University of Notre Dame

Language in America

Course Number: ENGL 13186-2
Instructor: Tim Machan

What we speak, it is often said, is who we are. In this course, beginning with that proposition, we will consider the history of English and other languages in the United States; the ways education, law, and entertainment frame language use; and the current state and possible futures of the American linguistic repertoire. We will ask about attitudes towards language use and shift, about bilingualism and regional variation, and about language’s political ramifications at various points in American history. We will look at census data, movie clips, educational practices, and legal decisions. And we will attempt to find out who we are by what we say.

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November 09 Majors Night