Reading & Writing Multilingual Texts: When One Language Isn’t Enough (LIT4539.01)

Marguerite Feitlowitz

Switching, mixing & layering; talking back, over, and around: sometimes one language–or one variety of a single language–just isn’t enough. Languages-within-languages, dialects, sociolects, regional rhythms and expressions all come with distinctive reservoirs of history, politics, embedded codes. Expect to read Achy Abejas, Junot Díaz, Urayoán Noel, Sawako Nakayasu, Yoko Tawada, Jen-Eleana Hofer, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Cecilia Vicuña, as well as oral and written texts by colonial, post-colonial, and indigenous writers contesting imposed linguistic constraint and hegemony. If you think you’re monolingual, give this more thought: single languages can change drastically over time (have you ever translated a 16th-century English poem into the English you use today?). Come to experiment: there will be weekly writing exercises, a seminar presentation and a final project.

Learning Outcomes:
* You will read a myriad of texts with exquisite closeness;
* You will have the opportunity to think deeply about presumed and actual linguistic borders as they function in a single text;
* You will witness some radical linguistic experiments in poetry and prose;
* You will expand your own writing within and beyond your usual linguistic sphere.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Students should email a substantive statement of interest via this form, by May 5, 2022.
Corequisites: Students are required to attend all Literature Evenings, Bennington Translates, and Poetry at Bennington events this term, commonly held at 7pm on most Wednesday evenings.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
W 10:00AM - 11:50AM & W 2:10PM - 4:00PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: All courses , Cultural Studies and Languages , Fully In-Person , Literature