Jaffer Sheyholislami (Kurdish: Jefer Shéxolíslamí, جعفر شێخ الیسلامی) was born in 1960 in the city of Mahabad in Mukriyan Province. Currently (2009) he is Assistant Professor at the School of Linguistics and Language Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. He teaches courses in the areas of applied linguistics and discourse analysis on a variety of topics such as language and power/ideology, sociology of language, research and practice in academic writing, and language and media.
He earned his PhD in Communication at Carleton in 2008. His dissertation (Identity, Discourse and the Media: The Case of the Kurds) investigated the ways Kurds have used the Internet and satellite television to construct and reproduce a collective national identity. His main research interests lie with a critical understanding of language and other semiosis in social life. Currently, with Co-editors Dr. Amir Hassanpour and Dr. Tove Skutnabb-kangas, he is preparing an edited volume on Kurdish language with a focus on the social, political and legal aspects of the language and how these are intertwined with education and identity in Kurdistan. His other areas of research have included: critical discourse analysis of the representation of Kurds in the US and Canada (book chapter published), Iranian ethnic media and citizenship in Canada, the semiotic construction of Canadian national identity, the dialogic nature of blogging in educational settings, and the place of blogging in the construction of Kurdish imagined communities.
Articles in refereed journals
2011. A bilingual corpus-assisted discourse study of the construction of nationhood and belonging in Quebec. Discourse & Society, 22, 1-27. With Rachelle Freak and Guillaume Gentil.
2010. Identity, language, and new media: The Kurdish case. Language Policy, 9(4), 289-312.
Chapters in edited books (peer-reviewed)
Forthcoming. Linguistic Minorities on the Internet. In Kirk St.Amant & Kelsey Sigrid (Eds.), Computer-Mediated Communication across Cultures: International Interactions in Online Environments. IGI Global publication.
Chapters in edited books
2007. Yesterday’s “Separatists” are Today’s “Resistance Fighters”: Mainstream Media as Agents of Hegemony. In J. Bernardo, G. López & P. Sancho (Eds.), Análisis crítico del discurso de los medios de comunicación de masas [Critical discourse analysis of the mass media of communication]. Valencia: Universitat de València.
2010. Facilitating Dialogic Learning: Class Blogs on WebCT. Proceedings of EDULEARN10 (International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies), 5th-7th July 2010, Barcelona, Spain. CD version. 2010. ISBN:978-84-613-9386-2.
Book review in scholarly journals
2009. Minority Language Media: Concepts, Critiques and Case Studies. [Review of the book with the same title, edited by Mike Cormack and Niamh Hourigan (2007). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.]. Canadian Journal of Communication, 34(4), 757-759.
Papers Presented to learned societies and/or international conferences
2010 May 29-31. “Re-Semiotized Media Discourse: The Case of ‘I’m Canadian’”. The Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing. Congress 2010. Montreal, QC.
2010 March 26-27. “Language Selection in Kurdistan …” Invited talk presented at the Trace Foundation’s Lecture Series, New York, NY.
2009 November 20-23. “Language and Nation-building in Kurdistan-Iraq.” Middle Eastern Studies Association Conference. Boston, MA, USA.
2009 September 3-6. “Kurdish and New Media: Legitimating and Maintaining a Minority Language Digitally.” International Conference. Language in the (New) Media: Technologies and Ideologies. Seattle, WA, USA. http://www.com.washington.edu/LIM
2009 May 24-26. “Blogging and the Construction of a Learning Community in Class.” Paper presented at the Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing conference. Congress 2009. Ottawa, On. Canada. http://cattw-acprts.mcgill.ca/en/past_conference.htm
2009 May 27-29. (with Dr. Devon Woods). “Accounting for the Social Construction of Motivation in the Language Classroom: The Role of Teacher Conceptions.” Paper presented at the Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics conference. Congress 2009. Ottawa, On. Canada. http://www.aclacaal.org
2009 April 2-3. “Kurdish Identities, Discursive Constructions, and the New Media”. Paper presented at the international conference The Kurds and Kurdistan: History, Politics & Culture’, Centre for Kurdish Studies, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.
2008 July 10-12. “Discursive Construction of National Identities as Mediated by Digital Media: The Case of the Kurds.” Paper presented at the Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines (CADAAD) 2008. University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK.
2008 June 4-6. “’I write to untangle my yarn of thoughts’: Blogging as an art of writing the self and imagining communities.” Paper presented at the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Canadian Communication Association, Vancouver, B.C.