You are here: Home / Academics / Courses / Offerings by Semester / Spring 2023 HNRS Courses / Spring 2023 Languages of Empires

When Push Comes to Shove: Languages of Empires

HNRS 2033 Sec. 062 - Spring 2023

Associate Professor Irina Shport Department of English

Tu Th 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
135 French House

The major goal of the course is to further your understanding of how language ideologies ("language" versus "dialect," "monolingual" versus "multilingual,""national language" versus "ethnic language," "Standard English" versus "non-mainstream English") are rooted in the issues of power in imperialistic countries of the post-colonial world, and how these ideologies affect the language used by you (an individual speaker) and by your speech communities (the society). We investigate these questions by comparing linguistic landscapes of two majority-English, imperialistic nations the United Kingdom and the United States. Both have been multilingual states from their very origin; both have shared the history of colonization; both have strived to maintain the global power in the postcolonial world. Linguistic landscapes in these countries have always been complex, and language variation has persisted. We will examine these landscapes through the sociolinguistic lens, talking about language structure, linguistic repertoires of speakers, language policies and attitudes in the society. While language variation is influenced by an array of social factors, we will focus mostly on ethnicity, race, and social class.

Fulfills General Education:

English Composition
Social Sciences