Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2019


University of Cincinnati


Scholars in rhetoric and composition have questioned to what extent the field can be decolonial because of the gatekeeping role that writing plays in the university. This article examines the decolonial potential of implementing multilingual practices in first-year composition (fyc), enacting what Walter Mignolo calls “epistemic disobedience” by complicating the primacy of English as the language of knowledge-building. I describe a Spanish-English “bilingual” fyc course offered at a private university with a Jesuit Catholic heritage. The course is characterized by a translanguaging approach in which Spanish is presented as a valid language for academic writing. The students’ writing highlights the enduring influence of colonialism in the form of monolingual ideology within the linguistically diverse geographical context of Silicon Valley, where the potential of decolonial practices are tempered by the economic power of the tech industry and its hiring practices, which have resulted in a low number of employed women and minorities in comparison to both national employment levels and diversity within the region.


Reprinted with permission.



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