This course explores how language is used to construct and reinforce unjust social structures. Topics may include: the underlying sexism, classism, racism, and ableism of prestige dialects and prescriptive language education; the history and consequences of national language movements; language endangerment, documentation, and revival; sign languages and language rights for the deaf and hard-of-hearing; popular media representations of linguistic variation, especially vocal fry, uptalk, and regional accents; and the relationships between language and sex, gender identity, and sexuality.
Students will develop research, analytic, and writing skills through critique and discussion of assigned texts, independent research projects, and regular written and oral presentation of their work. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.