Linguistics 334

Language and Politics

Full course for one semester. This course examines some of the core issues of contemporary sociopolitical theory from a semiotic- and linguistic-anthropological perspective. We address questions such as: To what degree is power a semiotic phenomenon? In what sense are “nations” and other political communities linguistically constructed? How might states be legitimated or authorized by particular discursive forms? Is a common language necessary (or sufficient) for forming a cohesive political community? What role do the institutions of linguistic standardization play in modern statehood? What are the semiotic and linguistic mechanisms through which novel political structures are instituted? How does political rhetoric, or propaganda, “work”? Readings will include classic statements on the nature of political power—in which language often plays an essential, if implicit and routinely unnoticed, theoretical role—as well as contemporary work, both theoretical and ethnographic, on the politics of language and the language of politics. Prerequisite: Linguistics/Anthropology 311 or consent of the instructor. Conference. Cross-listed as Anthropology 334.

Anthropology 334 Description

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