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Sub-group A:
The Language of Subcultures: Researching Subgroup Jargons (Professor C.M. Hutton)

(Tuesday, 10:30-12:20)

The term jargon has a number of meanings but the focus of this course is on subgroup or subcultural varieties, that is, special languages or vocabulary sets which mark out or identify a group. These jargons may be technical, as in the expert terminology used in particular trades or professions (lawyers, engineers, doctors), or informal, for example the poetic, mythic or slang-like jargon used by taxi-drivers, police officers, prisoners, actors, gamblers, hospital workers, restaurant staff, and so on. This course combines viewpoints from sociolinguistics, social history, and ethnography.

 

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Sub-group B:
Life Writing, Literary Studies, and Creative Writing (Dr Page Richards)

(Wednesday, 14:30-16:20)

This colloquium will feature critical, creative, and interdisciplinary work in an exciting and relatively new field called “Life Writing.” The act of identifying and “telling lives,” as the writer Caryl Phillips notes, sheds light on the histories and lives otherwise invisible. This field touches locally and internationally upon interdisciplinary fields and sub-fields: for instance, comparative literature, creative writing, social sciences, anthropology, psychology, history, film-making, photography, documentary, and more.

Cultural negotiations, interpretations, and indeterminacies make the sites of telling a life -- whether in biography, memoir, and life writing, more widely -- continually seductive and unstable. We ask, what are the prevailing assumptions of “possible lives” that a local culture asks us to tell? What are the discourses and limitations, at any given moment, for telling the history, story, poem, or artwork of a “life”? As Jerome Bruner queries, when do we “become the narratives by which we ‘tell about’ our lives”?

Students will work individually and together in the Black Box studio. We will first learn more about the field of life writing through primary texts and the critical readings and writings. We will then explore and open contested sites of “telling” lives. Each student will draw from their entire body of coursework and studies, integrate and deepen their own specializations, and bring to life-writing an individual project and design. Students will also collaborate to bring to life a new and collective original project of Life Writing by the end of the course.

No previous courses in Life Writing or Creative Writing is required.

 

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Sub-group C:
Talk at Work (Dr Olga Zayts)

(Thursday, 10:30-12:20)

In most, if not all, workplaces much of what gets done, for example, assigning certain tasks to employees, checking their progress, making decisions, is achieved through talk. Besides getting work-related things done, people also negotiate and maintain their workplace relationships through talk. Much of discourse-oriented research has been dedicated to professional and workplace communication and the role of language in achieving the so-called transactional (work task-related) and relational (relationship-oriented) goals at work. The first part of this colloquium is designed to introduce the students to some theoretical foundations on workplace and professional communication through the work of some leading scholars in the field, and to enable them to gain a hands-on experience in a range of workplaces in Hong Kong. These readings and the practical experience will be consolidated in the form of google sites on identified topics of professional and workplace communication that the students will develop in small groups in the second part of the course.

 

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Last updated: 20 July 2017