The Power of Words
Taught By: Chang-Chen Shen
“In the beginning was the Word,” says the Scripture on the account of the beginning and the creation of the World. This is but one, albeit the most paradigmatic, example to illustrate that the Word is not merely a name labeling a given World, but carries with itself a special kind of creative/constitutive force. If words have the power to (re)create the world, then they are not simply a “description” of the world, not simply an “expression” (a squeezing out) of “inside” thoughts to the “outside” world, nor simply a “tool” used for communication; the relationship between “wording” and “worlding” becomes more complicated. This seminar aims to explore this relationship. What is the power of words? How do words emanate their creative, constitutive, injurious, healing, or transformative effects? How do words participate in political changes? What political potentialities can be developed through the investigation of words’ power? Students will be invited to read some classic materials from the fields of conceptual history, social linguistics, political philosophy, etc.; to raise and discuss questions in class; and to develop a research project—e.g., exploring the power of a word—that may contribute to the understanding and/or betterment of society.
College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)
Department: Anthropology (LANT)
Campus: New York City (GV)
Course Format: Seminar (R)
Max Enrollment: 18
Add/Drop Deadline: September 12, 2022 (Monday)
Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 20, 2022 (Sunday)
Seats Available: Yes
* Seats available but reserved for a specific population.
* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 5:10am 10/2/2022 EDT