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The Study of Culture through Language (215-0-1)


Diego Arispe-Bazan
1902 Sheridan Road Evanston, IL 60208
Diego researches migration between the Global North and South (and back again) and the contemporary sociohistoric processes surrounding Spanish colonization, from a linguistic and cultural anthropological framework. His work combines textual and ethnographic data and investigates the relationship between (post)colonialism, race, and identity.

Meeting Info

University Hall 102: Mon, Wed, 12:30PM - 1:50PM

Overview of class

This course offers an introduction to the foundational relationship between language and culture by examining anthropological approaches to how language reflects and transforms our ideas about the world and the people living in it. Language enables us to establish relationships with institutions, ideologies, and other human beings. We will discuss general processes of linguistic interaction in first few weeks, then turn to topics in linguistic anthropology to see if we can detect the operation of these processes in action. Case studies will illustrate how language is put to work in specific contexts students might experience on a daily basis, including listening to music, tweeting, and attending class.

Registration Requirements

No prerequisites are required for this course

Learning Objectives

How does language produce social reality? How do particular communicative practices both between individuals and between individuals and mass media form what we understand as a shared culture? Why do people who ostensibly belong to a same cultural group experience things similarly or differently?
How does language inform how we view ourselves as individuals and position us vis-a-vis other individuals?
How do circulating cultural notions about social groups, politics, education, etc. spread within a society? How and why do they change as they spread?
How do everyday interactions draw from these cultural notions? How do interactions make their circulation possible and, perhaps, how do they transform them?
What role does language play in processes of identification, socialization, and globalization?

Evaluation Method

Discussion; Quiz; Final Project

Class Materials (Required)

Wortham, S. & Reyes, A. (2021). Discourse Analysis Beyond the Speech Event, 2nd ed. 9780367503741
Shulist, S. (2018). Transforming Indigeneity: Urbanization and Language Revitalization in the Brazilian Amazon. 9781487522193

Class Attributes

Social & Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
SDG Peace & Justice

Associated Classes

DIS - ANTHRO Sem Rm 104 - 1810 Hinmn: Tues, 8:30AM - 9:20AM

DIS - ANTHRO Sem Rm 104 - 1810 Hinmn: Fri, 9:00AM - 9:50AM

DIS - ANTHRO Sem Rm 104 - 1810 Hinmn: Thurs, 8:30AM - 9:20AM

DIS - ANTHRO Sem Rm 104 - 1810 Hinmn: Fri, 10:00AM - 10:50AM