Leeds University Library

ENGL5846M
Literature and the Politics of Language

Literature and the Politics of Language, 2017/18, Semester 2
Professor Tony Crowley
T.Crowley@leeds.ac.uk
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Literature and the Politics of Language

Professor Tony Crowley

t.crowley@leeds.ac.uk (House 5 G.02)

This module will explore the relations between literature and the politics of language from the Renaissance to the present and investigate how specific literary texts engage with linguistic debates concerned with identity, power, and value. In the course seminars we will consider theoretical and literary texts together in order to think through particular issues.

Course texts:

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

Rey Chow, Not like a native speaker : on languaging as a postcolonial experience (New York, Columbia University Press, 2014).

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

Niall Griffiths, Kelly + Victor (London, Vintage, 2003).

James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) any edition.

James Joyce, Ulysses (1922) any edition.

R.B. Sheridan, The Rivals (1775) any edition.

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Seminar Topics:

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1. Language, history, stories

Brian Friel, Translations (1981).

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2. English and the contest of language

Ben Jonson, The Poetaster (1601)*; Mikhail Bakhtin, ‘Unitary Language’* (1934-5), from The Dialogic Imagination (1981).

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3. Fixing the language

Jonathan Swift, A Proposal for Correcting, Improving and Ascertaining the English Tongue*(1712); Samuel Johnson, The Plan of a Dictionary of the English Language* (1747); Mikhail Bakhtin, ‘Unitary Language’* (1934-5), from The Dialogic Imagination (1981).

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4. Women and legitimate language

Thomas Sheridan, A Course of Lectures on Elocution* (1762); R.B. Sheridan, The Rivals (1775); Pierre Bourdieu, ‘The Production and Reproduction of Legitimate Language’*, from Language and symbolic power (1992).

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5. Familiar and foreign words

William Shakespeare, King Henry the Fifth*; Ben Jonson, The Irish Masque at Court* (1613) - Available online: https://www.wwnorton.com/college/english/nael/17century/topic_4/jonson.htm, James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916); Rey Chow, ‘Not Like a Native Speaker: The Postcolonial Scene of Languaging and the Proximity of the Xenophone’, from Not like a native speaker : on languaging as a postcolonial experience (2014)

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6. Translating the language of history

Douglas Hyde, The revival of Irish literature : addresses *(1892); Brian Friel, Translations (1981); Chinua Achebe, ‘The African Writer and the English Language’*, from Morning yet on creation day : essays (1975) ; Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, ‘The Language of African Literature’*, from Decolonising the mind : the politics of language in African literature (1986).

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7. Language and Power

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (1985); V.N. Volosinov, ‘Theme and Meaning’, from Marxism and the Philosophy of Language* (1929). - Available online: http://www.rlwclarke.net/courses/LITS3304/2010-2011/02AVolosinov,TowardsaMarxistPhilosophyofLanguage.pdf

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8. The (im)possibility of dialect writing

Niall Griffiths, Kelly + Victor (2003); Asif Agha, ‘The social life of cultural value’*, Language and Communication., 23 (2003).

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9. Languaging in and out of history

James Joyce, ‘Oxen of the Sun’, Ulysses (1922); selections from Finnegans Wake *(1939).

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10. The language questions

This list was last updated on 17/01/2017