Postgraduate Course: Belief,Thought and Language (PGSP11174)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
||Availability||Available to all students
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
|Home subject area||Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)
||Other subject area||None
||Taught in Gaelic?||No
|Course description||The emphasis of this course will be on showing how anthropology and comparative studies have enriched understanding of the dynamic of language, and how engagement with the subject 'language', and with other disciplines concerned with this subject, have historically influenced anthropological thinking. Students will be introduced to a range of different anthropological approaches to the study of language, and to a variety of interests that have led anthropologists to take an interest in language and literary activity. The course demonstrates that in addition to communicating social reality through diverse mediums and strategies (attention is drawn to description, illustration, evocation and performance; to speech and to writing), language plays a role in constituting social reality. Language has therefore relevance for a broad range of general concerns and specialized interest, and this applies for both scholarship and social and political action. Connections that will be explored include the intersections with processes of personhood, statecraft, political resistance, and institutions of justice.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
|Additional Costs|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?||Yes
Course Delivery Information
|Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1)
||Learn enabled: Yes
|Course Start Date
|Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info)
|No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
|The course will offer a good theoretical overview of the place of language in everyday social life and critical political innovation, and of ideas derived from linguistics and language philosophy in anthropological theorising. By the end of the course students should have a strong sense of how social and political actors work language, and of the importance, scope and distinctiveness of anthropology's contribution to the cross-cultural analysis of language. It is also expected that students will have acquired valuable research skills to design and carry out empirical studies of language activity. The reading list includes classical material and works relating to current debates so that students will be aware of both when they come across these approaches and debates in the literature and in future field situations.
|This course will be assessed by a long essay (word-limit: 4,000).|
||Saussure and the structure of language
Wittgenstein and meaning as use
Whorf and relativity
Bakhtin and dialogicality
ideology in Language
Language and Gender
||Bauman, R. and C L Briggs. 1990. "Poetics and Performance as Critical Perspectives
on Language and Social Life." Annual Review of Anthropology 19: 59-
Borneman, John. 2002. "Reconciliation After Ethnic Cleansing: Listening,
Retribution, Affiliation." Public Culture 14(2).
Cameron, Deborah. 1998. 'Gender, Language, and Discourse: A Review Essay.
Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 23(4):945-973.
Cohn, Carol. 1987. "Sex and death in the rational world of defense intellectuals."
Signs: The Journal of Women in Culture and Society 12:687-718.
Culler, Jonathan.1975. Structuralist Poetics: Structuralism, Linguistics, and the Study
of Literature. London: Routledge.
Gellner, E. 1998. Language and Solitude: Malinowski, Wittgenstein, and the
Habsburg Dilemma. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Goody, J. (ed.) 1968. Literacy in Traditional Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge
Holquist, Michael. 1990. Dialogism: Bakhtin and His World. Routledge: London.
Hymes, D. 2004. In Vain I Tried to Tell You: essays in Native American
ethnopoetics. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
Irvine, Judith. 1989. When Talk Isn't Cheap: language and political economy.
American Ethnologist, Vol.16, No.2: 248-267.
Jakobson, Roman. 1990. Langue and Parole: Code and Message. In On Language.
Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Levi-Strauss, Claude. 1955. The Structural Study of Myth. The Journal of American
Folklore, Vol.68, No.270: 428-444.
Saussure, Ferdinand. 1983. Course in General Linguistics. R. Harris, trans. LaSalle,
Il: Open Court.
Wittgenstein, Ludwig. 2001. Philosophical Investigations (3rd edition). G.E.M.
Anscombe, trans. Oxford: Blackwell.
||The course involves one two-hour session a week for ten weeks, together with small group support teaching in separate one-hour sessions (one every two weeks). In the main session, most weeks will involve a mixture of a lecture and some discussion and group work. The 'small group' support teaching will normally be concerned with one or more readings that illustrate, underpin or extend issues raised in the main sessions. Students should note that participation in the small group support teaching sessions is compulsory.
|Course organiser||Dr Magnus Course
Tel: (0131 6)51 3893
|Course secretary||Ms Jessica Barton
Tel: (0131 6)51 1659
© Copyright 2013 The University of Edinburgh - 10 October 2013 5:08 am