Language & Power

Language plays a central role in our interactions with others in the world: not only is it a way to convey information, but it is also an action which itself can have a significant impact on others. Language helps us to convey our thoughts and to foster relationships and build communities. It can also be a powerful mechanism through which to derogate, marginalize, or subordinate people.


This course draws on texts from philosophy of language, epistemology, and social philosophy - including feminist philosophy and CRT - to examine how language draws on, exerts, and reinforces social power in both official and everyday interactions.

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Dates offered

This course is currently offered periodically at Illinois State University.

  • Spring 2022, Illinois State University

  • Spring 2019, Illinois State University

  • Spring 2018, Hobart & William Smith Colleges

  • Spring 2016, Georgetown University

  • Spring 2014, Georgetown University

  • Spring 2013, Georgetown University

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