Ordinary Language

CRN 20847 / Th 2:00PM - 4:50PM / 314 Cathedral of Learning
This seminar will consider ordinary or everyday language, variously defined. Why “ordinary” language? You cannot have a career in teaching without spending your time with (and standing in relation to) what many would define as the ordinary, the common, the everyday. Ordinary language is what stands before or outside language that is literary, elevated, specialized, technical, professional, official, sanctioned, approved—you can extend the list for yourself. The ordinary stands as a point of reference. It is often figured as a starting place and seldom as a goal.
Readings will include a collection of student essays, some standard work in composition (Shaughnessy, Slevin, Coles, Elbow) and a selection of work in rhetoric, pedagogy, literary theory, and philosophy, with particular attention to I.A. Richards, Raymond Williams, Ludwig Wittgenstein, J.L. Austin, Jacques Derrida, William Labov, Mary Louis Pratt, Toril Moi, Richard Poirier, and Stanley Cavell. In past seminars, students have written on topics related to film, literature, linguistics, language learning, composition, and rhetoric.

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David Bartholomae

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Category D: Designated Courses

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