This course builds upon foundational concepts in sociolinguistic theory to examine discourses of news and entertainment media, across science fiction and politics. Drawing upon contributions in applied linguistics, media studies, cultural studies, and animal studies, we ask which realities are mirrored in our everyday language and in the fictional and sensationalized worlds we engage in through the media we consume. What role does science fiction play in our explorations of social difference, deviance, control, disability, sexuality, and normativity? Can science fiction assist the goals of social justice and democracy? How does language surface in the biopolitics of human and non-humans? Together, we will explore key film and television, and select novels by authors Max Brooks, Octavia Butler, Philip K. Dick, and George Orwell. Students will learn advanced methods and theories in multimodal critical discourse analysis, ethnography of communication, and digital humanities.
- Teacher: Jamie Thomas