FYS 101 Words in the Wild: Expeditions in Language & Society

Journey beyond the four walls of the classroom to observe the most unique of human abilities, the power to communicate
with language. Trek into issues of power, gender, and culture toward the very nature of language. Fieldwork, group projects,
discussion and readings will be our tools on this interdisciplinary voyage with words through disciplines spanning from communications, cultural studies, linguistics, anthropology, philosophy, literary criticism and second language acquisition.
How are languages born, how do they grow and how do they die? Can you have a thought without language? Is it possible
to invent a language? How do we acquire language? What kinds of communication are universal and what kinds are culturally
specific? Can we change the world by changing our words? Together we will wade through fundamental questions about language, write about our own observations with language as well as map living languages in our communities.