Bilingual Arts


Bilingual practices are everywhere, though we are only beginning to address them in academic disciplines. We will explore the aesthetic dimensions of bilingualism, and some effects in related areas, including politics, language philosophy, and psychology. How do bilingual language games increase political flexibility, or threaten personal or national coherence? Topics will include 1) formalist appreciations; 2) exile as incitation to write; 3) gains and losses of heteroglossia; 4) hybrid games; 5) political dialogues; 6) code-switching and creativity; 7) bilingual theater, music, and film; 8) the art of translation; 9) bicultural spaces. Readings will include prose and poetry by international authors and theorists. Class meetings will feature guest lectures by, and discussions with, anthropologists, linguists, writers, and cultural critics who have worked on this subject.