Fall 2024

Language and Power

Listed in: Latinx and Latin Amer Studies, as LLAS-316  |  Spanish, as SPAN-316


Daniela Narvaez Burbano (Section 01)


(Offered as SPAN 316 and LLAS 316) This course examines the dynamic interplay between language and power by focusing on racial and linguistic ideologies that impact minoritized communities in the Spanish-speaking world. An emphasis is placed on the emergent field of Raciolinguistics, which theorizes language through the lens of race and race through the lens of language. By doing so, we will consider the historical formations of power and the stigmatization of language varieties and their communities. Through the analysis of literary and historical texts, socilinguistic and anthropological research, and digital media, students learn about the role of language variation and language contact in various Hispanic socio-political contexts. In-class discussions, small research and fieldwork projects, and writing assignments provide avenues for contemplating the role of language in amplifying or contesting social inequality among Afro-Latinxs in the U.S., Latin American migrants in Spain, and indigenous communities in Abya Yala. In doing so, students gain insights into linguistic variation in Spanish, sharpen their critical thinking skills, and learn to apply sociolinguistic and anthropological methodology to articulate intersections between race, gender, class, and power in varying contexts. As the course is conducted in Spanish, an additional aim is to enhance second language speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 301 or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 20 students. Fall Semester: Lecturer Narváez Burbano. 

How to handle overenrollment: Priority will be given to Spanish majors

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Emphasis on written work, readings, independent research, oral presentations, group work, field work, instruction in language other than English, grammatical analysis.

Course Materials


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2024