Language and Gender Autumn 2003

T-Th 1:30-3:20 pm

CMU 226

Prof. Gail Stygall

Padelford B404

Office Hours: T-Th 11:30-12:30; 3:30-4:30


Cameron, Deborah and Don Kulick. Language and Sexuality

Bergvall, Bing, and Freed. Rethinking Language and Gender Research

Johnson and Meinhoff. Language and Masculinity

Course Description:

This course, a senior-level/graduate offering, is an exploration of the intersection of language and gender and language and sexuality in as many of the complex manifestations as we can manage in 10 weeks. I will get things started by describing the research done in linguistics on the language of women and men and the later shift into research on language and gender. The Cameron-Kulick book represents a new direction into research on language and sexuality. Along the way, we'll begin reading in the Bergvall et al. collection and then shift into the Cameron-Kulick volume. We are now mostly without the Johnson and Meinhoff collection-the bookstore is only able to secure 15 copies, most already purchased. I will try to make some of these articles available through reserve and thread them into the course schedule. After we finish the readings, we'll turn to working with theorists on language and gender.

The primary goal of this class is for you to produce an empirical study of either language and gender or language and sexuality. To that end, throughout the course, we'll discuss your final projects. Students in the past have used a range of research methodologies, from surveys to tape-recording conversations, from analyzing texts to websites and chatroom or group talk in texts. I have had papers on talk in sororities or fraternities, letters between sisters, talk at the family dinner table, relationship talk (pick your relationship), surveys of slang terms, analysis of personal ads, analysis of advertising for sexual interactions (phone talk, clubs, brides from overseas), talk at work, talk at meetings-just about anything you can think of that involves a language interaction along with gender will probably work. We'll work on narrowing topics into something plausible to do. And, as a believer of the premise that there is no good empirical research without a good theory basis, we'll work on how to integrate theory with empirical practice.

Course Requirements:

There are three basic written requirements, beyond your attendance and active class participation:

1. Five 2 page, single-spaced response papers, four of which respond to the readings, one of which is a free response on an outside article from a scholarly journal or book of collected articles on language and gender.

20% of your grade

2. A theory summary on your choice of theorist. This should be 3-5 pages, double-spaced and the summary should explain how your choice is integrated with or explains the empirical work you are doing.

20% of your grade

3. A final seminar paper, using your empirically collected data, with citations to other work in the field and a clear theoretical framework for your analysis. Undergraduate papers must be 8-10 pages; graduate papers must be at least 20 pages without the works cited.

60% of your grade

ENGL 473/WOMEN 490: Tentative Schedule

Autumn 03
Date In-Class Topic Assignments and Homework for theNEXT Class
Sept 30 Introduction Read Chap 1, Rethinking
Oct 2 Second-Wave Feminist Linguistics Read Chap 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Rethinking

Write 1st response paper on 1 chapter

Oct 7 Third-Wave Feminist Linguistics
Oct 9 Ehrlich, Meyerhoff, Hall/Donovan, Bucholtz; Thinking about Your Research Project; Tools for Research Write 2nd response paper on 1 of these chapters after discussion; Read Cameron-Kulick, Chapter 1
Oct 14 Language and Gender and Language and Sexuality Read Cameron-Kulick, Chapter 2
Oct 16 Language and Sex Read Cameron-Kulick, Chapter 3
Oct 21 Gender and Heterosexuality Read Cameron-Kulick, Chapter 4;

Write 3rd Response Paper on 1 Chapter from Cameron-Kulick

Oct 23 Videos/Faculty Senate
Oct 28 Sexuality, Identity and Language Read Cameron-Kulick, Chapter 5
Oct 30 Language and Desire Read Cameron-Kulick, Chapter 6;

Write 4th Response Paper on 1 Chapter from Cameron-Kulick

Nov 4 Research
Nov 6 Theory Overview; Combining the Empirical with Theory
Nov 11 Veterans Day-NO CLASS Write 5th Response Paper from an article on language and gender from a scholarly source (academic journal or collection)
Nov 13 Theory Reports
Nov 18 Theory Reports
Nov 20 Theory Reports
Nov 25 Theory Reports Write Theory Summary on Your Choice of Theorist
Nov 27 Thanksgiving-NO CLASS
Dec 2 Final Presentations Written Feedback to Speakers
Dec 9 Final Presentations Written Feedback to Speakers