Open Reader Position for fall 2022 – ISF 100C: Language and Identity

Open Reader Position for ISF 100C_Fall 2022 This course examines the role of language in the construction of social identities, and how language is tied to various forms of symbolic power at the regional, national, and international levels. As the saying goes, “A language is a dialect with an army and navy” – but how so? Questions about language have been central to national culture and identity, and the languages we speak often prove, upon close examination, not to be the tongues of ancestors but invented traditions of political significance. People have also encoded resistance into non-official and ambiguous languages even as the state has attempted to devalue them as inferior forms of expression. Drawing on case studies from Asia, Europe, Canada, and the U.S., we will pay special attention to topics such as the legitimization of a national language, the political use of language in nation-building processes, the endangerment of indigenous languages, and processes of […]