Exploring ‘Teaching English While Black’ in Japan: Black YouTubers as Cultural Brokers in the Digital Diaspora (79456)

Session Information: Culture in Language Education
Session Chair: Gregory Paul Glasgow

Sunday, 26 May 2024 16:05
Session: Session 4
Room: Room 704
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Digital discourse and community-building have significantly shaped how global citizens share and exchange ideas. This is particularly true for an increasing number of individuals of African descent exploring opportunities to travel, live, and work abroad. However, many remain wary about how ideologies of historical racialization might affect their future travel and employment experiences, especially in the context of English Language Teaching (ELT), in which the concept of native-speakerism (Holliday, 2006; Houghton & Rivers, 2013) suggests a preference for English teachers with a certain appearance and accent. Despite such potential challenges, many still pursue these opportunities. This presentation examines the crucial role of Black YouTubers who share their experiences of 'teaching while Black' in Japan, acting as 'cultural brokers' to their digital diasporic audiences in Web 2.0 spaces. Utilizing Black social theories like W. E. B. Du Bois’ notion of double consciousness (Du Bois, 1903), and Shelby Steele’s concept of the 'anti-self' (Steele, 1990), I explore how these YouTubers act as intermediaries. They offer candid and multi-layered insights into life as a Black person in Japan and Asia, aiding their audience in navigating their own subjectivities. I conclude that the liminal spaces fostered by digital discourse facilitate increased cultural engagement, particularly among continental and diasporic Africans considering ELT in Asia as a potential work and travel destination.

Gregory Paul Glasgow, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Gregory Paul Glasgow is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at Kanda University of International Studies in Japan

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00