Language, Gender and Sexuality in a Global Materiality Perspective – Københavns Universitet

In studying the connections between language and social life, traditional variationist sociolinguistics has largely taken categories such as gender, class, and race as separate and universal, leaving the complex impact of their interrelations and cross-influences out of the picture. More recently, these interrelations have been addressed in sociolinguistics, and this network aims at contributing to this discussion and promises to push it towards new directions. It will do so by zooming in on language, gender and sexuality in connection to the issues of race and class. By addressing the intersectional life of social categories, we also want to contribute to current theoretical discussions around language and materiality. Whereas theorizations of language have typically drawn a clear distinction between the linguistic and the material, there has been a recent sociolinguistic plea for an analytical approach that captures materiality and language simultaneously. Here ‘materiality’ covers both issues of embodiment, and economic flows and structures. By linking scholars from Brazil, South Africa and Denmark, we wish to bring into dialogue three widely varied national contexts in which issues of sexuality, class, and race have taken very different linguistic and material shapes. By discussing these three issues against the backdrop of such diverse sociocultural contexts the collaboration presents a remarkable chance for adding globally nuanced and large-scale insights to a field, which is currently characterized by smaller case studies within national foci.