Posthumanist applied linguistics

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Journal Article
Applied Linguistics, 2018, 39 (4), pp. 445 - 461
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Oxford University Press 2016 Posthumanism urges us to reconsider what it means to be human. From proclamations about the death of ‘Man’ to investigations into enhanced forms of being, from the advent of the Anthropocene (human-induced planetary change) to new forms of materialism and distributed cognition, posthumanism raises significant questions for applied linguistics in terms of our understandings of language, humans, objects, and agency. After reviewing the broad field of posthumanist thought, this paper investigates—through an overview of a series of recent research projects—the notion of repertoire, to show how this can be better understood by stepping out of the humanist constructs of the individual and the community and looking instead at the notion of distributed language and spatial repertoires. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of posthumanism for applied linguistics, in particular the ways we understand language in relation to people, objects, and place.
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