In this paper, I reflect on institutional speech acts: those that make claims “about” or “on behalf’ of an institution. Such speech acts involve acts of naming: the institution is named, and in being “given” a name, the institution is also “given” attributes, qualities, and even a character. By “speech acts” I include not just spoken words but writing and visual images—all the materials that give an institution interiority, as if it has a face, as well as feelings, thoughts, or judgments. They might say, for example, “the university regrets,” or just simply, “we regret.” More specifically, in this paper, I examine documents that are authorized by institutions (such as race-equality policies, which are often signed by, say, the vice-chancellor on behalf of an institution), make claims about the institution (for instance, by describing the institution as having certain qualities, such as being diverse),...

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