2019-20 Pomona College Catalog 
    
    Aug 22, 2019  
2019-20 Pomona College Catalog
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ANTH053 PO - Language and Globalization

When Offered: Spring 2020.
Instructor(s): C. Evers
Credit: 1

This course covers how language and human movement have been intertwined over time, from early human dispersals through modern migrations. We begin by looking at how the evolution of language was tightly linked to the evolution of bipedalism in our Homo lineage. Students will gain an understanding of how language evolved in conjunction with human locomotion and will read recent research on human dispersals and how language diversified as people moved around the globe. After studying this picture of linguistic diversity, we then ask why it is that so many similarities remain between languages separated by great distances. What do these similarities, called language universals, reveal about human cognition? Turning subsequently to modern migrations, we interrogate what might be learned about the nature of globalization by looking at how people are using language today. If globalization is often described as the dissolution of the nation-state in favor of global forces like “the market” and transnational organizations, how might speech practices attest to the continued relevance of the local in the construction of human identity? Examples from many different contexts will be contrasted in order to better understand the varying outcomes that result when language communities come into contact (e.g., language shift/maintenance/endangerment, diglossia, dialect leveling, code-switching), and also the identity dynamics and power relations at hand in each of these situations. The course has a speaking-intensive overlay and uses films alongside readings to explore each unit’s key topics.
Satisfies the following General Education Requirement(s), subject to conditions explained in the Degree Requirements section of this Catalog:
Area 2; Speaking Intensive



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