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BBC Interviews College Writing Lecturer and Students

Berkeley BBC Interview Participants
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Carmen Acevedo Butcher
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On Friday, April 6, BBC Broadcaster Robin Lustig and Producer Mohini Patel interviewed College Writing Programs lecturer Carmen Acevedo Butcher and several first-year students from her CW R4B course, “The Meme and the Human: Digital Literacies,” as part of fieldwork for the upcoming BBC World Service “Future of English” four-part radio series. Students interviewed were Zachary Golan-Strieb, Computer Science, from San Mateo, California; Emerson Hsieh, Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences, from Vancouver, BC, Canada; Vanessa Kayombya, Business Administration, from Nairobi in Kenya and Kigali in Rwanda; and Esther Smith, Political Science, from Castro Valley, California. In the 1.5 hour interview in Wheeler Hall, Butcher and her students explored the influence on English of social media discourse communities, internet memes, the UC Berkeley Memes for Edgy Teens (UCBMFET) Facebook page, participatory culture, hypermemetic logic, and network individualism. While at Berkeley, the BBC was also looking at issues around conversational AI, voice recognition, Natural Language Processing, and translation tools and digital English, among others. They have been interviewing all over the world for the series, from Kampala to cities in India to Shanghai and elsewhere, looking at diverse uses of English, the emergence and thriving of different Englishes, metrolingualism, English as a lingua franca, new trends in vocabulary, dynamics of code switching, changes in the expression of gender in English, the relevance of British English, and other matters. “The Future of English” BBC radio series will broadcast one a week starting May 24, 2018.