Offered in Session A: May 23 – July 1
Language is a complex and uniquely human form of communication and expression. It is both a means for conveying thoughts and emotions, as well an integral part of our identities. All humans are able to acquire language, but how we use and perceive it may vary depending on our experiences in the world. This course introduces students to the study of Raciolinguistics as both a theoretical framework and architecture for practice. Through readings, reflections, hands-on work, discussions, and projects, students will learn about raciolinguistics ideologies and use raciolinguistic theory to dismantle discriminatory barriers that ignore language as social phenomenon. We will ask and attempt to answer questions like: What is a language? How is it possible for us to use language? How do you describe a language? How and why do languages change? What is an accent? How do beliefs about language affect us? How is language used to discriminate against certain groups? And what does any of this have to do with linguistic analysis? At the end of the course, students will be able to metalinguistically analyze communication and contemplate the power of language in our everyday lives.