Language and Identity - Tokyo College

Language and Identity

The nature of interaction between language and identity is a central topic in today’s academic discourse in numerous fields, including linguistics, psychology, education, media, and political science. The complexity and urgency of the topic has resulted in a number of approaches and methodologies aimed at the detection and investigation of features of identity, ranging from approaches informed by sociolinguistics and anthropology to those rooted in developmental and social psychology. Today, while simultaneously exploring the particularities of mechanisms of identity expression in and through language, linguistics identity research also informs approaches to multicultural education, language policy, and language in the workplace.

In this project, we focus on building common ground between various approaches to identity and language, forming a cross-disciplinary view on such fundamental issues as levels of identity (personal, relational, or collective), identity stability and fluidity, the broader nature of identity (discovered or constructed), and identity and language in the context of digitization and globalization.


Language and Identity Series Session 1: “Identity and ‘Kyara'”
Language and Identity Series Session 2: “Gendered First-person Pronouns in Japanese: Ideologies and Innovations”
Language and Identity Series Session 3: “Script choices as a means of indexing identities in Late Edo Japan”
Language and Identity Series Session 4: “Translingual Words: Is Sushi a Japanese Word or an English Word?”
Language and Identity Series Session 5: “Recent Policy Reforms in English Language Education: Towards a New Generation of Bilingual and Multicultural Japanese?”
Language and Identity Series Session 6: “Queer Excess: Language labour and re(creating) ‘authentic’ queerqueen talk in the taidan (conversational dialogue) format”
Language and Identity Series Session 7: “Screams of Slaughter, Superstition, and Samurai: Exploring Language, Identity, and Premodern Japan in Japanese Extreme Metal”
Language and Identity Series Session 8: “Language and Identity in Japan: Past, Present and Future”
Language and Identity Workshop Series: “Becoming White: The “Japanese” Language in the Modern Global Order”
Transpositioning: A New Take on Translanguaging and Identities (ft. Prof. LI Wei)
Language and Identity Workshop I: Theory and Methods of Linguistic Identity
Exploring the Changing Perceptions of Masculinity in Asia and Beyond through the Lens of Sociolinguistics (ft. Dr. HIRAMOTO Mie)
Language and Identity Workshop II. Language in Media: Representation and Consumption
Japan’s Language Policy and Assumptions about Learner Identities: Promotion of English Language Teaching for Japanese and Japanese Language Teaching for Foreigners (ft. Dr Kayoko Hashimoto)
Language and Identity Workshop III. Language and Identity in the Classroom: Policy and Education
Foreign Elements: Identity and Hybridity in Japanese Writing Practices (Lecture by Prof. Peter BACKHAUS)
Language and Identity Workshop IV. Language in Public Space: Identity and the Urban Environment
Language and Healthcare Work: Focusing on Trade, Migration, and Policy Discourse (Lecture by Dr. OTOMO Ruriko)
The Relation Between Language, Culture, and Thought (Lecture by Prof. IMAI Mutsumi)
Language and Identity Workshop VI. Language, Identity, and the Mind