Language x Power x Activism - The Last MasterClass of Jan Blommaert

The Editors

The last masterclass of Jan Blommaert will go live tonight at 8pm (Dutch Time). In Language x Power x Activism, Jan Blommaert talks on last time about racism, Africa, decolonization, inequality, his academic career and his role as public intellectual. A must-see for all academics and activists interested in the role of language in society. 

You can watch the documentary here on Diggit, on Facebook and on YouTube.

About this master class on Language x Power x Activism with Jan Blommaert?

When Jan Blommaert announced his diagnosis of terminal cancer, his friends and colleagues decided to do something. This something takes the form of an online masterclass about language and inequality seen through the lens of the life and work of Jan Blommaert.

This project is an initiative of Ico Maly (University of Tilburg / Diggit), a former student and close colleague of Jan Blommaert, movie maker Pieter De Vos (Docwerkers), Epo Publishing and Victoria Deluxe.

In August 2020, Jan and Ico spent two full days in a studio to talk for hours, surrounded by a battery of cameras.

These cameras show Jan in all his splendor as he discusses far right discourse in Flanders, Black Lives Matter and the decolonization of academia. Jan and Ico talked about language as a societal architecture and the responsibilities of public intellectuals. They discussed the development of an academic industrial culture and the terror of academic publishing.

In these talks, Jan stresses the importance of giving, shaping and inspiring people, and the importance of using scientific insights in social struggles.

Who is Jan Blommaert?

For the people who do not know Jan Blommaert. Jan Blommaert was a Belgian sociolinguist and linguistic anthropologist, Professor of Language, Culture and Globalization and Director of the Babylon Center at Tilburg University, the Netherlands. He was considered to be one of the world's most prominent sociolinguists and linguistic anthropologists, who had contributed substantially to sociolinguistic globalization theory that focuses on historical as well as contemporary patterns of the spread of languages and forms of literacy, and on lasting and new forms of inequality emerging from globalization processes. He was one of the editors and founders of Diggit Magazine (you can find all his diggit articles here).  

Jan was a strong 'open access' advocate and used social media, user generated platforms and diggit magazine to make his academic work available for the whole world. That is also the reason why Docwerkers, Diggit Magazine, EPO and Victoria Deluxe have decided to make his work freely available for all on YouTube. If you want to read more on his vision on academic publishing, you can click on this link. 

Language x Power x Activism