I also facilitated a workshop for graduate students at Cornell, titled “Working Across Languages and Genres: Strategies for Magnifying the Impact of
BLURB: Even in culturally and linguistically diverse societies, myths and ideologies narrow down the
number of languages and genres of knowledge sharing often to just one. But, as society and
technology both advance, beyond the journal article, and beyond English-only venues lie a vast
world of knowledge that circulates in many languages and many genres. Graduate students,
whatever number of languages they speak, have access to that vast network, which needs and
rewards their knowledge, offering them the opportunity to grow while giving back to
society/world. How can you harness the power of all your languages? How can you overcome
the barriers of perceptions and policies? A scholar who researches and teaches research and
writing across disciplines and countries, Dr. Shyam Sharma will engage graduate students in
hands-on activities and share practical strategies, helping graduate students explore how they
can harness the full power of different languages, genres, and mediums of communication. This
workshop will help them develop diverse ways to multiply the impact of the scholarship they

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