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Language and the Continental Congress: Language Policy Issues in the Founding Documents of the United States from 1774 to 1789
Published February 1, 2021

Although neither the first nor the second constitution of the United States contains any references to the role of languages in the process of nation-building, a few language-related issues emerged from time to time during the early congressional debates and deliberations. These sporadic instances mostly framed the English language as a “prag...matic instrument” rather than a “national ideological symbol.” Consequently, no serious attempts were made either to officially adopt it as the majority language or to enhance its societal role and capacity in identity formation by legislative fiat. The apocryphal accounts of disestablishing English and installing, for example, French, German, or Latin as the de jure official language after the American Revolution probably belong to the realm of language policy myths. Drawing on key legislative documents during the critical years of the founding of the United States and employing language policy classification schemes based on the works of Anderson, Wiley, and Ruiz, the essay proposes a comprehensive overview of how, when, and in what contexts language-related references appeared. (SCz)

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Policing the Boundaries: The “Mission Street Station Scene” in Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)
Published January 4, 2021

The essay focuses on the “Mission Street Station” episode in Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968). The episode revolves around two central problems: the human/android divide and fake realities. The first part of the paper concentrates on theories of classification and analyses the problems of the Voigt-Kam...pff test understood as a classificatory apparatus. The second part focuses on the Mission Scene as a fake reality and identifies a potentially problematic race-focused reading. Dick, a prolific essayist and public speaker, expressed his preoccupation with questions that constitute the conceptual core of the scene on several occasions. Therefore, the essay also relies on the author’s nonfiction to discover and establish the importance of the oft-neglected Mission Scene in the novel’s critical reception. (DP)

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