The Story of Language: Empires, Languages and Global English

Course NameThe Story of Language: Empires, Languages and Global English
Course CodeHSS558
DescriptionThe Story of Language offers an alternative view of world history from the perspective of languages, living and dying, dominant and powerless, major and minor. English as the current global language represents its focal point. The course dwells in the history of global languages such as Latin, Greek, Egyptian or Sanskrit that once dominated particular geo-political regions and tackles the essential question of reasons and factors of their demise. English documents a tantalizing and unpredictable journey of speakers converging onto particular centers of political and economic power that use English as their defining marker and affluence. As today’s global language, English has surpassed all its precedents in terms of speaker numbers and geographical expanse. It keeps changing and splitting up as it spreads geographically and socially. What is its future?
Learning OutcomesUpon completion of this course, students will be able to:
– Become familiar with fundamental breaks in the history of English and other languages/ language families;
– Understand the geographical and socio-political landscape as shaped by languages;
– Explore the interaction of language, history and geography, and the concepts of global language and change;
– Apply what learned in class to selected problems and posed questions to be answered;
– Frame a researched project by a relevant theory and collected primary data to document it;
– Present the project in class and in a paper, following a relevant thesis, research questions and a strategy.
SchoolSchool of Humanities & Social Sciences
Number of credits (US / ECTS)3 US / 6 ECTS