This seminar engages students in the exploration of different ways of knowing – and their purposes, values, and limitations – in the arts and humanities. The seminar considers what counts as knowledge, and by whom; the methods employed to gain or affirm knowledge; the values attributed to knowledge; and the ethical and aesthetic implications of what one gains and does with the acquisition of knowledge. Students will integrate literature, film, theater, art, and philosophy from the countries we visit in discussions and assignments.
Linguists agree that all languages and dialects follow consistent grammatical patterns and that no language/dialect is inherently better than any other. Among other questions we will discuss the following: What does it mean to know language? How did language come about? Does language shape the mind? Does your language determine how you construe reality? What’s the difference between human language and the communication systems of other animals? Are all languages equally complex? Are some more logical or more beautiful than others? Is there such a thing as a primitive language? Do some people speak more grammatically than others? Is the English language undergoing a process of decay? Do Inuit languages have hundreds of words for snow?
Field WorkCountry: Ghana
Date: April 3, 2018
We will visit a history museum or a university/school where we will be able to see/explore the linguistic history of that place: What languages are spoken? Which ones are official and which ones are not? Why? What is the linguistic history of the place and how is it related to the countries who claimed ownership of the country? Are people fighting about languages and if so, why? If there is time left, we will take an Akan class.
Students will write one of their writing assignments about their field visit. This assignment can take the form of a traditional academic essay, personal essay, creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, or art/design project with narrative (5-10 pages each). It can be interactive.
- Students will be able to answer critically to the following questions: What languages are spoken in Ghana? Which ones are official and which ones are not? Why? What is the linguistic history of the place and how is it related to the countries who claimed ownership of the country? Are people fighting about languages and if so, why?