2018-2019 Annual Topic: Places of Language, Languages of Place

Places of Language, Languages of Place

2018-19 Topic for the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities

fish from the Schuylkill River

Do we need new names for our changing planet? What might a planetary language sound and look like?  In 2018-19, at PPEH, we are considering these questions – and a raft of others which aim to tease out relationships between language and place across a variety of tongues and locations. Our faculty and students will ask, for example, what makes a language "foreign"? What does it mean to be "native," as in a “native” speaker, “native” species, or “native” person?  What is the relationship in a globalized world between national language and national territory? How does language extinction relate to other extinction events? Can words provide tools for revitalization or repair?

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