Untying the Mother Tongue

Ed. by Antonio Castore
Federico Dal Bo
Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2023
ISBN 978-3-96558-048-0 | Hardcover | 30 EUR | vi, 252 pp. | 22.9 cm x 15.2 cm
ISBN 978-3-96558-049-7 | Paperback | 15 EUR | vi, 252 pp. | 22.9 cm x 15.2 cm
ISBN 978-3-96558-050-3 | PDF | Open Access | 1.8 MB
ISBN 978-3-96558-051-0 | EPUB | Open Access | 772 KB
Untying the Mother Tongue explores what it might mean today to speak of someone's attachment to a particular, primary language. Traditional conceptions of mother tongue are often seen as an expression of the ideology of a European nation-state. Yet, current celebrations of multilingualism reflect the recent demands of global capitalism, raising other challenges. The contributions from international scholars on literature, philosophy, and culture, analyze and problematize the concept of ‘mother tongue’, rethinking affective and cognitive attachments to language while deconstructing its metaphysical, capitalist, and colonialist presuppositions.
Antonio Castore studied at the University of Turin, earning an MA in Modern Literatures (2001) and a PhD in Comparative Literature (2006). He lectures on Italian poetry and translation studies.
Federico Dal Bo holds a PhD in Translation Studies from the University of Bologna (2005), as well as a PhD in Jewish Studies from the Free University of Berlin (2009). He is Assistant Professor of Hebrew at the University of Modena-Reggio Emilia.

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Untying the Mother Tongue
Antonio Castore
Federico Dal Bo
Antonio Castore studied at the University of Turin, earning an MA in Modern Literatures (2001) and a PhD in Comparative Literature (2006). He lectures on Italian poetry and translation studies.
Federico Dal Bo holds a PhD in Translation Studies from the University of Bologna (2005), as well as a PhD in Jewish Studies from the Free University of Berlin (2009). He is Assistant Professor of Hebrew at the University of Modena-Reggio Emilia.
Untying the Mother Tongue explores what it might mean today to speak of someone's attachment to a particular, primary language. Traditional conceptions of mother tongue are often seen as an expression of the ideology of a European nation-state. Yet, current celebrations of multilingualism reflect the recent demands of global capitalism, raising other challenges. The contributions from international scholars on literature, philosophy, and culture, analyze and problematize the concept of ‘mother tongue’, rethinking affective and cognitive attachments to language while deconstructing its metaphysical, capitalist, and colonialist presuppositions.
Is Part Of
ICI Berlin Press
4 September 2023
Number in Series
mother tongue
language acquisition
literary criticism
Jacques Derrida
© by the author(s)
Except for images or otherwise noted, this publication is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
number of pages
vi, 252
Table Of Contents
But You Don’t Get Used to Anything: Derrida on the Preciousness of the Singular | DEBORAH ACHTENBERG | 11-24
Philosophy’s Mother Envy: Has There Yet Been a Deconstruction of the Mother Tongue? | MICHAEL ENG | 25-43
‘My Mother Tongue Is a Foreign Language’: On Edmond Jabès’s Writing in Exile | FEDERICO DAL BO | 45-83
The Mother Tongue at School | JAKOB NORBERG | 85-103
Scarspeak: Thinking the Mother Tongue as a Formative Mark | JULIANE PRADE-WEISS | 105-126
The Shuffling of Feet on the Pavement: Virginia Woolf on Un-Learning the Mother Tongue | TERESA PRUDENTE | 127-153
‘I know you can cant’: Slips of the Mother Tongue in Fred Moten’s B Jenkins | JEFFREY CHAMPLIN | 155-163
The Mother Tongue of Love and Loss: Albert Cohen’s Le Livre de ma mère | CAROLINE SAUTER | 165-179
The Staircase Wit: or, The Poetic Idiomaticity of Herta Müller’s Prose | ANTONIO CASTORE | 181-210
Wandering Words: Translation against the Myth of Origin in Fritz Mauthner’s Philosophy | LIBERA PISANO | 211-227
Notes on the Contributors
has manifestation
ISBN 978-3-96558-048-0 | Hardcover | 30 EUR | vi, 252 pp. | 22.9 cm x 15.2 cm
ISBN 978-3-96558-049-7 | Paperback | 15 EUR | vi, 252 pp. | 22.9 cm x 15.2 cm
ISBN 978-3-96558-050-3 | PDF | Open Access | 1.8 MB
ISBN 978-3-96558-051-0 | EPUB | Open Access | 772 KB
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