CANCELLED! English Agonistes: Narrative Design and Language History

This event has been cancelled to prevent spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Guest lecture by Tim Machan from Notre Dame University, USA.

Et gigantisk høyt tårn strekker seg mot himmelen. Lavt landskap rundt. Maleri. 

"The Tower of Babel" by Pieter Bruegel (1563) 

The Tower of Babel has retained a powerful influence over how the history of English has been imagined and retold.

Return of a perfect and unchanging communication

En godt voksen mann med briller og bart. Portrett. Foto.
Professor Tim Machan

Attributing language variation to human pride and divine intervention, the story also holds out the promise of a return to perfect and unchanging communication.

This dynamic between language change and social structure appears in early modern accounts of encounters with speakers of "broken English", in responses to non-English speaking immigrant communities, and also in modern drives for linguistic uniformity.

In every instance, framing the history of the language serves as a way to engineer some desirable social end.

The lecture is open for everybody, but may have a special interest for linguists (including language historians), and scholars of literature and civilization.


Published Mar. 5, 2020 3:03 PM - Last modified Mar. 11, 2020 2:07 PM