Language, Power, and the Global Economy
This course explores the close relationship of language, literacy, economy, and power. In doing so, it highlights the dominant and alternative economies of language in the context of current forms of globalization. More specifically, this course examines how, why, and under what conditions certain languages and language practices have acquired great social and economic value, while others have become relegated to a marginal status at best. In this sense, we will be exploring a variety of alternative forms of linguistic and cultural production as tools for active resistance to the status quo and the performance of new identities, forms such as rap music, hip-hop, graffiti writing, ethnic arts, etc. Topics of discussion include but are not limited to: the commodification of language; the spread of glob! Al English(es); the language of hip-hop culture; the complex relation between English, popular culture, identity, and mainstream literacy education; the impact of the globalized economy on linguistic standardization and the patterns of language use worldwide; economies for the production, reception, and distribution of knowledge, etc.
List of Selected Readings
Burbules, Nicholas C., and Carlos Alberto Torres, eds. Globalization and Education: Critical Perspectives. London: Routledge, 2000.
Prendergast, Catherine. Buying into English: Language and Investment in the New Capitalist World. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008. Print.
Rubdy, Rani, and Peter K. W. Tan. Language As Commodity: Global Structures, Local Marketplaces. London: Continuum, 2008.