Sabrina Billings will be at Nightbird Books on Thursday evening, January 17th to celebrate the release of her book, Language, Globalization, and the Making of a Tanzanian Beauty Queen.
Through micro-analysis of language use, this book chronicles young women's pathways to becoming a Tanzanian beauty queen, offering an original perspective on the intersection of language with globalization, nationalism, and inequality in urban East Africa. This compelling linguistic ethnography considers the real-life effects, both on- and off- stage, of language policy, education, and gender dynamics for the women competing in the pageants. While highlighting many contestants' struggles for escape from poverty and patriarchy, the book also emphasizes their creative strategies - linguistic and otherwise - for bettering their lives and shows how people living in a global economic periphery take part in, and sometimes feel left out of, the wider world.
Sabrina is an Assistant Professor of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arkansas. Her research focuses on language, gender, education, globalization, and inequality.