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John Baugh (Washington University in St. Louis)

January 27, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

John Baugh Design Lab UCSD

*All Winter 2021 Design@Large talks will be hosted online. This aligns with UC San Diego policy that all events be hosted virtual during the Winter 2021 quarter.

De-sign by De-fault among linguistically disenfranchised populations

Linguistic myths and stereotypes are debunked by design in this presentation, with primary emphasis on the history of immigrant groups to the United States from non-English speaking backgrounds. The linguistic legacy of slavery is highlighted, along with accounts of efforts to diminish languages other than English, beginning with the displacement of Native American populations. These historical perspectives set the stage for examining instances of linguistic profiling, while affirming that
Black and Brown voices have been the object of discrimination in education, housing, employment, and the law. The presentation concludes with some pertinent policy implications, and a call for greater linguistic acceptance among diverse groups.

About the Speaker

John Baugh is the Margaret Bush Wilson Professor in Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. He attended Temple University as an undergraduate, majoring in Speech, Rhetoric, and Communication, and received his M.A. and Ph.D. in linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. He is best known for formulating the concept of linguistic profiling and has conducted research on that topic in the United States, Brazil, the Caribbean, England, France, and South Africa. That research was variously supported by The Ford Foundation, The National Science Foundation, The United States Department of State, The United States Department of Justice, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Most of his research is devoted to finding ways to use linguistic science to advance equality and to improve the human condition globally. His most recent book is titled, Linguistics in Pursuit of Justice. (Cambridge University Press, 2018). He is a past president of the American Dialect Society and president-elect of the Linguistic Society of America. He is a fellow of the Linguistic Society of America and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

About Design@Large

Design@Large is a speaker series that is hosted by The Design Lab at UCSD, where each quarter we examine a topic in society and the relevance and implications through the lens of human centered design.

Co-hosted by Elizabeth Eikey and Edward Wang and developed in partnership with Carrie Sawyer, Design@Large this quarter (and next) is focused on racism in the design of everyday things across a range of topics, such as artificial intelligence, linguistics, education, and more. Each topic area will help shed light on the historical context of racism and the consequences of “designing” without understanding racism’s deep roots, as well as provide examples of anti-racist and equitable approaches in practice. Too often we want to jump straight to action, but without building our capacity to understand racism (and other “isms”) and critically evaluating its impact, we perpetuate racism and inequality – even with the best intentions. Through an exciting lineup of speakers, this series begins to make connections between history and designing and aims to promote awareness around the lifelong practice of anti-racist work across a variety of interconnected domains.


January 27, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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