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Language and Politics: Political Discourse Conference at BMCC

May 20
8:30 AM — 4:00 PM
Richard Harris Terrace at 199 Chambers St.

BMCC's Language, Society, and Culture FIG invites you to their biennial Language, Society & Culture conferenceon Friday, May 20, 2016.

Language and Politics: Political Discourse


Registration is free, but you need to register online. Link to Register
Breakfast and lunch will be served.

We welcome our colleagues from CUNY Community Colleges to attend. The conference theme is Language and Politics: Political Discourse. The conference provides the opportunity to bring together scholars and students from across the CUNY community colleges to share a rich body of scholarly work in the field of Language, Society, and Culture and encourage students to participate in scholarly research. We see this collaborative event as an opportunity for the CUNY two-year college community to familiarize ourselves with each other's work, share knowledge with colleagues, and identify areas of common interest and/or potential research inquiries.


We are delighted to have Professor Leo Coleman from Hunter College as our plenary speaker.

Leo Coleman is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Hunter College. He researches urban life and the interactions between law, technology, and political ideals in colonial and contemporary India (and elsewhere in the former British Empire). He has published articles on urban solitude, infrastructure, and anthropological theory in academic journals and edited volumes, including a contribution to the Blackwell Companion to the Anthropology of India, and has edited a collection of essays about eating food and sharing culture (Food: Ethnographic Encounters, 2011). He is finishing a book about electrification, urbanism, and nationalism in twentieth-century New Delhi.

Magical Words and Political Speech
Political rhetoric is often said to be literally meaningless—either "spin," "newspeak," or a "dog whistle" that conceals a narrow political agenda behind bland phrases. Drawing examples from recent political debates in the US that invoke identity and rights, and with some help from the theories of magic and language of the anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski and the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, this talk will explore how apparently meaningless language creates social meaning. As we recognize the political force of specific forms of speech, finally, how can we learn to speak, and teach, toward a more open and inclusive political sphere?

For more information, contact Shoba Bandi-Rao at sbandirao@bmcc.cuny.edu or (212) 346-8547.

 

 

 

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