Linguistic Anthropology: On the Power of Gestures, Jokes, and Words

Schools of Public Engagement: Social Sciences

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Linguistic Anthropology
Spring 2023
Taught By: Rachel Heiman
Section: A

CRN: 13229

Credits: 3

Language is not simply a means of expressing ideas and exchanging information. As we move through our daily lives, our words and gestures continually construct, negotiate, and contest our identities, social worlds, and political conditions. In this course, we explore the powerful role that communication (and miscommunication) play in the formation of gender dynamics, class relations, racial hierarchies, social institutions, and national boundaries. Through ethnographic readings and firsthand observations of linguistic forms and language practices, students gain an appreciation for the anthropological subfield of linguistic anthropology. Class readings examine ideas about language and the complex power dynamics and multiple layers of meaning in everyday language use, ranging from dinnertime conversations and asylum interviews to political humor and online rants. Semester-long projects enable students to conduct an analysis of a speech event of their own choosing.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Social Sciences (NSOS)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 21

Add/Drop Deadline: February 5, 2023 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* 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: 11:02pm EDT 9/28/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Monday
Times: 4:00pm - 5:50pm
Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th
Room: 510
Date Range: 1/23/2023 - 5/15/2023