Language and Politics

I would call this course Applied Political Semiotics, but no one would take it. 

Students are asked to consider the nature of the relationship between language and political reality. The course moves from theories of the nature of language and its connection to a knowable external reality (Plato, Saussure, Nietzsche or Rorty), through metaphor (Lakoff), to examinations of how language can impact policy and politics (Orwell, case studies of metaphor and policy reasoning). The goal of the course is not to settle the question of language, but rather to encourage students consider how language is used “at” them in politics, how they use political language, and what (if any) ethical obligations they have when using language to advance ideas.