Linguistic Anthropology Immersion

Overview for Linguistic Anthropology Immersion

Language is a fundamental property of being human. Linguistics, the study of human language, is one of the four branches of anthropology. Linguistic anthropology explores the dynamic interrelationships among language, culture, and society, how human beings make sense of the world, and participate in social life through creative speech acts and linguistic play. Courses familiarize students with a range of theoretical and analytic approaches, including general linguistics, sociolinguistics, theories of languages, communication, semiotics, and literary studies.

The plan code for Linguistic Anthropology Immersion is LNGANTH-IM.

Curriculum for 2023-2024 for Linguistic Anthropology Immersion

Current Students: See Curriculum Requirements

Course
Electives
Chooses three of the following:
   ANTH-104
 Language and Linguistics
Language has a crucial role in our lives as a functional system of human communication. Language is central to our cultures and societies. This course provides an introduction to the field of linguistics. It considers both how language is described and analyzed by linguists and how evidence from language can shed light on a variety of social, cultural, and cognitive phenomena. The course provides an orientation both to human language and the field of linguistics. It introduces the languages of the world, how languages have been described, the diversity in language structure, the issue of language endangerment and death, and the efforts to document and preserve the world’s languages, among other topics. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
   ANTH-220
 Language and Culture: Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology
Language is a core element of culture, both as a repository of meaning, and also because it is the primary means through which humans carry out social relationships, share ideas, and contest received understandings. Linguistic anthropology investigates this interplay between language and culture. Topics will vary by semester, and may include metaphor and narrative; language acquisition in relationship to childhood socialization; language, thought, and worldview; language and identity; multilingualism; the social contexts of language change; literacy; and the politics of language use and language ideologies. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
    ANTH-312
People Before Cities
More than half the global population today lives in densely populated urban areas, which are further surrounded by complex networks of smaller communities. Yet, the earliest cities appeared less than 6,000 years ago, a small fraction of time since our species’ first appearance. The characteristics that define us as human were forged in radically different social universes from those of today. We lived our lives among not much more than 20-30 other people at any one time, hunting and gathering our food, and occasionally moving from place to place. This lifestyle was so successful and adaptable it endured pressures from more complex societies well into the 20th century. Understanding what life was like in such these small-scale societies is important because the material and social world in which they lived is the foundation for societies where food production, social hierarchy, and occupational specialization are the norm. This course will examine both the ethnographic and archaeological record of hunter/foragers from around the globe in an attempt to understand how it proved to be such a versatile and resilient way of life and how its successes, in fact, laid the foundation for social inequality, complexity, and food production. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
   ANTH-361
 Sociology of Numbers
Much of the knowledge of our social worlds has been digitized. This course explores how social technologies shape our relationships, personal lives, and sense of self. The metric manufacture of diversity has produced new forms of population management and inequality. Our biographic histories as citizens, consumers, workers/professionals, parents, lovers, and social media users are collected as data-bites and assessed in metric terms, thereby forging new sets of identities. The transformation of people into numerical entities is an act of statistical objectification. This process frames the creation of social and racial typologies, and is well demonstrated by the US census. Students will investigate the formation of racial, ethnic, and gender identities in the context of the accelerated desire to digitize humanity. Lecture 3 (Annual).
   ANTH-375
  Native American Sovereignty, Culture, and Resources Topic ID #1 Native American Languages
There is a great cultural, and linguistic diversity among Native American Indigenous Nations and their approach to managing cultural and natural resources. This course will explore this diversity in addition to the various ways Indigenous nations have maintained and exerted their sovereignty. This will be done in one of three distinct topics: 1). American Indian Sovereignty - an examination of the historical and political foundations of Indigenous sovereignty and its current expressions; 2). Indigenous Economics and Economies - a contrasting of Indigenous approaches for building and maintaining sustainable economies with non-Indigenous ones combined with the use of economic methods to understand the impact of settler colonialism and capitalism on Indigenous economies; or 3). Native American Languages - an examination of: the structure and origin of Indigenous languages; the events that have led many Indigenous languages to be endangered; and the efforts to revitalize Indigenous languages. For clarification purposes: American Indian is used to refer to Indigenous people residing within the boundaries of the continental United States; Native American broadens this definition to include all Indigenous people residing in either North or South America; while Indigenous is the most broadly defined. Indigenous includes all people who identify with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies who consider themselves distinct from the societies now prevailing on those territories both within and outside the Americas. Lecture 3 (Spring).
   ANTH-489
 Topics in Anthropology*
This topics course focuses on specific themes or issues in anthropology, chosen by the instructor, vetted by the department chair, announced in the course subtitle on SIS, and developed in the syllabus. The topics of this course will vary, but the course number will remain the same. Students may not repeat the same topic. Seminar 3 (Fall, Spring).
    COMM-304
Intercultural Communication
Intercultural communication provides an examination of the role of culture in face-to-face interaction. Students may find a basic background in communication, anthropology, or psychology useful. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
    PHIL-414
Philosophy of Language
This course examines how philosophers and others have understood the nature of language. It explores the classical philosophical contexts in metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics and rhetoric in which concerns about the nature of language arose. In addition, the course focuses on recent debates, within both contemporary analytic and continental traditions of philosophy. Some likely areas of inquiry will be: theories of reference, description and naming; theories of meaning, metaphor and narrative; functionalist, pragmatist and naturalist accounts; structuralist, post-structuralist, and hermeneutic accounts, among others. The prominence of one or the other of these debates and approaches will vary. (Prerequisites: Completion of one course in philosophy is required.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
   SOCI-361
 Sociology of Numbers
Much of the knowledge of our social worlds has been digitized. This course explores how social technologies shape our relationships, personal lives, and sense of self. The metric manufacture of diversity has produced new forms of population management and inequality. Our biographic histories as citizens, consumers, workers/professionals, parents, lovers, and social media users are collected as data-bites and assessed in metric terms, thereby forging new sets of identities. The transformation of people into numerical entities is an act of statistical objectification. This process frames the creation of social and racial typologies, and is well demonstrated by the US census. Students will investigate the formation of racial, ethnic, and gender identities in the context of the accelerated desire to digitize humanity. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).

*Course may be used when topic is relevant to linguistic anthropology.