Janina Brutt-Griffler

Janina Brutt-Griffler
Affiliated Faculty, Linguistics
Office: 432 Baird Hall
Telephone: (716) 645-0664
Email: bruttg@buffalo.edu


Janina Brutt-Griffler, born in Lublin, Poland, studied Slavic Languages and Literatures and English at the Ohio State University. She continued her study of language and culture at the doctoral level, receiving her Ph.D. from the same university. Dr Brutt-Griffler’s research program continues to focus on the understanding of language use in society, specifically the exploration of multilingualism, contemporary dialogue on heritage languages, and language maintenance. Her influential first book, World English: A Study of its Development, revised our understanding of how English came to its globally dominant position today, and drew out the implications of its rapid spread for languages and cultures like Polish. The book was honored by the Modern Language Association of America in 2004 with its Kenneth W. Mildenberger Award for the outstanding book in the field of language, culture and literature. Her most recent volume English and Ethnicity (2006) offers a scholarly exploration of the complex interaction between the English language and the (de) construction of ethnicity/identity in other languages. Centered in (socio) linguistics, the volume demonstrates that the constructs of both English and ethnicity are contested sites of identity formation in the English-speaking world. It illustrates that while for some English use indexes ethnicity, for others its usage involves equally significant processes of de-ethnicization. The volume draws implications for sociolinguistic theory and constructing diaspora identity in multicultural communities.

Dr Brutt-Griffler has been on the faculty of a number of research universities in the US and United Kingdom. She came to SUNY Buffalo from the University of York, England, as founding director of the graduate program in applied linguistics. As Director of Polish Studies, she has focused program’s mission toward a broad approach to the discipline that situates Polishness in its historical contexts of cosmopolitanism, transnationalism and diaspora, as reflected in the rich history of the Polish community in Buffalo.

Dr Brutt-Griffler serves on the Modern Language Association’s executive committee for General Linguistics and English Today.


Kenneth W. Mildenberger Award for the Outstanding Research Publication in the field of language, culture and literature, Modern Language Association, 2004.



Brutt-Griffler, J. (2002). World English: A study of its development. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters Press.

Brutt-Griffler, J. & Varghese, M. (Eds.). (2004). Bilingualism and language pedagogy. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters Press.

Brutt-Griffler, J. & Davies, C. (Eds.). (2006). English and Ethnicity. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.

Selected recent articles

Brutt-Griffler, J. (in press). Intellectual culture and cultural imperialism: Implications of the growing dominance of English in academia. In C. Gnutzmann (Ed.), English in Academia: Catalyst or Barrier? Tubingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.

Makoni, S., Brutt-Griffler, J. & Mashiri, P. (2007). The use of “indigenous” and urban vernaculars in Zimbabwe. Language in Society 36(1). 25-49.

Brutt-Griffler, J. Collins, J. (2007). English as a multilingual subject: Theoretical and research perspectives. In V. Ellis, C. Fox & B. Street (Eds.), Rethinking English in Schools. London: Continuum Books.

Brutt-Griffler, J. (2006). Language and Globalisation: Myths and Realities. In F. Königs and E. Zöfgen. Fremdsprachen Lehren und Lernen: Sprachdidaktik interkulturell. FLUL 35, pp. 166-182. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter

Brutt-Griffler, J. (2006). Language endangerment and world English: Theoretical perspectives. In M. Putz, J. Fishman, & JoAnne Neff-van Aertselaer (Eds.), ‘Along the routes to power’: Explorations of empowerment through language (pp. 35-55). Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Brutt-Griffler, J. (2006). Race and ethnicity in the English speaking world. In J. Brutt-Griffler & C. Davies (Eds.), English and Ethnicity, pp. 277-300. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.

Brutt-Griffler, J. & Makoni, S. (2006). The uses of ‘heritage language.’ An African perspective. The Modern Language Journal, Vol 89, 609-612.

Brutt-Griffler, J. (2005). Globalisation and applied linguistics: Postimperial questions of identity and the construction of applied linguistics discourse. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 15, 113-15.

Brutt-Griffler, J. (2005). “Who do you think you are, where do you think you are?: Language policy and the political economy of English in South Africa. In C. Gnutzmann & F. Intemann (Eds.), The globalisation of English and the English language Classroom (pp. 25-37). Tübingen: Narr.

Brutt-Griffler, J. (2005) World language, international language, and languages of wider communication. The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2nd ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Science.

Conference Presentations


Brutt-Griffler, J. (2007). English as a lingua franca in Europe. Invited Colloquium. The International Pragmatics Association, Goteborg, Sweden.

Brutt-Griffler, J. (2006). Intellectual culture and cultural imperialism: implications of the growing dominance of English in academia. Keynote address at Technische Universitat Braunschweig, Germany.

Brutt-Griffler, J. (2006). Conceptualizing bilingual literacy and researching writers’ bilingual competence. Conference on ‘Why English?’Oxford University, England.

Brutt-Griffler, J. (2005). The sociolinguistics of contemporary English. Paper presented at the Modern Language Association conference, Washington, D.C.

Brutt-Griffler, J. (2005). Language, culture, identity and the native speaker. Colloquium, British Association for Applied Linguistics conference, Bristol, UK.

Brutt-Griffler, J. (2005). Language endangerment, English, and urban vernaculars. Paper presented at the Department of English, University of York, England.

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