Fall 2021

Language, Identity, and Race

Listed in: Spanish, as SPAN-312

Moodle site: Course


Fiona Dixon (Section 01)


Language is an integral part of identity performance and perception. Paying special attention to the topic of race, this course examines the power of language and language ideologies as exclusionary and inclusionary social tools, permitting or denying group membership. Via the analysis of literary and historical texts, linguistic and anthropological research, and digital media, students learn about the role of language variation in various Hispanic socio-political contexts. Through in-class discussions, small projects, and writing assignments, we contemplate the role of language in amplifying or contesting social inequality among Latinos in the U.S., Blacks and gays in the Caribbean, Latin American migrants in Spain, indigenous communities in México, etc. In doing so, students learn about linguistic variation in Spanish, hone their critical thinking skills, and learn to apply sociolinguistic and anthropological methodology to socio-cultural analysis. As the course is conducted in Spanish, an additional aim of the course is to sharpen second language speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.

* No prior knowledge of anthropology or (socio)linguistics is expected.

Prerequisite: SPAN 301 or permission of instructor. Limited to 18 Students. Fall Semester: Lecturer Dixon.

If Overenrolled: Preference to Spanish Majors


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Research, Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing, Languages Other Than English


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021