LING-451 Linguistic Landscapes
Spring for 2010-2011
Dr. Elana Shohamy
Based on theories of space, place and the ecology (e.g., Lefebvre, de Certeau, Bourdieu, Auge', Scollon) this course will focus on the topic linguistic landscape (LL), referring to the representations of languages in public spaces. The broad view of languages - multilingualism and multimodality in the form of their representations of signs, graffiti, images, moving objects, hybrid, etc. and of the multiple and diverse public spaces, including neighborhoods, institutions, urban spaces, and the cyber spaces, assumes that LL represents symbolic constructions of the public spaces. It is thus not arbitrary but rather grounded in theories of group identities, political contestations, commodification, marketing, language contacts, urban theories, critical theories of geography and education and language policy. We will thus focus on the vast and dynamic research that emerged on LL around the world in the past few years on these very theories especially in contested societies. As part of the course we will hold a number of field trips in urban spaces in the Washington DC area – neighborhoods, institutions, museum where students will engage in documentation of LL using photographic methods, conduct interviews with policy makers and walkers by and utilize specific methodologies of data collection and analysis to interpret these data within the relevant theories. Special attention will be given in the course to the role that LL in public space plays in educational context, social justice, and activism. The requirements include readings of articles, assignments which include documentation and presentations of analyzed data in class and a final paper focusing on in depth LL study of a specific public space.
Other academic years
There is information about this course number in other academic years: