Leeds University Library

Reading List The Politics of Language (Engl3294)

The Politics of Language, 2017/18, Semester 2
Professor Tony Crowley
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

The Politics of Language (ENGL3294)

Semester 2 (2014-2015)

Professor Tony Crowley (t.crowley@leeds.ac.uk)

Course description . This module will introduce students to a number of twentieth-century ways of conceiving of the politics of language (broadly construed as the relations between language, history and culture). We will consider the work of linguists, literary artists, philosophers, political thinkers and educationalists in a range of reading that will include both theoretical essays and cultural texts. The topics covered may include: the role of language in history and in the transmission of culture; language as a site of social struggle and political conflict; language, power and the politics of discourse; language in relation to social class, ethnicity and gender; feminism and language; language, colonialism and postcolonialism; language in education; language and creativity. The goals of the course will be to encourage critical reflexivity with regard to language use and policy and to provide an opportunity for independent research in this area.

Course reading .

The following texts need to be purchased as we will be using them in class :

Burke, Lucy, Tony Crowley and Alan Girvin (eds.), The Routledge language and cultural theory reader (London: Routledge, 2000). (LCTR).

Atwood, Margaret, The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) (London: Vintage, 1996).

Welsh, Irvine, Trainspotting (1993) (London: Vintage: 2013).

Friel, Brian, Translations (London: Faber, 1981).

Texts marked * in the reading below will be available through the VLE.

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Seminar topics .

Topic one. Introduction: language, history, culture.

Brian Friel, Translations (1981).

Topic two. Language and culture(s).

Benjamin Lee Whorf, ‘Science and Linguistics’ (LCTR).

Edward Sapir, ‘The Status of Linguistics as a Science’ (LCTR).

*George Orwell, ‘The Principles of Newspeak’, Appendix to Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

Topic three. Language, thought and reality.

Dale Spender, ‘Language and Reality: Who Made the World? ’ (LCTR).

Muriel Schulz, ‘The Semantic Derogation of Woman’ (LCTR).

*Deborah Cameron, ‘Sexism and Semantics; More on Man Made Language’, Radical philosophy. , 36 (Spring 1984).

Topic four. Language, self and society.

Leo Spitzer, ‘The Individual factor in Linguistic Innovations’ (LCTR).

Paul Ricoeur, ‘The Creativity of Language’ (LCTR).

Raymond Williams, ‘Introduction to Keywords’ (LCTR).

Entries from http://urbandictionary.com

Topic five: Language and power.

V.N.Voloshinov, ‘Multiaccentuality and the Sign’ (LCTR).

*George Orwell, ‘The Principles of Newspeak’, Appendix to Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949).

Topic six. Language and the sexual order

Judith Butler, ‘From Parody to Politics’ (LCTR).

Deborah Cameron, ‘The Naming of Parts’ (LCTR).

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (1985).

Topic seven. Language and social class.

Basil Bernstein, ‘Social Class, Language and Socialisation’ (LCTR).

William Labov, ‘The Logic of Non-Standard English’ (LCTR).

Brian Cox, ‘Teaching Standard English’ (LCTR).

Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting (1993).

Topic eight. Linguistic capital and its value.

Pierre Bourdieu, ‘The Production and Reproduction of Legitimate Language (LCTR).

*Linguistic Society of American Resolution on the Oakland "Ebonics" Issue - Available online: http://eng.sagepub.com/content/26/2/174.full.pdf+html

Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting (1993).

Topic nine. Language, community, colonisation.

Karl Vossler, ‘Language Communities’ (LCTR).

Braj Kachru, ‘The Alchemy of English’ (LCTR).

Brian Friel, Translations (1981).

Topic ten. Language, colonialism, postcolonialism.

Mikhail Bakhtin, ‘Unitary Language’ (LCTR).

E.K. Brathwaite, ‘Nation Language’ (LCTR).

Brian Friel, Translations (1981).

Secondary reading .

Bibliographical resources for all of the topics covered in the course can be found in the LCTR; at the end of each of the sectional introductions there are extensive bibliographies to help you with specific topics. Please ask for guidance.

This list was last updated on 22/01/2016