Foreign Languages and Literature

Foreign Languages and Literature Seminars

What's So Funny? (Anthony Ciccone) [Full]
What makes something funny? What are the essential characteristics? Why do we laugh anyway? Why don't we all laugh at the same things? How come we can find something funny one time but not another? Can we be manipulated into laughing at something or someone we might not otherwise find funny? Do we always laugh for the same reasons? Does our laughter always express the same emotions? What makes a good comedy in the first place? What roles do comedy and laughter play in our personal lives and in society as a whole? How do we construct answers to these questions? In this course, we'll attempt to answer these and other questions about comedy and laughter.
Youth Language and Culture (Bożena Tieszen) [Full]
Have you ever wondered how people who don’t know each other’s language seem to carry on a mutually intelligible conversation while gaming online, chatting or IM-ing? This course will give you the answer! We will examine a variety of creative ways young people use to connect via digital media. We will analyze gamers’ ‘netspeak’ and investigate the influence of manga and animé on English. We will also evaluate impact that English has on other languages such as Arabic, French, German, Polish, Swedish, Japanese, Chinese and Korean. We will attempt to define and describe “global youth culture” and what it means to be a member. Does being ‘global’ imply not having a sense of national belonging? Is English becoming “Globish”? Let’s find out!