ENMC 352-MDST 352 (Schedule #705RB-700Q3)
University of Virginia
Spring 2007
201 Clemons :: TR 12:30-1:45pm
Mr. David Golumbia
Office: 304B Bryan
Spring 2007 Office Hours: TR 11am-12:30pm & by appt

Vernaculars, Media, Texts

This class explores the role of so-called nonstandard or vernacular languages in contemporary worldwide texts and media. Vernaculars include languages and "dialects" that are widespread in culture but usually not taught in schools. Examples of vernaculars include African-American English, Appalachian English, Hawaiian "Creole" English, Haitian Creole, Taglish, and others. In many cases, these language practices, while full and complete languages in every diagnostic and linguistic sense, remain the target of intense cultural prejudice. We will explore commonalities and differences in the presentation of these linguistic practices across several genres and places, and students will write two short papers and develop a research paper on a topic raised in class or related to it. This class will have a screening period that meets four evenings during the term.

Required texts (available at UVa Bookstore)

Media we will view and/or listen to for class (generally on reserve in Robertson Media Center)

Texts on toolkit

Toolkit texts for Linguistics majors (students taking the class to count toward the linguistics major will read the following additional articles)

Assignments and Evaluation

Evaluation will be based on written exercises and course participation as follows:


Week-by-Week Syllabus

Th Jan 18. Introduction.

Tu Jan 23. Labov, "Logic of Nonstandard English."
Th Jan 25. Milroy, "Standard English and Language Ideology"

Tu Jan 30. Hagedorn, Dogeaters, Part I
Th Feb 1. Dogeaters, Part II

Tu Feb 6. Linmark, Rolling the R's, pages 1-71
Th Feb 8. Rolling the R's, pages 72-end

Tu Feb 13. Bakhtin, from The Dialogic Imagination
Th Feb 15. Ngũgĩ, "The Language of African Literature."
Th Feb 15. Evening viewing: The Harder they Come. (screening begins at 8pm, Clemons 322A)

Tu Feb 20. The Harder they Come
Th Feb 22. The Harder they Come. Assignment 1 due at beginning of class.
Th Feb 22. Evening viewing: The Wire, "One Arrest" and "Lessons" (screening begins at 8pm, Clemons 322A)

Tu Feb 27. The Wire, "One Arrest"
Th Mar 1. The Wire, "Lessons"

Tu Mar 6. No class. Spring recess.
Th Mar 8. No class. Spring recess.

Tu Mar 13. Yamanaka, Name Me Nobody, Chapters 1-26
Th Mar 15. Name Me Nobody, Chapters 27-end

Tu Mar 20. Parker, Me Dying Trial, Parts One-Five
Th Mar 22. Me Dying Trial, Part Six-end.

Tu Mar 27. Music day 1: Eric B & Rakim, Nelly, The Coup. Click here for music files for both days.
Th Mar 29. Music day 2: MIA, Lady Sovereign. Assignment 2 due at beginning of class.

Tu Apr 3. K'wan, Gangsta, through page 102
Th Apr 5. Gangsta, pages 103-end

Tu Apr 10. Havoc
Th Apr 12. Havoc; Lott, "Blackface and Blackness"

Tu Apr 17. Earth
Th Apr 19. Earth

Tu Apr 24. Summary & final presentations.
Th Apr 26. Summary & final presentations.

Tu May 1. Summary & final presentations. Final paper due at beginning of class. No exceptions!


Last updated April 12, 2007.