HNRS 400: The Multilingual Subject

Enroll now for Spring 2012!

Monday and Wednesday, 4pm-5:15pm

(Note: This Honors College course counts towards your foreign language major, but it does not require a particular second language proficiency. The seminar will be conducted in a discussion-intensive format, as enrollment is estimated at 15 participants.)

Course Description: What does it mean to live in more than one language? Is “being multilingual” a personal talent, a burden of circumstance, a political necessity, a source of pleasure and knowledge, or a curse of history? In this interdisciplinary honors seminar, we will work with a range of philosophical, literary, historical, cognitive-scientific, and filmic texts in order to gain a richer understanding of the human condition in multiple-language settings and situations. We will seek to discover how competence in more than one language has enriched intellectual traditions, given rise to new aesthetic forms, and changed the course of history. Considering how many University of Arizona students engage in spontaneous translation and “code-switching” on a daily basis, the goal of this course is to provide you with a conceptual vocabulary through which to identify and analyze the many benefits—and dilemmas—of living in multiple languages. This seminar is being conducted as a working group in conjunction with the upcoming April 2012 international symposium Multilingual, 2.0?, and a portion of the secondary readings for the seminar are written by symposium participants, many of whom you will get a chance to meet in person.

Required Literary Texts:

Miguel Syjuco, Ilustrado, 2010.

Anton Shammaz, Arabesques, 1986. Translated from the Hebrew by Vivian Eden.

Franz Kafka, Amerika, circa 1913. Translated from the German by Michael Hofmann.

About livelongday

Associate Professor of German Studies, Director of Graduate Studies Co-Editor of Critical Multilingualism Studies | Co-Investigator, Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language, the Body, Law, and the State (2014–2017)
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