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Professors Anne Curzan, Robin Queen, and Heather Thompson's Collegiate Professorship Inaugural Lecture

Monday, March 11, 2024
4:00-5:30 PM
Forum Hall Palmer Commons Map
This event will take place both in person and virtually. Additional details regarding each lecture can be found below.

Professor Anne Curzan, the Geneva Smitherman Collegiate Professor of English Language and Literature, Linguistics, and Education

Lecture Title: On Listening and Language Peeves

Abstract: Many of us grew up with a strong sense of “right” and “wrong” in language, perhaps drilled into us at school or at home. And these rules of correctness, often naturalized to feel like common sense, make language one of our most powerful gate-keeping tools, from schools to workplaces. What happens when we pull back the curtain and ask where these rules come from? Who resists and why? This talk considers the implications for inclusion and justice when we recognize linguistic diversity as part of cultural diversity and language change as part of every living language.

Professor Robin Queen, the Sarah G. Thomason Collegiate Professor of Linguistics

Lecture Title: On the Performative Power of Taboo Words in Fictional Television and Film

Abstract: Tabooed words present a fascinating source of cross-cultural and cross-linguistic puzzles. For instance, taboo words in fictional television and film have become much more common since the turn of the century even as they remain formally regulated through ratings systems, guidelines from the FCC, and other similar sources. This talk explores the cultural and linguistic factors that have facilitated an increased use of taboo words in fictional television and film along with the ways in which that increase has coincided with reframing regulation away from preventing offense (or breaking the taboo) and toward the ideological protection of children.

Dr. Heather Ann Thompson, the Frank W. Thompson Collegiate Professor of History and African American Studies

Lecture Title: On The Ugly 80s: Rethinking Contemporary Police Violence, White Vigilantism, and their Contested Reckonings

Abstract: In the popular imagination the decade of the 1980s was all about Big Hair, garish neon, consumerism, and corporate greed. It was also, in fact, the crucible of an unprecedented urban crisis. This lecture will revisit the 1980s and its underappreciated legacies in order to shine new light on today’s civic battles over policing as well as its alarming public support for acts of white vigilantism. It draws from new work Thompson is doing on two important moments in that decade—Bernie Goetz’s notorious shooting of Black youth on NYC subway in 1984, and the Philadelphia police’s bombing of MOVE in 1985.

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Webinar ID: 998 4827 6472
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Building: Palmer Commons
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: AEM Featured
Source: Happening @ Michigan from The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, Department of History, Department of Linguistics, Communication and Media, Department of English Language and Literature, Germanic Languages & Literatures, African American Studies