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Linguistics Colloquium | Critical Race Theory in Written Media: A Lexical Analysis, March 3

The Linguistics Colloquium series presents Dr. Laura Harrison and Gabriela Castañeda-Gleason discussing “Critical Race Theory in Written Media: A Lexical Analysis” on Friday, March 3, from 12:55 to 1:50 p.m. in-person in Gordy 211 and via Microsoft Teams.


Harrison is Professor of Higher Education in the Patton College of Education, Ohio University. Castañeda-Gleason is Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Department of Linguistics, Ohio University


For more information, contact Dr. David Bell, Chair of Linguistics at Ohio University, at belld@ohio.edu.


Abstract: Critical Race Theory (CRT) has become a lightning rod in recent years, stimulating heated opposition that has led to proposed bans in more than half the states in the United States (US). To better understand CRT opponents’ arguments and motivations, we used a lexical approach with a data-driven corpus-based analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to analyze the language employed to promote legislation that censors the teaching of CRT in educational settings.  By analyzing the most frequently used lexical items (words) in 60 articles about CRT, we found themes indicating language high in emotion and low in precision. Our findings support previous scholarship demonstrating the volatile and unclear dimensions of much of the national discussion about CRT. We situate our findings in the existing literature and discuss the implications for future debate, education, and advocacy about CRT’s role in education.  

Event Details

  • Laura Harrison

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Contact Dr. David Bell, Chair of Linguistics at Ohio University, belld@ohio.edu.

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