Modern Greek people from the Black Sea region (Pontic Greeks) trace their lineage, and perhaps even their dialect of the Greek language in some cases, back to the first Greek settlers in the region who arrived in the seventh century BC. But is this sort of cultural continuity possible in the face of significant cultural and political disruptions? This capstone addresses this question by investigating the Greek presence in the Black Sea region from the first Greek settlements in the 7th century BC to the rise of a new Greek empire in the Byzantine period and the legacy of modern Pontic Greeks. Students will engage with archaeological data, literary texts and historical sources to help answer the question ‘What did and does it mean to be Greek in the Black Sea?’
The discussion will be interwoven with the case study of Sinop, an important city on the south coast of the Black Sea. First settled by the Greeks c. 630 BC and continuously occupied to the present day, Sinop encapsulates key themes of the capstone, which will be explored through a consideration of textual and archaeological evidence drawn from current work being undertaken at the site.
- Teacher: Jane Rempel
English is an important global lingua franca, spoken by an estimated 1.5 billion people as a first, second or foreign language and used by three times as many non-native speakers as native speakers. Linguists are confident that the future of English will be determined by its non-native users outside the borders of traditionally English-speaking countries. A truly global language, adapting to new global contexts, English is currently undergoing great flux. There has never been a more exciting time to study the English language.
A&H 126: Introduction to English Linguistics has two broad goals: (1) to introduce students to basic concepts, tools, issues and debates relevant to the study of linguistics (generally) today; and (2) to teach students how these apply to the English language specifically. Goals (1) and (2) are reached together, by using the English language as a case study through which many of the most relevant introductory concepts in linguistics are explored. In this way this course both prepares students to advance in their study of linguistics generally whilst simultaneously deepening understanding of the structure and function(s) of English. As the authors of the course textbook state: “[I]t is impossible to study the English language without also doing linguistics.”
Topics which will be covered in A&H 126 include:
· Foundational issues (What is linguistics? Why study English linguistics? How can a study of the English language contribute to our knowledge of linguistics more generally?)
· the structure of English (e.g. phonetics, morphology, grammar, semantics, pragmatics)
· the history of English (where does English come from? What is its relation to other languages? How has it changed through the centuries? What factors contributed to these changes?)
· English speech: regional and social variation in English (accent and dialects); English in the UK; English in America and other contexts
· English writing: style, genre and practice (e.g. how is language used in newspapers? in advertisements? in literary texts?)
· English communication and interaction (language and power; language and gender; language and politics; business communication; “bad” language, etc.)
· Teaching and learning English (TESOL; first-/second- language acquisition, etc.)
Class sessions are interactive, involving group work and in-class discussion. Students will be expected to complete readings in advance and respond to questions on the reading. Class time will be devoted to review, discussion, group work, and practical activities. A detailed description of the course contents is given in the weekly overview below.
This course also includes a skills component. Through a series of carefully planned step-by-step assignments which will culminate in a final term paper, students will develop key skills in research and writing, thus preparing themselves for more advanced undergraduate research at the 200-level.
‘Language and Society’ is an advanced (i.e. 300-level) course which focuses on the sub-discipline of linguistics known as ‘sociolinguistics.’ The course aims to explore the many and varied forms of mutual influence and interaction between language and society in different social contexts. As such, and in contrast to formalist approaches, this course puts context centre-stage. Some of the key questions considered in this course will include:
- How do norms of language use differ between societies and cultures?
- What is the relationship between language and individual or group identity?
- What has language got to do with power?
- Do people from different social classes use language differently?
- Why do languages change? Why do they die?
- How do dialects come about?
- Do women really use language differently than men? (And why are we so busy with this search for difference in the first place?)
The aims of this course are to provide students with a comprehensive coverage of theory and practice in sociolinguistics, to inform their understanding of its historical development through a critical reading of a classic texts in the field, to equip them with the analytical tools needed to understand and evaluate contemporary sociolinguistic research, and to develop their awareness of the complex interrelationships between linguistic and social structures.
This course provides a general historical overview of the main THEMES and TOPICS that have interested philosophers through the ages. We will begin the semester by discussing the nature of Reality and Knowledge during the Presocratic period; we will then consider some of the various questions of philosophy, such as Ethics/Politics; Philosophy and Religion; Philosophy in the Modern Period; Philosophy in the Enlightenment, etc.; finally, we will finish the semester with either a representative work from a specific philosopher (e.g., Plato, Machiavelli, Descartes, Voltaire, Nietzsche…) or a particular philosophical movement (e.g., Empiricism, Existentialism, Phenomenology…). Students are required to read primary sources in English, to bring their texts to class, and to participate in discussions on philosophical questions.
- Teacher: David Wyatt Aiken
In this comprehensive introduction we will survey the history, core ideas and practices of the major Asian traditions, with a specific focus on the philosophical outlook behind each tradition. As the vast majority of the most well-known Asian traditions have their origins in India, most of our time will be spent examining Indian traditions. We will deal in detail with the philosophical foundations of both Hinduism and Buddhism, which are also discussed in the 100 level course World Religions, but we will also study an Indian tradition which is not part of the 100 level– Jainism. The last 3 classes of the course will be spent discussing philosophical Daoism, which has its origins in China but which has many similarities to the Indian traditions. Because all of the Eastern traditions discussed in this course are highly philosophical in nature, the course will appeal strongly to students interested in philosophy (particularly ethics, metaphysics and the philosophy of mind). Students interested in psychology will also find many dominant themes in the course of great interest, as particularly Buddhism has a refined outlook on psychological issues (for this reason, Buddhist ideas and techniques are increasingly used in therapy nowadays). Apart from theoretical knowledge, students will also gain experience of the practical dimension of both Hinduism and Buddhism, as the course will contain workshops on both Yoga and Meditation.
- Teacher: Ritske Rensma
The religious traditions of the world represent a category of life most of us take for granted. We are used to being bombarded with news fragments about events related to the major world religions, and tend to assume that we understand what we read or hear. Yet few of us have taken the time to truly study the religious traditions that have an impact on the events of our time. In this course, the student will be introduced to six of the largest ‘living’ religious traditions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and the religious traditions of China (Daoism/Confucianism). Where possible we will make use of documentary films to highlight core ideas and practices and establish cross-connections to recent events.
- Teacher: Ritske Rensma