posted August 27, 2013

Lecture to Address “Local Language Choices, Broader Social Change”

Dr. Anne Curzan of the University of Michigan will present the address “Local Language Choices, Broader Social Change” through the De Graaf Lecture Series at Hope College on Monday, Sept. 9, at 4 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

The talk will consider words used every day that have been the focus of conscious language reform efforts to promote a more inclusive and equitable language, examining examples such as “he” versus “he or she,” and “gay” versus “homosexual.”  Curzan will also consider the extent to which social attitudes shape language as well as whether or not language has the power to shape social attitudes.

Curzan is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of English at the University of Michigan.  She also holds faculty appointments in the Department of Linguistics and the School of Education, and serves as co-director of the Joint Ph.D. Program in English and Education and as the Faculty Athletics Representative for the University of Michigan.  She received the University's Henry Russel Award for 2007, as well as the Faculty Achievement Award in 2009 and the 2012 John Dewey Award.

Curzan's research interests include the history of English, language and gender, corpus linguistics, historical sociolinguistics, pedagogy, and lexicography. She can be found talking about language in short videos on the LSA Wire, in the column “Talking About Words” in “Michigan Today,” and on the segment “That’s What They Say” on Michigan Radio.

The Clarence De Graaf Lectureship was established in 1988 by the family of Dr. Clarence De Graaf in memory of his service on the faculty of Hope College. De Graaf, who died in 1986, taught in the department of English for 44 years, from 1928 until his retirement in 1972, and served as department chair for 25 of those years.

Graves Hall is located at 263 College Ave., between 10th and 12th streets.