We realize the assumption that all pieces submitted and posted to EHN must be in English. We want to make it clear that’s not the case, and like to feature content in multiple languages.
Recently, Jessica J. Lee, founder of The Willowherb Review, wrote the following: “We don’t italicise non-English words (a sure-fire way to mark them as ‘foreign’) and don’t insist that writers translate them. After all, more than half the global population is bilingual or multilingual, accustomed to acts of translation. We edit with the belief that our readers – be they white, Black, Asian, straight, working class or not – can find merit in writers’ experiences without having every detail explained to an assumed white audience.”
This struck a chord with our founder, especially since she has been thinking about the question of language for EHN for quite some time now. Thought is formed by language. Language often shapes, and is part of, one’s identity. That’s certainly true for her, being raised bilingually.
Since the use of italics indeed indicates otherness or estrangement in English, we have stopped doing this. If there are certain key concepts important to a contributor’s work that do not have a direct English equivalent, let’s keep the term. It’s a small yet significant thing.
The dominance of English in academia is here to stay. But we can push back a little—and that’s where you come in.
The EHN community is made up of contributors whose primary language is Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Dutch, German, French, Mandarin, Hungarian, just to name a few. We want to showcase the work and expertise in these languages as well!
We are seeking contributors interested in sharing a piece in a language other than English. It can cover any topic related to both research and personal experience, across any time or geographical space. Our goal is to showcase the diverse and complex experiences that people have with their environments, and normalize academic and public scholarship in many languages.
For a written post, you can decide for yourself whether you’d like to include a full translation or just an abstract in English. If you like to submit a piece in a signed language, you can choose to include either a full translation or an abstract in English.
The only challenge is that we are limited in our editing abilities by the languages of the EHN team (including French, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch). If there’s interest in posting pieces in other languages, we’ll be seeking fluent editors who want to assist with that process.
Contributors will be considered who fit within the website’s larger goal of showcasing the environmental-related work and expertise of graduate students and early career scholars who identify as women, trans and non binary people.
For ideas, proposals, or questions, please reach out to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Cover image: iStock.
[Cover image description: Colorful speech bubbles with the hello-word in different languages.]