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ERIC Number: EJ882081
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
ISSN: ISSN-0143-4632
The Politics of Writing Tribal Identities in the Sudan: The Case of the Colonial Nuba Policy
Abdelhay, Ashraf Kamal
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, v31 n2 p201-213 Mar 2010
Linguistics is implicated in the colonial project of the invention of "self-contained" "racial" and "tribal units" in the Sudan. This paper has two objectives. First, to historicise the notions of "language" in the postcolonial discourse of language planning in the Sudan by reviewing one of the significant colonial policies: the colonial Nuba Policy. The analysis shows that the colonial Nuba Policy intended to build up artificial racial tribal Nuba identities in the Nuba Mountains. Language and literacy were instrumental in the accomplishment of this inventionist project. The second objective is to argue that both colonial and postcolonial state-oriented language policy discourses in the Sudan have strategically mobilised the traditional sociolinguistic essentialising framing of language and literacy as a proxy for resisting or imposing nationalist ideologies. Within a social context as riddled with tensions and contradictions as the Sudan, the selection of a graphic representation of language is a mode of political action. Hence, literacy is inherently an ideological practice. The analysis points to the conclusion that there is intertextuality between colonial and postcolonial language policies where discursive resources are manipulated as sites of social struggle over the distribution of material resources in the Sudan. This renders "socially situated" views of language problematic as an epistemic foundation for non-essentialising linguistics. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sudan