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Anthropology 2510A
LANGUAGE, CULTURE, AND COMMUNICATION
FALL 2005, Instructor: Alberto Guevara
Tu/Th 9:25---10:40 Room PE 238
Office: T H 204, Tel #: 3292521
Office Hours: T 1:00 to 4:00 or by appointment
alberto.guevara@uleth.ca
Overview and Objectives of the Course:
This course is a general introduction to basic approaches for the study of language,
symbols and communication. The main objective of this course is to critically reflect on
the process of communication and the roles of language cross-culturally. This course
will introduce students to basic concepts, problems, and methodologies utilized by
anthropologists in the study of the relationship between language, communication and
cultural context.
Methodology and Evaluation:
The course will be based on assigned readings, lectures, films, class conversations,
exercises, presentations and examinations. These will be facilitated by group
discussions of relevant issues to that week’s readings. Students are expected to attend
classes having read all assigned course materials in advance. This point is very
important because it will facilitate us in having a dynamic and interesting course.
POP ASSIGNMENTS/PARTICIPATION: 10%
Ten percent of the final grade for this class will be based on “pop assignments”.
Including group work and/or short individual responses, these “pop assignments” will
be completed in class. The purpose of these activities is to facilitate spontaneous
informed analysis & debate of cultural materials, while encouraging students to relate
course work to their own cultural experiences. These activities will take place on a
surprise basis, and students who are absent from class on the day group or individual
exercises are assigned will not have the opportunity to make up for points lost.
CLASS EXAMINATIONS: 50%
There will be two in class examinations. The exams will not be
cumulative, and will cover only the material from lectures, readings
and films since the last exam.
Note. If a student must miss an exam due to illness or family emergency, the absence
must be justified to the instructor with the original copy of a medical certificate,
doctor’s note, or other official documents. Any student that misses an exam and can
justify their absence is responsible for rescheduling their exam within a week of
the scheduled class exam date (dates below).
1
READING REVIEWS: 20%
Throughout the semester and before the 2nd exam on November 22nd, students are
expected to complete two reading reviews worth 10% each. Each of these must
summarize and discuss the main arguments in one of the assigned readings in 2-3 pages
(double-spaced, typed 12 pt font). As the reading reviews are aimed at developing
students’ independent critical analysis skills, reading reviews must be handed in the day
of or before its discussion in class (see course schedule). Students must review readings
from two separate days (YOU CANNOT REVIEW TWO READINGS THAT ARE
ASSIGNED FOR THE SAME DAY).
TOPIC PRESENTATIONS: 5+15%
The final assignment for this course is a group presentation of approximately 20 minutes
in length. Groups of 4-6 students will chose and research a topic related to one or more
of the following themes: colonialism, neo-colonialism, revolution, poverty, gender,
labour, and resistance (in one Central American country). Students are expected to form
groups on their own.
On or before October 27th, each group must hand in a 1 page “presentation proposal”
and “bibliography”. The proposal should define the group’s topic, and include questions
of interest to the group related to this topic. The bibliography must include 10 academic
book/article resources your group believes will be useful in your research. Include the
names of all group members on this proposal/bibliography. The presentation proposal
and bibliography will be worth 5% total. The presentation itself is worth 15% of the
final grade for the course.
Required Text
Norman Fairclough, Language and Power: Second Edition, 2001 or later
Nancy Bonvillain, Language, Culture and Communication, 2003 or later)
A number of readings will also be available on the class website (consult schedule)
Policies
All students should be aware of the definition and consequences of plagiarism as set by
U of L policy (p. 63 in the calendar). This policy will be systematically enforced.
The final grade will be calculated as follows:
EVALUATION
First exam
Second exam
Reading reviews
Group presentation proposal+bibliography
Group presentation
Participation/pop-assignments
DATE (where applicable)
October 13
November 22
October 27
November 24-December 8
2
%
25%
25%
2 x 10%
5%
15%
10%
Official evaluation scheme
A+ 95-100
B+ 80-84
C+ 65-69
D 50-54
A 90-94
A- 85-89
B 75-79
B- 70-74
C 60-64
C- 55-59
F 49 and below
For all questions and concerns related to lectures, readings, and evaluations that
remain unanswered in your mind at the end of class, do not hesitate to take these up
with the professor during his office hours, or by appointment.
COURSE SCHEDULE:
(This is a general guideline and is subject to minor changes at the instructor’s
discretion)
WEEK ONE:
SEPTEMBER. 8: Overview of the course
Readings: None
WEEK TWO:
SEPTEMBER. 13: Beginnings: Moving from Silence into Language
Readings: Susanne Langer, “Language and Thought” ; Paul Roberts, A Brief History
of English; C.M Millward, The Story of Writing (on reserve)
SEPTEMBER 16: The Form of the Message
Readings:
Bonvillain, Chapter 2
WEEK THREE:
SEPTEMBER 20: Nonverbal Communication
Readings:
Martin and Nakayama, Chapter 6 (on reserve)
SEPTEMBER 22: Language and Cultural Meaning
Readings:
Martin and Nakayama, Chapter 4 (on reserve)
WEEK FOUR:
SEPTEMBER 27: Language and Cultural Meaning II
Readings:
Eva Hoffman “Life in a New language” (on reserve)
Film: TBA (American Tongues)
SEPTEMBER 29: Ethnography of Communication
Readings:
Bonvillain Chapter 4
3
WEEK FIVE:
OCTOBER 4: Linguistic Variation: Class and Race
Readings:
TBA
Film:
“Urban Chronicle”
OCTOBER 6: Language and Gender Cross-Cultural+Review
Readings:
Bonvillain Chapter 8
WEEK SIX:
OCTOBER: 11: no class
OCTOBER 13: FIRST EXAM
WEEK SEVEN:
OCTOBER 18: Multilingualism
Readings:
Bonvillain Chapter 11
Clark Blaise “North”
OCTOBER 20: Bilingualism
Readings:
Bonvillain Chapter 12
WEEK EIGHT:
OCTOBER 25: Bilingualism 2
Readings:
Michael Ignatieff “Blood and Belonging”
Film:
“Between the Solitudes”
OCTOBER 27: Language and Institutional Encounters
Readings:
Bonvillain Chapter 13
WEEK NINE:
NOVEMBER 1: Discourse and Social Practice
Readings:
Fairclough Chapter 2
NOVEMBER 3: Discourse and Power
Readings:
Fairclough Chapter 3
FILM:
“Outfoxed: Ruppert Murdock War on Journalism”
WEEK TEN:
NOVEMBER 8: Discourse and Power 2
Readings:
Fairclough Chapter 4
NOVEMBER 10: Discourse Analysis
Readings:
Fairclough Chapter 5 and 6
4
WEEK ELEVEN:
NOVEMBER 15: Discourse and Social Change
Readings:
Fairclough Chapters 7 and 8
NOVEMBER 17: Consumerism and Communication + REVIEW
Reading:
TBA
FILM:
“Afluenza”
WEEK TWELVE:
NOVEMBER 22: SECOND IN-CLASS EXAM
NOVEMBER 24: TOPIC PRESENTATIONS
WEEK THIRTEEN:
NOVEMBER 29: TOPIC PRESENTATIONS
DECEMBER 1: TOPIC PRESENTATIONS
WEEK FOURTEEN:
DECEMBER 6: TOPIC PRESENTATIONS
DECEMBER 8: TOPIC PRESENTATIONS
5
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