In this course we examine how language use is tied to the politics of identity, and how relationships between individuals and groups are sometimes negotiated through choice of words. We will discuss the role of language not only in the expression but also the reproduction of class, gender and racial relations, and consider both the language of politics and the politics of language, especially some of the current debates around the role and status of English in the world. We explore “language ideologies” that underlie people’s perception and choice of language, and the effect of government intervention in such ideologies. We address critically such notions as the “standard”, “correctness”, and “native speaker”, in order to tease out a link between linguistic variation and social stratification.
Part 1 – English Language and Politics: An Introduction (1 week)
Part 2 – Gender, Class and Race in English (6 weeks)
Part 3 – English on the Move (4 weeks)
Part 4 – Revision and Research Essay Workshop (1 week)
The course is organized around weekly readings. All readings will be available electronically or provided in advance in class. Students will be required to read all core texts before each class.
- Creative Output 20%
- Response paper 20%
- Research essay 60%