In this episode, Derek, Johanna, and Nathan speak with Kelly E. Wright about linguistic racialization in the world of sport and sports media. Kelly E. Wright is a Ph.D Candidate in Linguistics at the University of Michigan, where she studies Sociophonetics, Neurolinguistics, and Historical Sociolinguistcs, focusing on the link between Linguistic Production and Perception. Her work on linguistic racialization and sport, including an algorithm that predicts an athlete’s race based on the words written about them, has appeared in The Undefeated and been discussed in Deadspin.
This is a fascinating conversation about the psycho-social and political dynamics of language and how they play out in discourse around sport. Kelly Wright offers both an accessible introduction to a complex field of study and a sophisticated and interdisciplinary account of how language contributes to the production of race but also can be used as an instrument of anti-racist resistance. Kelly also talks us through the horrendous backlash she received to her popular intervention in The Undefeated and makes a note-perfect case against the vicious exploitation of graduate, contingent, and athletic labor on campuses.
You can find Kelly's article in The Undefeated here
. You can find a discussion of her work in Deadspin here
. You can find Kelly on Twitter @raciolinguistic