Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 November 2022
This chapter explores Hughes’s investments in and invocation of foreign language teaching. It reads his 1925 Crisis poem, “To a Negro Jazz Band in a Parisian Cabaret,” as a spectacularly unsuccessful foreign language lesson that rejoices in the failure of language countability and acquisition. By casting doubt on the viability of language mastery, the poem opens a space for nonnormative, emergent, and playful communication that responds to and cultivates environments that defy neat national and linguistic arrangements. In so doing, it anticipates a model of language instruction that present-day theorists of English Composition have termed a translingual approach, a social justice model that privileges the language habits and contexts of people who have typically been ignored, if not denigrated, in composition classrooms. This chapter uses this model to think through how “Negro Jazz Band” defunds projects of elitist, multilingual proficiency and replaces them with emancipatory, translingual play.
To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.
To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.
To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.