Decoloniality and global multilingualism: Whose multi? Whose global? Whose language? Whose citizenship?

Jaffe (1999), Bauman and Brigs (2003), Joseph (2007), Makoni and Pennycook (2007), Menezes de Souza (2007) all define language as a political construct. Mamdani (2020) refers to decolonization as a creative epistemological process that focusses on the political, undoing the supposedly organic link between state and nation. Grosfoguel (2011) and Maldonado-Torres (2017) emphasize language as inseparable from the epistemological, ontological, bodily effects of colonization. This talk, speaking from a locus in the “global south”, looks at how concepts of language, mother tongue and multilingualism are imbricated in these political onto-epistemological processes which can impede or promote multilingualism.