The following course descriptions represent a few of the graduate seminars that have been offered in the CLASP program over the last several years. These should provide an idea of the breadth and depth of course offerings in the program. Many of these seminars are offered on an annual or semiannual basis.

ANTH 5610: Medical Anthropology. Professor: Donna Goldstein

This will be a demanding upper-level cultural anthropology course in the field of Medical Anthropology—itself a subfield of cultural anthropology—designed for advanced undergraduate students and early graduate students, many of whom will have had little exposure to this area of scholarship. It is also suitable for graduate students in the fields of public health, anthropology, pandemics and other related social sciences who are interested in questions related to science, medicine, and populations.

The field of Medical Anthropology has grown exponentially in the last ten years, making it necessary to further focus a one-semester course such as this one. I have attempted to choose “key” readings that range from articles that represent some of the history of the field, some important contemporary theorists and trends, and some in-depth case studies of general interest. In addition to the books assigned, there are also a number of articles and films that are essential to the intellectual foundations of this class, most of which are available as downloads as PDF files on CANVAS and by streaming (films, videos, clips), also inside of your CANVAS structure (modules designed for weekly organization).

You will need to read carefully in this class—and even struggle a bit intellectually— sometimes in areas unfamiliar to you; if you think this could be the wrong time for you to take a course like this for whatever reason, then you might speak to me or seek other course options. I am happy to support students who want to learn the material, so if the material interests you and you have the time to devote to the class, please do stay.

Medical Anthropology is an expanding field: have patience and allow your mind to also expand. This course addresses only a few of the areas that are of central importance to questions of science, medicine and populations. I care that you have a good learning experience in this class, but I also demand that you do a fair amount of active scholarship on your own. You will have the opportunity in this class to work collectively to produce one or two coherent presentations together with peers and to write one scholarly individual final paper. I hope that learning collectively—even a bit “flipped” I should say—will inspire you to take an active leadership approach to your own scholarship.

ANTH 5785: Advanced Seminar in Cultural Anthropology. Professor: Jerry Jacka

Details the history of theory and practice in contemporary cultural anthropology, considering the development of major theoretical schools of thought and the integration of general social theory within anthropology. 

ANTH/LING 6320: Linguistic Anthropology. Professor: Kira Hall

Linguistic anthropology, one of the four classic subfields of anthropology, seeks to explicate culture and society ethnographically as they emerge through language and discourse. This graduate-level introduction to the field examines language as a form of action through which socio-political relations are constituted. The seminar is organized around key concepts that are of ongoing importance to contemporary linguistic anthropologists, among them practice, ideology, indexicality, and identity. Because social subjectivity is produced, challenged, and affirmed through linguistic practice, the readings required for the course view speakers and hearers as embedded within complex relations of race, class, gender, and sexuality. We will explore issues that have been central to research and discussion in linguistic anthropology, such as language, categorization, and worldview; language socialization; models of language as action; ritual and performance; language endangerment and globalization; intertextuality and dialogism; the co-construction of meaning in conversation; language, nationalism, and modernity; and literacy practices.

ANTH/LING 6320: Linguistic Anthropology. Professor: Andy Cowell

This course will provide a broad introduction to socio-cultural perspectives and methods in linguistics, focusing on linguistic anthropology and cross-cultural comparisons. We will read a basic introduction to the topic, as well as numerous articles which provide examples of specific applications. Students will also be expected to engage with linguistic data, including at least one independent project involving data gathered on their own. Topics to be covered include: ethnographic methods; the idea of ‘culture’ and different theories of culture from within linguistic anthropology; relationships between language and culture on the level of lexicon and grammar; the concept of ‘speech community’ and ethnography of communication; cultural models and metaphors; language and inequality; language, power and agency; language ideology and its connection to social structures; language socialization; ethnopoetics, narrative and performance; language, identity and subjectivity; language, interactionism, and the construction of social relationships; and language change from a socio-cultural perspective, including language shift, pidgins, creoles, and language endangerment. The course will provide both an introduction to older classical theories and topics, as well as to contemporary trends.

ANTH 7000: Bio/Social. Professor: Kate Goldfarb


Anthropologists often juxtapose “biology” (supposedly universal and acultural) with
“embodiment” (understood as culturally specific biological processes, often described as “the
way culture gets under the skin”). In this class, rather than understanding biology as a constant
base across human populations and culturally particular embodiment as a superficial and
changeable layer on top of this base, we will develop concepts of biology and culture as
inseparably and constantly shaping each other. The materiality of bodily life and the
embeddedness of bodies in social and cultural milieu do not interact to shape one another but are
intrinsically entangled modes of being.

ANTH 7000: Mental Health and Embodiment. Professor: Kathryn E. Goldfarb

This seminar has two major objectives. The first objective is to bring together ethnographic and philosophical texts on mental health and embodiment in order to build our own rigorously theorized models of embodiment that take seriously body and mind. The second objective is to consider the political stakes of studies of embodiment and mental health, and we will examine the ways that bodily experience and mental well-being are deeply connected to social and structural inequalities.

Readings include ethnographies of mental health, canonical philosophical and anthropological approaches to embodiment, and feminist and queer theory scholarship on science and the body. Overarching themes are intersectional theories of well-being; psychiatry, colonialism, memory, and race; experience and interiority; knowledge production; bodily senses; and the brain and selfhood. (Note: Although this course is not specifically designed as a CLASP course, Prof. Goldfarb welcomes students working on the intersection of language and society.)

COMM 5210: Readings in Communication Theory. Professor: Robert T. Craig

Critical overview of leading theoretical traditions in communication studies. Attention to metatheoretical issues including epistemological foundations, the structure of communication theory as a field, and reflexivity between communication theory and cultural practice. Recommended for graduate students in Communication and related disciplines.

COMM 5435: Readings in Community and Social Interaction. Professor: Natasha Shrikant

This course familiarizes students with theoretical and methodological approaches in community and social interaction research. The overarching question addressed by this course is, “What are the differing ways of conceptualizing ‘community’, ‘social interaction’, and the relationship between these concepts? This course emphasizes looking closely how communication constitutes identities, relationships, and communities in institutional, interpersonal, and intercultural contexts. Students will be introduced to interpretive, critical, and applied frameworks; to theories such as dialogism, ethnomethodology, and pragmatics; and to qualitative methods (observational methods, interviews, focus groups, grounded theory coding, discourse analysis).

COMM 6030: Qualitative Research Methods. Professor: Matthew Koschmann

Research is the process of learning things we don’t know, and qualitative research seeks to learn more about the quality of human experience—especially in terms of meaning, interpretation, and understanding. Accordingly, the purpose of this course is to bolster your understanding and practice of qualitative research methods, emphasizing empirical data collection and analysis, and foregrounding issues of epistemology, representation, and application.

For those curious about the philosophical underpinnings of the course, we will be working within the interpretive paradigm rooted in phenomenology, hermeneutics, and social construction (broadly defined). We will also explore several emerging topics and critical approaches related to affect theory, standpoint epistemology, and new materialism/post-humanism. But no worries if you’re not very familiar with any of this...learning about these ideas is a big part of the course!

The class is designed around a semester-long project that can be tailored to your graduate status (MA or PhD) and departmental affiliation. PhD students are required to conduct some sort of empirical analysis...either an initial pilot/case study for a new project or analysis of existing data from a current project. MA students may choose to embark on an empirical project but are only required to complete a full research proposal. There may also be opportunities for students to work with me and the empirical data from my ongoing research projects here in Boulder and the Philippines.

COMM 6410: Discourse Analysis. Professor: Karen Tracy

Discourse Analysis points to a family of approaches to inquiry and a substantive area of study. In communication, it's often referred to as language and social interaction, "LSI." The class attends to both meanings, albeit tilting toward discourse analysis as a method for the study of interaction. The seminar has two purposes, with each reflected in class activities and assignments. A first purpose is to acquaint you with three important kinds of discourse analysis: conversation analysis, critical discourse approaches, and rhetorically influenced approaches (discursive psychology, action-implicative discourse analysis). For each approach you will learn what are its assumptions and distinctive features, usual kinds of analytic moves, and the important questions for investigation. The second purpose of the seminar is to enable you to do a discourse analysis yourself: To take instances of talk or text and arrive at an interesting, persuasive scholarly analysis. To accomplish this second purpose, you will be practicing the technical and analytic skills that comprise discourse analysis (transcribing, listening for particulars, selecting excerpts, documenting inferences, linking to scholarly controversies, building insightful central claims). The first part of the class will involve assignments with a common text. Then, for the remainder of the semester, students will work with a slice of institutional or interpersonal interaction that they have selected to develop a full-blown research paper.

COMM 6420: Advanced Qualitative Communication Research Methods. Professor: Bryan C. Taylor

This is a graduate seminar in advanced qualitative research methods. It is specifically concerned with two important – and sometimes mysterious -- areas of practice in qualitative research: data analysis, and writing.Data analysis is typically concerned with the transformation of records derived from qualitative methods of data collection (e.g., participant observation, interviewing, and artifact analysis) into effective evidence for practical and scholarly arguments. Writing is concerned with the creative and disciplined processes by which qualitative researchers represent their knowledge claims in material formats intended for public circulation.

Our main goal in this course is to provide you with opportunities to learn more about these issues, and to develop your practical skills in working with a concrete project of your choosing. Throughout, we will engage in a variety of reading, writing, and discussion activities designed to increase your understanding of related concepts, and practice of related skills.

COMM 6420: Interaction Analysis. Professor: David Boromisza-Habashi

This is a graduate course in advanced qualitative communication research methods. The course is designed to benefit students already involved in empirical qualitative research projects, that is, students who already have access to a cultural scene they are interested in studying, and have been able to collect at least some communication data (recordings or transcripts of interaction, field notes / journals, documents, artefacts, etc.). The course will provide such students an opportunity to complete data collection, to analyze and interpret their data, and to practice presenting findings to particular audiences. The curriculum will include regular workshop sessions where students can present data and early formulations of their descriptions, claims, and arguments, and receive feedback from the interpretive community of course participants.

We will explore the ethnography of communication tradition as one possible resource among many for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting communication phenomena. We will review how classic and current ethnographic scholarship seek answers to two fundamental questions: How do people communicate in particular speech communities? And, what do they have to believe to communicate in those ways? We will pursue such analytic goals as identifying the components of communication events, formulating cultural norms and premises, and reconstructing the community-constituting function of interaction. We will also appraise the critical potential of the ethnography of communication, particularly regarding linguistic and social inequality.

One cultural scene where ethnographers with an interest in language use have done significant work is education. We will review three ethnographies of communication in education as case studies of the use of advanced qualitative methods:

  • Ethnography, linguistics, narrative inequality: Toward an understanding of voice (Dell Hymes, 1996)
  • Language in late modernity: Interaction in an urban school (Ben Rampton, 2006)
  • The class: Living and learning in the digital age (Sonia Livingstone & Julian Sefton-Green, 2016)

These readings provide insight into teaching and learning as communicative activities that unfold in particular socio-cultural, economic, and political contexts and mobilize (often contested) social identities and language ideologies.

COMM 6440: Grounded Practical Theory. Professor: Robert T. Craig

Grounded practical theory (GPT) refers to a range of concepts and methods for theorizing communicative practices. The seminar will explore GPT through assigned background readings and individual research projects. Readings will include units on GPT methodology with applications to discourse analysis of group interaction (Craig, Tracy, et al.), the concept of social practice (Schatzki et al.), sociocultural activity theory and communities of practice (Lave & Wenger), reflexive practice theory (Bourdieu), and genealogy of social practices (Foucault). For the semester project, each student will select a sample of discourse (consisting of public documents, media texts, field observations, and/or recordings of interaction) from any field of social practice of interest to the student. Writing assignments will include short papers exploring the application of unit readings to the student’s discourse sample and a major paper developing a selected analytical approach in depth.

COMM 6445: Communication and Culture. Professor: David Boromisza-Habashi

The focus of this graduate course is the life of culture in communication, and of communication in culture. We will seek answers to these questions: How can communicative practices be seen as cultural practices? How is “culture” itself a product of communication? What happens where divergent culturally specific communicative practices come into contact? We will cultivate an interest in the cultural forms and meanings of observable language use chiefly, although not exclusively, in the tradition of the ethnography of communication. The course has two main objectives: (1) to acquaint you with classic and contemporary readings that engage the relationship between communication and culture, and (2) to introduce you to ways in which you can adopt a cultural approach toward communication phenomena. Although this is a survey and not a methods course, you will have the opportunity to use ethnographic methodologies to develop new field-based research projects or to sharpen some aspects of their existing projects. The course comprises four units. Unit 1 focuses on classic readings. Unit 2 is concerned with what it means to adopt a cultural approach to language use. Unit 3 reviews cultural approaches to topics of concern to our department’s chief areas of study: rhetoric, discourse and society, organizational communication, and critical/cultural studies. The focus of Unit 4 is intercultural communication.

COMM 6460: Ethnography of Communication. Professor: David Boromisza-Habashi

Introduces graduate students to the theory, methodology, and practice of the ethnography of communication. Students read existing literature in the tradition, and design and implement a field-based project that centers on culturally patterned forms and styles of communicative conduct. Prior graduate-level coursework in basic qualitative research methods is required.

COMM 6470: Meetings, Their Practices and Problems. Professor: Karen Tracy

Meetings are a, if not the, most routinely used communicative form that institutional groups use to accomplish their multiple purposes. Public deliberative groups, teams in workplaces, grassroots social action groups, official political organizations, support-giving institutions: All do work in meetings. It is only a slight exaggeration to say that meeting is what groups are all about. Through meetings groups solve (and create) problems, give information and misinformation, develop and rework policies, make (and remake) decisions, affirm (and dissolve) groupness, and, sometimes, change the world. Meetings are where groups celebrate (and challenge) institutionally important values; they are also routine sites in which individuals display their own power and resist the demands of others. The “having of meetings” is linked to some of society’s most valued ideals—giving voice, fairness, democracy. At the same time meetings are everyone’s favorite thing to hate, occasions to be escaped, complained about, and derogated.

The purpose of this seminar is twofold. A first goal is to develop your familiarity with a disciplinarily diverse and interesting literature about meetings, including influential case studies, a picture of how they came into existence historically, theorizing about their functions and effects, routine communicative practices that occur in them, common interactional troubles, cross-cultural differences, and some of the different expectations about “ideal” meeting conduct. A second goal is for you to carry out a field research project on some specific set of meetings, the scope of which will depend on whether you are an MA or PhD student. In the seminar we will move back and forth between discussion of readings and occasional mini-lectures, and the analysis of tapes and written documents (e.g., minutes, policy documents, virtual discussions) from the meetings that are the foci of people’s different projects.

Seminar Prerequisite: Students are expected to have some familiarity with qualitative research methods.

COMM 6740: Power and Control in Organizations. Professor: Stan Deetz

This course is a Ph.D.-level course offered in a seminar format. No specific background is required though both basic organization and communication theory would be helpful. The course focuses on understanding the relations among power, language, social/cultural practices, and the treatment and/or suppression of important conflicts as they relate to the production of individual identities, social knowledge, and decision-making in corporate and community organizations. Most of the attention will be at the micro-level looking at how discourse and concrete practices produce and reproduce relations of power, though larger institutional forces, ideology and society-level discursive formations will be related to these. The readings will include studies investigating the positive forces of member production and the need for control and compliance especially within knowledge-intensive and other organizations with work practices fostering new forms of normative and concertive control. Other readings will discuss the negative side of these new processes and identify systems and practices of inappropriate control and distorted decision-making including detailing the costs of these for people, organizations and host societies.

EDUC 2625/5625: Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language. Professor Ream.
EDUC 4425/5425: Introduction to Bilingual/Multicultural Education. Professor: Deb Palmer

This course provides a comprehensive survey of bilingual and multicultural education programs for emergent bilingual students. It includes an overview of the history and legislation related to the education of emergent bilingual and language minoritized students, as well as the various models, theoretical and philosophical underpinnings, and practices of bilingual, English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL), and multicultural education. Aimed at practitioners, but likely of interest to all who may work with or advocate for emergent bilingual students and families in schools, programs, or policy arenas.

EDUC 4425/5425: Introduction to Bilingual/Multicultural Education, Professor Cano-Rodriguez

This course provides a comprehensive survey of bilingual and multicultural education programs for emergent bilingual students. It includes an overview of the history and legislation related to the education of emergent bilingual and language minoritized students, as well as the various models, theoretical and philosophical underpinnings, and practices of bilingual, English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL), and multicultural education. Aimed at practitioners, but likely of interest to all who may work with or advocate for emergent bilingual students and families in schools, programs, or policy arenas.

EDUC 5035: Proseminar: Parent/Community Involvement. Instructor: Ana Contrera

This course focuses on ways to develop, improve and maintain effective family and community engagement in education for emergent bilingual students (and special education children). Designed for the practicing teacher and others who work with (or plan to work with) bilingual and language-minoritized children and youth, the class will explore barriers, strategies, and models related to family/community engagement in educational systems. Course will challenge students to understand, prepare for, and even instigate community-driven systemic educational reform.

EDUC 5455: Literacy for Linguistically Different Learners. Professor: Sue Walsh Hopewell

This course examines the theoretical background for understanding linguistic, social and cultural factors that influence the acquisition of literacy for culturally and linguistically diverse students, in particular emerging bilingual (EB) learners. Through an integrated approach to teaching literacy across the curriculum to linguistically diverse students, graduate students will examine important concepts including: balanced approaches to literacy instruction, refinement of literacy instruction to meet the needs of EB students, selection and use of multicultural literature, collaborative learning, critical thinking, the relationship of L1 and L2, writing pedagogy, and assessment strategies. Active participation and guided reflection will focus graduate students’ personal and professional growth as learners and teachers. Opportunities will be provided for graduate students to examine critically their own career-long growth in teaching and assessing language arts for culturally and linguistically diverse students.

The material in this course is complex, dense, and multifaceted. It is learned best through dispersed leadership and expertise. Through readings, discussion, lecture, & individual agency, you will learn a little about a lot of topics while becoming an expert in an area of your choice.

There is an assumed knowledge of basic literacy pedagogy.

EDUC 5615: Second Language Acquisition. Professor Sue Hopewell

This course examines the intricate web of variables that interact in the process of learning a new language. These variables include linguistic, cognitive, social, cultural, and political factors. Learning a new language is both an individual and social experience. It includes linguistic, cultural, cognitive, social, psychological, and emotional elements. As such, language learning involves complex interactions between individuals and the contexts in which they interact. The emphasis in the course will be on examining each of these factors in turn and then attempting to understand how they work together to foster or inhibit successful new language learning and acquisition.

EDUC 5615: Second Language Acquisition. Professor: Kathy Escamilla

This course will examine the intricate web of variables that interact in the second language leaning process. These variables include linguistic, cognitive, social, cultural, and political factors. Learning a second language is both an individual and social experience. It includes linguistic, cultural, cognitive, social, psychological, and emotional elements. As such, second language learning involves complex interactions between the individual and the contexts in which s/he interacts. The emphasis in the course will be on examining each of these factors in turn and then attempting to understand how they work together to foster or inhibit successful second language learning and acquisition.

EDUC 5635: Education and Sociolinguistics. Professor: Mileidis Gort

This course explores the discipline of sociolinguistics, the study of language variation and use, and its application within education settings. Not designed as an advanced sociology or linguistics course. Areas of study include language variation, speech communities, the ethnography of communication, speech and social identities, and sociolinguistic research related to teaching and learning.

EDUC 8615: Language Issues in Educational Research. Professor: Mileidis Gort

In a global economy and in a multicultural, multilingual society like ours, educational researchers increasingly need to address language issues even if their research area is not language. Communicating with users of multiple languages, making sampling decisions concerning linguistically diverse populations, and using and interpreting information from research involving multiple linguistic are among the challenges current educational researchers need to face.

The goal of this course is twofold: (1) to provide doctoral students with basic knowledge that enables them to effectively reason about language and linguistic groups in ways that allow them to make sound decisions concerning design and methods in their own research; and (2) to support students to become critical users of literature, methods, normative documents, and services concerning language that they may be offered in the future for their research.

This course provides the conceptual basis for addressing linguistic diversity from a multidisciplinary perspective. This is not a course for learning a foreign language, a course on teaching a second language, or a course focusing exclusively on English language learners. Rather, this course examines ways in which issues of language can affect the validity of educational research even if the focus of an investigation is not language or if the participants do not belong to a linguistic minority group. The course also examines how language can be properly addressed with a multidisciplinary perspective through different stages in the process of an investigation, including design, sampling, data collection, and data analysis.

EDUC 8615: Language Issues in Education Research. Professor: Susan Hopewell

Examines ways in which issues of language can affect the validity of educational research. Discusses how language can be properly addressed with a multidisciplinary perspective through different stages in the process of an investigation, including design, sampling, data collection, and data analysis. Provides the conceptual basis for addressing linguistic diversity from a multidisciplinary perspective.

EDUC 8630: Bilingual and Biliterate Development in Children and Adolescents. Professor: Deb Palmer.

This advanced doctoral seminar introduces doctoral students to key theories and empirical research on bilingual and biliterate development in school age children (preK-12). Participants will explore sociolinguistic, sociocultural, and psycholinguistic perspectives of the language and literacy development of children growing up with two or more languages, and critically examine how varying educational contexts and policies impact the schooling experiences of bilingual learners from early childhood to late adolescence.

EDUC 8730: Advanced Qualitative Methods: Critical Discourse Analysis. Professor: Deb Palmer.

This course will introduce you to theories and methods related to Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) in educational settings. According to Teun Van Dijk (2011), “CDA is not a method” but rather an orientation, a theoretical stance, toward the analysis of discourse. In other words, to conduct a critical discourse analysis, researchers may draw upon a wide range of tools under the broad umbrella of discourse analysis; what makes in critical is not method, approach, or process of analysis, but rather a shared purpose to move beyond merely understanding the structures of discourse and interaction, toward critique of oppressive structures, and ultimately transformation. At the core of CDA is the hopeful possibility that research can impact practice, can support a re-organization of the structures of power, can open up spaces for agency, and can potentially do work for justice in education.

The overarching goal of this course is to ground and inspire you so you can approach your own data - answer your own questions - with confidence and creativity. To that end, we will undergird our study with an exploration of key issues in the theory and practice of critical analysis of discourse: study design, data collection, transcription, tools for analysis, and presentation/write-up. The course will explore foundational readings in CDA along with a rangeof examples of CDA research. You will be invited to draw from these examples (and any others you uncover) as you develop methods for working with your own data.

Prerequisite: This course is intended for advanced doctoral students who have completed an introductory qualitative research methods course, and who are considering the use of CDA methods in their dissertation.

LING 4100/5800 Language, Race, and Indigeneity. Professor: Joe Dupris

This course surveys historical and contemporary theories of language, race and nation in anthropology and linguistics. The goal of this course is to help advanced undergraduate students and beginning graduate students engage language, race and indigeneity, identify key arguments in texts, and trace their intersections and regimentation in research practices through time. This course will examine how science, religion, and law have contributed to contemporary understandings of race and indigeneity in social-linguistic movements such as revitalization and raciolinguistics. Through this course students will better compare national and racial contexts to better understand the role of language research in establishing and reproducing overarching racial categories such as “Indian” and “Indigenous” and critically evaluate research approaches in indigenous, racial, and minoritized language communities.

LING 4630/5630: TESOL and Second Language Acquisition: Principles and Practices. Instructors: Raichle Farrelly, Ambrocio Gutiérrez Lorenzo

This course is an introduction to the Principles and Practices of the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) field. The course provides students who are prospective, new, and/or experienced teachers of additional languages with a current overview of the field of TESOL and opportunities to build and expand pedagogical knowledge of strategies for language teaching and learning. While the course is aimed primarily at the teaching and learning of English, the course is also generally applicable to the teaching and learning of any additional languages. We will read about, observe, and analyze methods and materials for teaching vocabulary, grammar, listening, reading, speaking, pronunciation and writing. During this course, you will engage in the learning process as we apply skills and approaches from the course to the teaching and learning of non-English languages. Assuming the role of a beginning language learner will foster theory-practice connections, provide experience with home language use for language learning, and raise awareness about the role of home languages in learners' lives and communities. Languages other than English will be used for modeling and demonstration purposes. We will explore methods and materials for language teaching principles, discuss educational trends, and reflect on global and local contexts for English language teaching.

LING 5800: Language Discrimination in Social Interaction. Professor: Chase Raymond

This research-focused seminar will center around a newly created, online corpus of interactional data, called the Corpus of Language Discrimination in Interaction (CLDI). The CLDI includes naturally-occurring footage of individuals being harassed in some way for the language they are speaking (e.g., folks speaking Spanish together while at a store or restaurant in the U.S.). Such interactions constitute concrete instances of a particular genre of ‘language policing’ in public social life, which students in this course will explore by conceiving and conducting their own semester-length research projects using the data in the CLDI. We will meet in-person on Tuesdays, and via Zoom (synchronously) on Thursdays.

LING 5900: Body and Language. Professor: Barbara Fox

This course will examine in detail the richness of the body as a set of semiotic practices in moment-by-moment interaction. Students will record and transcribe video data and write a paper about some embodied practice. The assigned readings will include discussions of gesture, body torque, etc.

LING 6300: Talk at Work: Language Use in Institutional Contexts. Professor: Chase Raymond

This course provides an overview of language use in various workplace settings, with an emphasis on hands-on data analysis. While this may be done in myriad ways, in this class we will use the theories and methods of Conversation Analysis and Interactional Linguistics (CA/IL) to consider naturally-occurring language use a range of institutional contexts. Some of the audio-/videorecorded contexts we will draw upon include: 911 emergency calls, doctor-patient consultations, news interviews, customer-service encounters, classroom discourse, and courtroom interaction. After considering what makes these occasions of language use distinct from so-called ‘ordinary’ or ‘mundane’ talk (such as chit-chatting with a friend at dinner), our focus will be on how specific language practices can affect and even constitute these social institutions’ processes, objectives, and outcomes. Given the important role that language demonstrably plays in these institutional settings, we will also spend some time addressing language-based inequalities in such contexts, as well as some of the laws and policies that govern language in the workplace.

As opposed to a lecture-only class, this course is designed to be as ‘hands-on’ as possible. That is, students will be expected to take what we learn in lecture and in the readings, and apply that knowledge to novel data they haven’t seen before. As such, ample time will be devoted to data-focused activities.

LING 6310: Sociolinguistic Analysis. Professor: Kira Hall

This seminar serves as a graduate-level introduction to the study of language in its social context. Designed as a complement to the graduate-level introductory course in linguistic anthropology, the course will cover insights traditionally attributed to the field of sociolinguistics, broadly defined. Readings and discussion will draw from perspectives voiced in a variety of research traditions associated with the field, among them variationist sociolinguistics, the ethnography of speaking, the sociology of language, and socially oriented discourse analysis (e.g., interactional sociolinguistics, conversation analysis, critical discourse analysis). Classic publications in the field by scholars such as John Gumperz, William Labov, and Dell Hymes will be discussed alongside newer works. The course will focus on innovative directions in the field that have arisen over the last decade: for example, we will interrogate new sociolinguistic conceptualizations of interactive phenomena such as stance, indexicality, style, identity, and enregisterment, as well as examine recent arguments that call for a deeper consideration of the mobility of language in the context of globalization. The seminar has several goals: (1) to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the historical development of theory and practice in the field of sociolinguistics; (2) to equip students with the analytic tools necessary to understand and evaluate contemporary research in sociolinguistics; (3) to interrogate the divide between micro- and macro- analyses of language through a consideration of various forms of social theory; and finally, (4) to bring students to a critical awareness of the place of language in the constitution of social, cultural, and political relations. As sociolinguistics is conceptualized in this seminar as a broadly interdisciplinary field, students from diverse disciplines are invited to join.

LING 6500: Issues in Indigenous Languages. Professor: Andy Cowell

This course is designed as an introduction to many different issues in indigenous languages, primarily in the socio-cultural realm. The focus will be on languages world-wide, though my own primary expertise is in Native America and Polynesia. The goal of the course is to think about possible futures for the concept of “indigeneity” and the potential or necessary links between this concept and the fate of indigenous languages in the context of rapid globalization. Key questions are: the validity and usefulness of a concept of “indigeneity” and “indigenous” languages; the political and legal implications involved in such claims, especially in relation to neo-liberalism and western-style democracies; the linguistic and anthropological claims involved (does “indigenous” function in opposition to “global”? is there something particular, in terms of language structure, vocabulary, ideology or usage, about indigenous languages? are there typical features of “indigenous” cultures that would provide analytic usefulness for linguistic anthropologists, educators, and others?); does the notion of “indigenous” languages imply certain judgments about connections between language, culture, thought and place, and if so, what are the nature of these connections?; what are the causes of language shift and endangerment, and what if anything can or should be done to resist these developments?

LING 7310: Social Semiotic Theory. Professor: J Calder

Semiotics is the study of signs, how they are used, and how they are interpreted. What is a sign? What are the components of a sign? How do people use signs in social, cultural, and linguistic practice and what purpose do these signs serve? What are the connections between objects and social meanings and how do these connections arise and transform? How do social meanings of signs stem from and transform social and cultural practice more broadly? This course engages with key topics and concepts in the study of semiotic theory—e.g., indexicality, iconicity, enregisterment, embodiment, agency— and how these topics bear on research in sociocultural linguistics and linguistic anthropology. We read key works in the field and engage in critical discussions.

LING 7320: Narrative and Identity. Professor: Kira Hall

This seminar will examine the ways in which identities are constructed, negotiated, and affirmed through oral narrative, particularly life stories, personal narratives, and institutional narratives. We will survey different approaches to the analysis of oral narrative, as developed in ethnography of speaking, interactive sociolinguistics, conversation analysis, and linguistic and cultural anthropology. Students will develop technical skills in the transcription and analysis of spoken narrative and will incorporate these skills into a final essay on language and identity in a particular community, forum, or narrative genre. There are no prerequisites for the course, although some understanding of discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, or anthropological theory is desirable.

LING 7360: Language and Sexuality. Professor: Kira Hall

This seminar explores the role of language in the social construction and articulation of sexuality, broadly conceived to include sexual identity, desire, erotics, and reproduction. We will attempt wherever possible to draw links between social theory and sociolinguistic analysis, as we review a variety of theoretical perspectives in the humanities and social sciences and explore their implications for the linguistic study of sexuality. These perspectives arise out of discussions of sexuality in early and contemporary cultural anthropology, sexology, feminist theory, gay and lesbian studies, poststructuralism and queer theory, psychoanalysis, and globalization theory. Texts in critical gender/sexuality theory will be read alongside linguistic texts on sexuality written from varied methodological standpoints.

LING 7420: Syntactic Theory. Professor: Barbara Fox

This seminar will explore the view that “grammar does best what speakers do most” (a quote from Du Bois); that is, that syntax is shaped by communicative/interactional functions. We will trace the development of this idea in a subfield known as Discourse-Functional Syntax, including work in a new sister subfield known as Interactional Linguistics (which brings together insights, concepts and methods from Conversation Analysis and the perspectives of Discourse-Functional Syntax).

LING 7800: Interaction and Grammar. Professor: Barbara Fox

This seminar will begin with a short introduction to Conversation Analysis, and then cover grammatical issues (including phonetics) of turn-taking, repair, initiating and responsive actions, reference, etc. The course will include material from a range of languages, including (but not limited to) English, Japanese, German, Finnish, Danish, Swedish, Russian, Korean, Murrinh-Patha and Mandarin.

LING 7800 Indigenous Peoples & Climate Change Communication. Professors: Joe Dupris and Laura Michaelis

Climate change is a vast human crisis, but land dispossession/forced migration had made Native/indigenous peoples especially vulnerable. This class is about creating calls to action that center indigenous perspectives and acknowledge the special role that indigenous and Native people play on the front lines of the fight against the fossil fuel industry and for organized human survival. No linguistic background required.

LING 7800: Language and Globalization. Professor: Kira Hall

This seminar is designed to bring together sociolinguistic and linguistic anthropological work on globalization with recent work on the same subject from the fields of cultural anthropology and cultural studies. Specifically, the readings assigned for the course will examine varied contemporary border-crossing phenomena that have quite serious implications for language use and theorization, among them globalization, diaspora, neoliberalism, migration, outsourcing, asylum, consumption, NGOification, tourism, and the commodification of identity. We will read central theoretical anthropological texts regarding each of the areas listed above, followed by linguistic work that seeks to expose these processes in grounded, or at least particularized, contexts. The course will primarily be a readings course, with the additional requirement of occasional response papers and a final paper on a topic that builds on the course readings. There are no formal prerequisites for the course, except a willingness to read deeply and discuss course concepts with insight and enthusiasm. (Students with little or no training in the broad study of language and society should consult with the instructor about the appropriateness of the seminar.)

LING 7800: Language and New Media. Professor: Kira Hall

This course is designed to interrogate the relationship between language and new media, focusing in particular on how interactive communication technologies (digital, satellite, or cellular) are changing the contours of social interaction. As scholars of varied forms of socially oriented discourse analysis have begun to argue, the pervasiveness of these technologies in everyday life compels us to rethink some of our most basic assumptions regarding social interaction, whether we are analyzing everyday conversation, narrative, political speech, sociolinguistic style or variation, language and the nation-state, or human sociality more generally. Whereas linguistic anthropologists and sociolinguists are now examining the place of digital interactivity in processes of language and globalization (as carried through satellite television, video sharing sites such as YouTube, email, and MMS or SMS text messaging), analysts of conversation are considering how digital mobility provides important challenges to the deictic and organizational norms of face-to-face conversation. At the same time, narrative analysts are considering how advanced forms of digital editing are changing how we authenticate, distribute, and valorize newsworthy events. This course seeks to synthesize this material, while also considering ethnographic research on varied forms of social media, among them Twitter, Facebook, virtual worlds such as Second Life, online dating services, interactive video games, and personal blogging. We will be particularly interested in how new communication technologies intrude into face-to-face conversation, producing what some scholars have called “augmented environments” and others “interactivity.” Finally, we will reflect on our own position as researchers who rely on digital media for analysis, considering the theoretical and even ethical implications of our use of audio- and video-recordings as evidential data.

LING 7800: Language and Performance. Professor: Andy Cowell

This course will look at the special case of language in performance – that is to say, special, marked genres of language use. These will include narrative, musical texts, joking, speeches, prayers, and didactic performances, oral poetry, discourses of salesmanship, and potentially other genres such as sermons and so forth. We will consider how these are all a special kind of “performance” and analyze definitions of performances of this sort in relation to broader theories of linguistic performativity. Among the questions we will consider are exactly how different these linguistic practices and behaviors are from less marked types of linguistic behavior and to what extent the term “performance” as elaborated by Bauman, Briggs, Hymes, Tedlock, Turner, Sherzer, and others is analytically useful; how such performances are marked in space and time through language; the ways in which such performances are involved in broader socio-linguistic phenomena such as language socialization, identity formation, and the development of cognitive models; and the ways in which phenomena such as literacy or uses of other specific language technologies, or code-switching, use of pidgins and jargons, and the like, can also be considered as performances in the context of certain societies.

The course will be primarily anthropological in approach: we will look at a number of cultures and languages from around the globe, with some attention to the contemporary US as well.

LING 7800: Language in Time and Space. Professor: Kira Hall

This seminar reviews a diverse range of scholarship in sociocultural linguistics to examine how time and space are produced through discourse. Taking the linguistic literature on deixis as our starting point (deictics are expressions such as ‘then’, ‘now’, ‘that’, ‘this’, ‘there’, and ‘here’ whose interpretation depends strictly on the context in which they are uttered), we will move on to a broader consideration of the ways in which discursive practice—whether personal narrative, nationalist rhetoric, stand-up comedy routines, everyday conversation, place names, sexualized humor, online communication, multilingual billboards, graffiti, gestural emblems, or a localized language variety like Pittsburghese—is critically reliant on spatiotemporal considerations for its form, use, and interpretation. The readings assigned for this course consider time and space not as static phenomena that precede and determine discourse, but rather as sociocultural constructs that are ever-shifting and actively constituted by speakers. The course thus moves away from fixed notions of time and space to focus on the ideological processes of spatialization and temporalization, terms that highlight the production of these concepts within the social world. For instance, an important undercurrent of the course will consider how ideologies of time and space are invoked in the discursive production of identity (as when, to name a common example, urban-identified cosmopolitans assert themselves as "progressive" against an imagined rural backdrop of ‘backwardness’). The course will review contemporary scholarship on time and space from within sociocultural linguistics (as forged in literature on linguistic landscapes, narrative, sociolinguistic variation, linguistic anthropology, discourse, and globalization), as well as introduce relevant theoretical work from fields beyond linguistics.

LING 7800: Linguistic Hybridity. Professor: Kira Hall

Although scholarship in discourse analysis has traditionally conceptualized interaction as taking place in a single language, a growing body of research in language and globalization has begun to view multilingual interaction as a norm instead of an exception. Linguistic scholarship acknowledging the diversity of sociality in this current era of accelerated globalization has focused on linguistic hybridity instead of uniformity, linguistic movement instead of stasis, and linguistic borders instead of interiors. This seminar seeks to address how we have arrived at this formulation through a sociohistorical account of theoretical perspectives on discursive practices associated with code switching. We use the term broadly in this course to encompass the many kinds of bidialectal, bilingual, and multilingual alternations that have often been subsumed under or discussed in tandem with code switching, among them borrowing, code-mixing, interference, diglossia, style shifting, crossing, mock language, bivalency, and hybridity. Graduate students from all disciplines are invited to participate in the seminar, although some experience with, or potential access to, code switching or style shifting language data is encouraged. The course will primarily teach perspectives developed within the related fields of linguistic anthropology and sociolinguistics, with some attention to research conducted within conversation analysis. There are no prerequisites for this course, other than graduate student standing and a willingness to read and think deeply.

LING 7800: Sociolinguistic Methods and Research Development. Professor: Kira Hall

This seminar is designed to assist graduate students in the collection, interpretation, and analysis of sociolinguistic data, with special emphasis on ethnographic methods. The term sociolinguistics is here broadly defined to include diverse approaches to the study of language, culture, and society, ranging from linguistic anthropology to varied forms of socially oriented discourse analysis. Participants will decide on a socially meaningful topic to pursue during the first two weeks of the semester, after which they will collect, transcribe, and analyze supporting linguistic data, such as ethnographic interviews, audio-visual recordings of face-to-face or on-line interaction, political speeches, or other kinds of performance data. Each student will develop an annotated bibliography of theoretical and ethnographic scholarship tailored to the topic at hand, and will incorporate this bibliography into the final paper. The ultimate goal of the seminar, to be facilitated by instructor feedback, peer review, and selected readings on sociolinguistic and ethnographic methodology, is for students to develop an article suitable for publication in a leading journal. This seminar is designed for M.A. or Ph.D. students in any discipline who have had previous coursework in the areas of sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, conversation analysis, or socially oriented discourse analysis. Enrollment will be limited to 12 participants, so students interested in taking the seminar should contact the instructor before enrolling.

LING 7800: Bad Words: Language, Censorship, and Profanity. Professor: Kira Hall

This graduate seminar draws from perspectives across the diverse subfields of sociocultural linguistics to understand profanity as a discursive practice that is complexly embedded in culture and society. The definition of profanity pursued in this course includes any use of language that is ideologically positioned as offensive to taste, sensibilities, and/or classes of persons, such as curse words, sexual registers, youth slang, verbal taboo, vulgar language, pornography, hate speech, derogatory gestures, or expletives. A central goal of the seminar is to bring together social theoretical work regarding the interdependency of censorship and profanity with the situated empirical study of profanity (and its avoidance) in specific social contexts. To this end, the seminar will introduce students to current developments in linguistic anthropology, sociolinguistics, and varied forms of discourse analysis. The seminar will also address the claim that globalization is changing the contours of profane practice, particularly within the globalized middle classes, as we consider how evolving forms of media and language contact may be facilitating shifts in social meaning. Texts in poststructuralist, feminist, and anthropological theory will be read alongside empirical and ethnographic studies on social and interactional uses of profanity in order to gain a holistic understanding of how taboo forms come into being and gain their power from constraints placed on expression. Although enrollment is limited, this seminar is open to MA and PhD students in all disciplines. Previous work in an area of sociocultural linguistics is desired but not required. Students intending to enroll in the seminar should register their interest by emailing Kira Hall at The seminar will involve deep reading and discussion, weekly data sessions, and a culminating analysis of a genre, discourse, gesture, event, context, or interaction that is informed by censorship or profanity.

LING 7800: Bilingualism in Context. Professor: Chase Wesley Raymond

Recent decades have played host to an enormous surge in research on bilingualism. This spike in interest has generated many (sometimes competing) perspectives on bilingual issues from a range of academic traditions and sub-disciplines, including not only Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, but also Anthropology, Sociology, and Communication Studies (amongst others). The result is a body of literature that is not only robust in terms of its findings, but also diverse in terms of its methodologies and theoretical frameworks. This graduate-level seminar on ‘Bilingualism in Context’ will actively engage with this body of research by approaching both ‘bilingualism’ and ‘context’ from a variety of perspectives, with a significant focus on code-switching phenomena. At the more ‘micro’ end of the spectrum, we will look at bilingualism in terms of language production and comprehension, drawing on studies from cognitive/psycholinguistics, experimental phonetics, and conversation analysis. At the more ‘macro’ end of the spectrum, we will tackle topics such as bilingual education, official/institutionalized mono-/bi-/multilingualism, and the ideologies surrounding these issues, drawing on research from sociolinguistics, sociology, and linguistic anthropology. Significant time will also be dedicated to bridging the micro-macro gap, with an aim toward developing an understanding of bilingualism that is layered and contextualized. The objectives of this course, then, are two-fold. First, most obviously, the goal is to provide a concrete, substantive understanding of various aspects of bilingualism, from a range of perspectives and contexts. The second, more overarching goal, though, is concerned with theoretical frameworks and methodologies, and their implications for research on linguistic phenomena in general. The course should thus equip students with an array of tools, and an eye toward interdisciplinarity, which can also be used to tackle non-bilingualism-specific pursuits in future coursework and research.

LING 7900: Topics in Native American Languages. Professor: Andy Cowell

This course will be a general survey of several key topics in the study of Native American languages, which for the purpose of this class will be the indigenous languages spoken in the US and Canada (we’ll include Hawaiian in that). As a semi-formalized independent study, the burden for much of the class presentation and discussion will fall on the students: the instructor will bring expertise and guidance, but he will not prepare extensive lectures, though he will certainly be willing to provide some formal contextualization and introduction to the topics in question. We will plan to meet once a week for 2-2 1/2 hours. The course will cover three main areas: 1) language structures; 2) ethnography of communication in Native America; 3) language maintenance, loss, endangerment and extinction and responses to it. We will spend around 5 weeks on each of the three areas.

MDST 6071: Critical Theories of Media and Culture. Professor: Janice Peck

This is a graduate theory course that engages with questions surrounding the complex relations of culture, society and media. We will focus on four theorists— Raymond Williams (1921-1988); Michel Foucault (1926-1984), Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002), and Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)— in terms of how they have formulated the relationship of the individual to society—a central issue in the study of communication, media and culture. These four thinkers were selected because examining their work allows us to explore the historical trajectory of modern western intellectual thought and philosophy, from Kant to Hegel to Marx to Nietzche, from Marxism to structuralism and post-structuralism, from posthumanism to new materialism.

SOCY 5531: Graduate Seminar in Social Psychology. Professor: Leslie Irvine

Social Psychology is an interdiscipline situated between psychology, which examines inner lives and selves, and sociology, which examines the relationships between collectivities and organizations. Social psychologists examine how the self and the social interpenetrate, as well as how individuals influence one another. In other words, social psychology looks at the micro-macro link, also known as the relationship between structure and agency. By setting out as its terrain the intersection of two disciplines, social psychology has the benefits of borrowing from both intellectual histories. Yet, because of the organizational structure of American universities, social psychologists tend to be in either psychology departments or sociology departments (although more often in the former). Thus, there is psychological social psychology, and sociological social psychology. This course deliberately adopts an inclusive view that recognizes the contributions of both traditions, but emphasizes the sociological view. Within sociological social psychology, there are two predominant approaches, loosely categorized as experimental and symbolic interactionist. This course will examine both approaches, but will place more emphasis on the latter.

SOCY 7121: Qualitative Data Analysis. Professor: Leslie Irvine

By the end of the semester, you will have acquired the necessary skills to work with and make sense of qualitative data and produce a potentially publishable paper. You will also have tried your hand at using qualitative data analysis software. You will understand how the conceptual work involved in the data section of a paper differs from the theorizing involved in the conclusion. You will understand how qualitative researchers construct their written texts, resulting in different genres within the literature. Moreover, you will begin to see how one of these genres might well become a “home” for your research. In addition, you will have established work habits that, if maintained, can ensure the productivity characteristic of a rewarding career. To succeed in this course, you must have data to analyze (although your data collection can still be in progress) and at least a basic familiarity with the literature relevant to your topic. You will work on your analysis and writing in segments and, by the end of the semester, you will produce a draft of a paper based on your research. Ideally, this will become your third-year paper and a publication or submission for a conference or competition. [Note: the seminar includes a focus on narrative analysis techniques]

EDUC 6927: Readings in Equity, Bilingualism and Biliteracy. Professor: Sue Hopewell

Explores topics that are relevant to becoming a scholar and researcher in our field.

SPAN 5430/7430: Usage-Based Phonology. Professor: Esther Brown

This course serves as an introduction to usage-based approaches to phonology. We will contrast functionalist and cognitive perspectives with more formal descriptions of phonological rules and representation. We will examine what phonological phenomena can tell us about the nature and size of lexical units. An emphasis will be placed on exploring phonetic, experimental, and diachronic studies in order to understand the nature of phonological representation in memory. Whenever possible, data and examples will be taken from Spanish. (Note: Prof. Brown has said that although this course tends to focus on linguistic constraints more than the extralinguistic ones, students are welcome to incorporate social factors into their semester projects.)

SPAN 5430/7430: Usage-based Approaches to Language Contact. Professor: Esther Brown

This course provides a general introduction to usage-based theory and methods and explores the different insights gained through the application of such theory and methods to situations of language contact. Linguistic phenomena attributed to contact and studied in contact linguistics (e.g.; borrowing, convergence, code-switching) will be considered, and traditional explanations regarding causes and/or motivations for such changes will be questioned. The nature of the bilingual lexicon will be explored and the degree to which lexical representations can be implicated in processes of variation and change will be considered. Particular emphasis will be given empirical analyses of Spanish in contact with other languages.

SPAN 5450: Introduction to Hispanic Sociolinguistics (Introducción a la Sociolingüística Hispánica). Professor: Esther Brown

This is a graduate-level introduction to the study of how language shapes and is shaped by society. The course will cover various approaches to sociolinguistic research with particular attention paid to quantitative methods employed within variationist approaches to language. Most examples for topics covered in class will be drawn, when possible, from studies conducted on varieties of Spanish world-wide.

Seminar Prerequisite: Advanced comprehension of spoken & written Spanish is required.

SPAN 5440/7440: Trends Hispanic Linguistics: Identities and Language Learning. Professor: Tracy Quan

Identities and Language Learning 

How do one’s identities shape the learning and use of an additional or heritage language? In turn, how does the act of language learning influence one’s present and future identities? What social contextual factors play a role in this dynamic relationship? This graduate seminar explores these questions, focusing on Spanish as an additional or heritage language. First, we will discuss key theoretical frameworks regarding the construction of the notion of  “identity” in second language acquisition (SLA) and applied linguistic research. Second, complementary concepts that interact with identity will be examined, including investment, ideologies, intersectionality, and linguistic agency. Third, we will look at methods for conducting identity research--case studies, qualitative interviews, ethnography--and how they may intersect with other areas of SLA research, such as sociopragmatic development and acquisition of sociolinguistic variation.

WGST 6190: Feminist Methodology. Professor: Maisam Alomar

Explores feminist methodology across a range of disciplines. Themes include experience and interpretation, the social position of the researcher, language and argument structure, knowledge and power, bias and objectivity, and the ethics and politics of research.

WGST 6796: Queer Theories. Professor: Emmanuel David

Explores key concepts and debates in the field of queer theory with an interdisciplinary focus on crosscutting issues (aesthetic, cultural, legal, medical, political and social) that shape queer subjectivities, practices and relations.