A1 Journal article (refereed)
Imperial straightening devices in disciplinary choices of academic knowledge production (2021)

Cushing-Leubner, J., Engman, M. M., Ennser-Kananen, J., & Pettitt, N. (2021). Imperial straightening devices in disciplinary choices of academic knowledge production. Language, Culture and Society, 3(2), 201-230. https://doi.org/10.1075/lcs.21001.cus

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsCushing-Leubner, Jenna; Engman, Mel M.; Ennser-Kananen, Johanna; Pettitt, Nicole

Journal or seriesLanguage, Culture and Society



Publication year2021

Publication date05/11/2021


Issue number2

Pages range201-230

PublisherJohn Benjamins

Publication countryNetherlands

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open access

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/79751


In this piece, the authors question whether critical language research, in its complex collection of researcher choices, is possible beyond the discursive imaginary of critical academic scholarship. In other words, how do (allegedly) anticolonial efforts re-orient towards contribution to the imperial record? We present three vignettes, through which we grapple with the notion that researcher choice exists within the solipsism of academia. In doing so, we frame research and scholarship as a collection of choices, which we believe are better understood as a collection of fraught dilemmas. These dilemmas recognize that all academic scholarship production and its processes are birthed from, and serve, an epistemology of hierarchical social configurations, which serve empire maintenance and expansion. As critical language scholars who bring overlapping and distinct sociopolitical, geographic, and methodological positionalities, these autoethnographic narrative vignettes allow us to begin to see the landscape of researcher choice in the processes and projects of accumulating knowledge production. We identify imperial straightening devices for legitimization into the imperial archive and examine how they work to orient and re-orient critical language scholars towards the ideological and material production of the imperial archive.

Keywordsscience publishingknowledge productionlegitimacypower structurescultural imperialismdecolonisationcritical theoryautoethnography

Free keywordsimperial archive; knowledge production; empire; critical language studies; straightening devices

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2021

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-22-04 at 21:59