Keywords Revisited: Critical Vocabularies in the 21st Century Academy

Gretchen Lang, Doctoral Student, Geography

As teachers and researchers, the words we choose can carry much more than their literal meaning—or, in some cases, much less. Buzzwords that refer to some of the most urgent issues in our lives—sustainability, diversity, inclusion, etc.—may become hollowed out and empty, distorted and misleading, or deceptive and discursively freighted.

How we manage these critical vocabularies not only reflects our own intellectual rigor but shapes the way our students interrogate and tackle these social, political and environmental challenges. Taking inspiration from Raymond Williams’s seminal work “Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society”, we’ll examine how we deploy these terms in the classroom, and how they can help or hinder our students’ critical thinking skills


Friday, October 12, 2018 at 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Center for Academic Success and Engagement (CASE), W313