Our times are defined by a wealth of information. At the root of much of this information is the word, used e.g. in social media, political slogans, and advertising. Both elusive and tantalizing, the analysis of word meaning has been a major topic of philosophical and linguistic inquiry.
This course will focus on different aspects of the word as an object of study, building on its linguistic properties. First, we will examine tools developed by linguists to study word meaning and use in everyday speech. Second, we will go beyond a strictly linguistic perspective by considering ways in which words shape our thought and actions, our commercial biases, and even our food choices. Finally, we will appreciate how the use of words may also rely on its materiality, consciously explored by artists.
The course will draw on resources that are unique to IU and to Bloomington, like the collections of the Lilly Library and The Linguist List, a research foundation in computational linguistics that connects industry and academia. The course will not only expose students to resources like the University library system but will also facilitate contact with specialized professionals who can provide guidance on how to find and use resources for specific purposes. The course assignments will help students discover research tools and develop a critical attitude towards sources of information. In addition, we will cover topics related to successfully navigating college life, including developing efficient study strategies and organizing content in a cogent manner.
This course is eligible for honors credit through Hutton Honors College.
Catalog Information: COLL-S 103 FRESHMAN SEMINAR in A & H