ENG 118 Politics of Language

Holly Davis, T Th 9:00 AM-10:20 AM


Designed particularly to meet the needs of students whose first language is not English, the primary emphasis of this course is developing and strengthening writing skills. Does it matter whether we use first year or freshman?  Is our language sexist because our our culture is, or is our culture sexist because our language is?  The term racism did not exist in the English language seventy years ago; is that the same thing as saying that the attitudes and practices it defines did not exist before that time?  These are the kinds of question we will read, think, and write about in the this course. Strong emphasis is placed on drafts and substantive revision in response to feedback on a series of analytical essays, but students will also be asked to write frequent, less formal responses to required short readings on topics such as the politics of names and naming, political correctness, swearing, and the events and circumstances by which English has come to occupy its current position as a global language.  The course also includes a methodical review of selected conventions of grammar, usage, style, and punctuation.