Study Load


Activities

Number of hours

Lectures

24

Tutorials

10

Reading / Self-study

80

Assessment: Essay / Report writing

15

Assessment: Presentation (incl preparation)

15

Total:

144

 
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Learning outcomes


Course Learning Outcomes – On completing the course, students will be able to:

1.

Describe and explain a dispute over meaning and usage in the public sphere.

2.

Apply a critical vocabulary to the description of such meaning disputes.

3.

Apply basic research skills and develop an appreciation of the role and status of different kinds of sources (blogs, media reports, discussion forums, historical texts, secondary literature), including referencing and citation conventions.

4.

Analyze and comment critically on the arguments, rhetorical strategies, ideologies used by participants, including media.

5.

Identify their own case study and analyze its origins, development and the underlying issues at stake.

 

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Assessment


Assessment Method

Weighting

Four in-class quizzes/tests

40

Tutorial participation and tasks

20

Final project (oral presentation + written submission)

40

 

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Course Content and Topics


Topics:
(1) disputes about the meanings of words and symbols;
(2) controversies over the appropriate name or label for a given entity;
(3) the origin, conduct and resolution of such disputes;
(4) meaning and interpretation in the public sphere;
(5) the nature and sociocultural significance of public debates over meaning. 

 

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Reading


Required Reading
Ashcroft, Bill (2001) Language and Race. Social Identities 7(3): 311-328.
Chandler, Daniel (2007) Semiotics (2nd Ed). Taylor and Francis. 1-11.
Durant, Alan (2010). Meaning in the media: Discourse, Controversy and Debate. Cambridge University Press, 19-32.
Hutton, Christopher (2014). Word Meaning and Legal Interpretation. Palgrave, 7-23.
Joseph, John J. (2009) Language and Politics. Edinburgh University Press. p.22-42.

Recommended Reading
Cram, I. (2006). Contested Words: Legal Restrictions on Freedom of Speech in Liberal Democracies. Routledge.
Johnson, S., & Ensellin, A. (Eds.). (2007). Language in the Media. Continuum.
Tarrow, S. (2013). The Language of Contention: Revolutions in Words, 1688-2012. Cambridge University Press.

 

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Last updated: 22 June 2018