Crowley, Tony 1960-
Crowley, Tony 1960-
Born December 1, 1960, in Liverpool, England; son of Cornelius and Barbara Crowley. Education: Oxford University, B.A (honors), 1981, master's diploma, 1982, M.A., 1986, D.Phil., 1987.
Office—Scripps College, 1030 Columbia Ave., Claremont, CA 91711.
Educator, linguist, and writer. University of Southampton, Southampton, England, lecturer, 1984-93, senior lecturer, 1993-94; University of Manchester, Manchester, England, professor, beginning 1994, chair of department, 1996-98; Scripps College, Claremont, CA, Hartley Burr Alexander Chair in the Humanities, 2005—. Also reader at Oxford University Press, Oxford, England, 1994, 1996; reviewer at Oxford University, 1996-99.
Association of University Teachers, Association of University Professors.
Michael J. Durkan Prize for Books on Language and Culture, American Conference for Irish Studies, 2005, for Wars of Words: The Politics of Language in Ireland, 1537-2004.
Standard English and the Politics of Language, University of Illinois Press (Urbana, IL), 1989.
Proper English? Readings in Language, History, and Cultural Identity, Routledge (New York, NY), 1991.
Language in History: Theories and Texts, Routledge (New York, NY), 1996.
(Editor, with Lucy Burke and Alan Girvin) The Routledge Language and Cultural Theory Reader, Routledge (New York, NY), 2000.
(Compiler) The Politics of Language in Ireland, 1366-1922: A Sourcebook, Routledge (New York, NY), 2000.
Standard English and the Politics of Language, Palgrave Macmillan (New York, NY), 2003.
Wars of Words: The Politics of Language in Ireland, 1537-2004, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2005.
Tony Crowley is a linguist whose primary interests include language and cultural theory, English language and linguistics, history of the English language, Irish culture and writing, and the Irish author James Joyce. Crowley has written several books focusing on the English and Irish languages, especially as these languages relate to political and social issues.
In his book Language in History: Theories and Texts, the author examines how language has played a major role in building both cultural and social identity in Great Britain and Ireland. In doing so, the author focuses primarily on the writings of earlier linguists Ferdinand de Saussur and Mikhail Bakhtin, providing a radical reinterpretation in the process. In his analysis, the author uses four case studies to discuss topics such as how language was used to develop the influence of the bourgeois public in England in the eighteenth century and how it is used today for the articulation of national and political aspirations in Ireland.
Joe Carter, writing in the Modern Language Review, commented: "In his case studies Crowley deliberately sets to one side the abstract, structural approach in favour of a different relation to language: ‘the role of language in the making and unmaking of nations, of forms of social identity, of ways and patterns of ideological and cultural beliefs’. He understands language as a practice, not a faculty." Carter went on to note that the book is "rich in insights."
Crowley is also the editor, with Lucy Burke and Alan Girvin, of The Routledge Language and Cultural Theory Reader. The book provides an introduction to many of the most influential linguistic writings concerning language and its relationship to culture and cultural identity. Noting that "this is not the first reference volume of its kind," Symploke contributor Christian Moraru added: "But it is probably the most comprehensive and up-to-date anthology that brings together texts lodged at the crossroads of linguistics traditionally understood, culture, and politics."
In his 2005 book, Wars of Words: The Politics of Language in Ireland, 1537-2004, the author provides an in-depth look at the politics of language in Ireland during the colonial and postcolonial periods. Writing in the book's introduction, the author notes: "Several of the themes with which this text will be concerned are … proprietorship, sovereignty, cultural struggle, progress purity, racial identity, [and] authenticity." The author goes on to note that his history of language in Ireland is "highly complex," adding "and that is an important starting point because the history has suffered greatly in the past from simplification. The presentation of the complexities will challenge the simplicity of certain received versions of this history, and my argument is that this will be useful not just because the more complicated account is more accurate, but because the simplified versions are misleading and therefore dangerous."
The author's examination of language begins with the 1537 Act for English Order, Habit, and Language, and ends with the 2003 Official Languages Act of the Republic of Ireland. The five hundred-year history examines many of the dominant divisive and uniting issues of Ireland within the context of language as applied to concerns such as cultural identity, sovereignty, religion, purity, and ethnicity. Reexamining many of the writings during these centuries, from state papers and Irish revolutionary writings to dictionaries and poetry, the author presents a new view of the seminal role that language has played in Ireland's social and cultural history.
Noting that most earlier studies in this area "tended either to be published in the Irish language, frequently with a cultural nationalist bias, or to be philological in focus and all but impenetrable to non-specialists," Brian a Conchubhair, writing for H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online, added: "Tony Crowley's Wars of Words, written in clear lucid English and spanning five centuries, is, therefore, a landmark publication." Irish Literary Supplement contributor Philip O'Leary wrote: "Tony Crowley's Wars of Words and his earlier The Politics of Language in Ireland are seminal texts for our understanding of how that dichotomy [the use of the Irish vs. the English language] has evolved over the centuries. Furthermore, if he only touches on some of the complex linguistic challenges that now face Ireland north and south, he has at the very least raised profoundly important questions and provided a context in which they can be thought about and planned for in the hope that future wars over words will be far less bitter and prolonged."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Crowley, Tony, Wars of Words: The Politics of Language in Ireland, 1537-2004, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2005.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, October, 2003, E.L. Battistella, review of Standard English and the Politics of Language, p. 1072.
Contemporary Review, October, 2005, review of Wars of Words, p. 254.
Discourse & Society, May, 2001, Hilary Tovey, review of The Politics of Language in Ireland, 1366-1922: A Sourcebook, p. 405.
Eighteenth Century Life, November, 1996, Nicholas Hudson, review of Language in History: Theories and Texts, p. 81.
Irish Literary Supplement, spring, 2006, Philip O'Leary, "Another Treasure Trove," review of Wars of Words, p. 10.
Language & Communication, April, 1992, John E. Joseph, "The Politics of Discourse: The Standard Language Question in British Cultural Debates," p. 165.
Media, Culture & Society, July, 1992, Kay Richardson, review of Proper English? Readings in Language, History, and Cultural Identity, p. 487.
Modern Language Review, July, 1998, Joe Carter, review of Language in History, p. 767.
Modern Philology, November, 2007, Alok Yadav, review of Wars of Words, p. 412.
Symploke, winter-spring, 2000, Christian Moraru, review of The Routledge Language and Cultural Theory Reader.
Times Literary Supplement, April 21, 2006, Chris Morash, "Tongues, Orders and Eastern Habits," review of Wars of Words, p. 10.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online,http://h-net.org/ (April, 2007), Brian a Conchubhair, review of Wars of Words.
Scripps College Web site,http://www.scrippscollege.edu/ (August 15, 2008), faculty profile of author.