Fall 2018

Proseminar in the Language Science of Bilingualism (LING 521)

Prof. Carrie Jackson, T/Th 4:35-5:50 pm

This course provides a tutorial introdcution to the tehory and methods of the major perspectives within leanguage science that provide converging evidence on the representation and processing of two languages in bilianguals and second language learners. The disciplines to be covered include linguistcis, psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and speech-language pathology. The course will include guest lectures by faculty and postdocs affiliated with the Center for Language Science with expertise in each of these disciplines, as well as guest lectures hosted by the Center for Language Science (e.g., big data, augmentative and alternative communication, historical linguistics) will also present. The topics to be covered include introductions to each of the component disciplines, designand implementation of cross-disciplinary collaborative research that cuts across two or more areas, and research in allied disciplines that potentially inform language science. The seminar will also introduce students to translational research in order to foster the development of across-disciplinary science that is much broader and deeper than the traditional domains of basic and applied sciences. We will also discuss ethical conduct in research, and selected topics related to professional development and (international) research collaboration.

Language Contact (GER 582)

Prof. Richard Page, MW 2:30-3:45pm

This course provides an overview of language contact phenomena in the domains of child bilingualism, adult second language acquisition and societal multilingualism with a particular emphasis on language contact in immigrant and indigenous communities that speak a minority language.  Diachronic as well as synchronic aspects of language contact will be discussed. We will not be covering pidgins and creoles in any depth, but we will look at contact varieties of German (e.g., Kiezdeutsch), Spanish, English and other languages. The class will use the textbook Language Contact by Yaron Matras and read selected articles. Students will write a research paper on an aspect of language contact chosen in consultation with the instructor.

Tense-Mood-Aspect: Description and Analysis (GER 593)

Prof. Michael Putnam, T/TH 3:05-4:20 pm

The primary focus of this course centers on tense-mood-aspect (TMA) properties of natural languages. In this course we'll establish definitions of each of this domains, while discussing important ways in which they intersect and differ from one another. In addition to the semantic-pragmatic contributions of TMA-distinctions, we will also investigate the profound impact these distinctions have on structural traits (i.e., morphological and syntactic) of languages. Beyond defining these typological distinctions, we will also explore and further develop experimental methods on how to best elicit this information from speakers in both field and laboratory settings.

The Holocaust in Visual Culture and Theory (GER 540)

Prof. Sabine Doran, M 6-9 pm

This seminar studies representations of the Holocaust in art, museums, literature, and film. We will examine theoretical questions involved in any attempt to capture what appears to be beyond our comprehension in terms of moral outrage and the sheer scale, inhumanity, and bureaucratic efficiency of the violence perpetrated by the Nazis. We will focus on the ways in which "trauma" has become a key analytical concept in these debates. We will discuss literary works, such as Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz, films such as Alain Resnais’ Night and Fog, The Pianist, The Tin Drum, The PhotographerA Film Unfinished, as well as photographs, poems, installations, and other artifacts. We will also confront questions of memorialization, national guilt, survivor's guilt, stigmatization, and the ethics of historical representation, in theoretical readings by Theodor Adorno, Giorgio Agamben, Hannah Arendt, Cathy Caruth, Hayden White and others.

Visual Studies in Digitality (GER / VSTUD 502)

Prof. Grant Whytoff, W 6-9 pm

The luddites, the philosophers, even the tech evangelists all seem to be in agreement that living in a digitally networked world has changed something about the way we understand ourselves as both individuals and members of a public. In a moment when digital media are complicating some of our foundational assumptions about everything from democratic consensus to the nature of privacy, the elementary work of technical description has taken on new significance. So too has the value of research in the humanities for putting these developments into necessary perspective. This seminar will introduce a range of frameworks from across the humanities useful for thinking through the history, ethics, and aesthetics of digital media. Units on emerging approaches to contemporary digital infrastructures (questions of the public, selfhood, privacy, algorithms and inequality) will be paired with an overview of the most influential paradigms in media studies to guide us through these more contemporary issues. Concepts from our readings will be operationalized with weekly exercises that will include an introduction to digital methods in the humanities as well as tactics for (among other things) protecting against government surveillance. Students will leave with the basic computational literacy necessary for informed scholarship that both critiques and utilizes digital media.