Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2018

Published In

Sociolinguistics II: Deviance, Dystopia, And Democracy


This course builds upon foundational concepts in sociolinguistic theory to examine discourses of news and entertainment media, across science fiction and politics. Drawing upon contributions in applied linguistics, media studies, cultural studies, and archival research, we ask which realities are mirrored in our everyday language and in the fictional and sensationalized worlds we engage in through the media we consume. What role does science fiction play in our explorations of social difference, deviance, control, disability, sexuality, and normativity? Can science fiction assist the goals of social justice and democracy? How does language surface in the biopolitics of human and non-humans? Together, we will explore key film and television, and select novels by authors Max Brooks, Octavia Butler, and Philip K. Dick. Students will learn advanced methods and theories in multimodal critical discourse analysis and digital humanities.

Funding Agency

Swarthmore College Provost Office

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Professor Jamie Thomas was awarded a Digital Humanities Curricular Grant from the Provost's Office for use in her spring 2018 course, Sociolinguistics II: Deviance, Dystopia, And Democracy (LING82). The course syllabus, assignment instructions, and student examples are made freely available here courtesy of the author.

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Linguistics Commons