CEERES of Voices: Susan Gal and Judith Irvine, "Signs of Difference"


Susan Gal and Judith T. Irvine discuss Signs of Difference: Language and Ideology in Social Life. They will be joined in conversation by Constantine Nakassis. Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

Presented in partnership with CEERES, The Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies.

About the book: How are people's ideas about languages, ways of speaking, and expressive styles shaped by their social positions and values? How is difference, in language and in social life, made—and unmade? How and why are some differences persuasive as the basis for action, while other differences are ignored or erased? Written by two recognized authorities on language and culture, this book argues that ideological work of all kinds is fundamentally communicative, and that social positions, projects and historical moments influence, and are influenced by, peoples idea about communicative practices.

Neither true nor false, ideologies are positioned, partial visions of the world, relying on comparison and perspective; they exploit differences in expressive features—linguistic and otherwise—to construct convincing stereotypes of people, spaces, and activities. Using detailed ethnographic, historical and contemporary examples, this book shows readers how to analyze ideological work semiotically.

About Susan Gal: Susan Gal is the Mae and Sidney G. Metzl Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology and Linguistics at the University of Chicago

About Judith T. Irvine: Judith T. Irvine is Edward Sapir Distinguished University Professor of Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Michigan

About the interlocutor: Constantine Nakassis is a linguistic anthropologist with interests in semiotics, film theory, mass media and youth culture. He is currently working on a book about Tamil cinema.

Event Location:
The Seminary Co-op
5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637