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Inclusive Language and Cultures of Transformation

Nov. 713, 2022

The English Department and the Fachschaft Anglistik would like to thank you for your active participation in the topic week on Inclusive Language and Cultures of Transformation, which concluded with the evening event Sprache und Denken im Wandel: über kollektive (Selbst-)Zensur, Meinungsfreiheit und das Ringen um Gerechtigkeit featuring author René Pfister and Prof. Sieglinde Lemke. The great interest on the part of students and lecturers motivates the English Department to consider integrating such topic weeks into the anual program in the future.


Themenwoche "Studienzweifel" | Workshop
"Weiter gehts?! Vom Studienzweifel zu einer guten Entscheidung"

Die Zentrale Studienberatung lädt ein:

Du zweifelst, ob dein aktuelles Studium wirklich das Richtige für dich ist...? …weil die Inhalte dich doch nicht so interessieren, wie du eigentlich dachtest, oder du das Gefühl hast, die Anforderungen nicht erfüllen zu können? Vielleicht bist du nicht so richtig angekommen? Machen es dir familiäre oder gesundheitliche Umstände schwer, dich auf dein Studium zu konzentrieren? Fehlt dir der Kontakt zu anderen oder vielleicht einfach auch die Perspektive, wohin dein Studium dich beruflich führen könnte?

Damit bist du nicht allein! Studienzweifel gehören bei Vielen zum Studium dazu. Die aktuellen Umstände machen es vielen aber auch besonders schwer: zu inneren kommen äußere Unsicherheiten und Hindernisse hinzu. Solche Zweifel können manchmal aber auch eine Chance sein, deine Situation zu verbessern: entweder indem du etwas an deinem aktuellen Studium oder deiner Lebenssituation veränderst, oder indem du ganz neue Wege gehst.

In Freiburg gibt es viele Unterstützungsangebote für Studierende mit Zweifeln an ihrer Studienwahl: Informationen, Beratung, Coaching, Workshops und Onlinetools, die dir helfen können, deine Studiensituation zu verbessern oder neue Perspektiven zu entwickeln. Wie, das wusstest du nicht?

Workshop "Weiter gehts?! Vom Studienzweifel zu einer guten Entscheidung"

Ein Workshop der Zentralen Studienberatung für alle, die sich nicht (mehr) sicher sind, ob sie in ihrem aktuellen Studium richtig sind. An vier Terminen nähern wir uns verschiedenen Entscheidungsaspekten zum Studienzweifel, tauschen Erfahrungen aus und erarbeiten konkrete Strategien für die eigene Situation.
11.04.2022; 25.04.2022; 02.05.2022; 09.05.2022
Jeweils von 16:00-18:30 Uhr

Anmeldung über HISinOne

Inclusive Language and Cultures of Transformation

Nov. 713, 2022

Topic WeekWe are witnessing major changes and shifts in the ways in which different kinds of speech and language use more generally are viewed and discussed in society. What is clear is that the linguistic issues are inextricably linked to broader cultural and societal debates. As an English Department, we are particularly sensitive to these issues because we engage so closely with the concerns and discussions in anglophone contexts, and we thus have a special responsibility in terms of building bridges between the cultures. We recognise and acknowledge the urgency to address what we have termed cultures of transformation.

As a first step, we are going to devote the week beginning November 7 to discussing and critically reflecting on topics that pertain to current criticism and debates in how we use our words, how and why we should or shouldn’t use them, and what wider consequences our decisions may have on free speech and the debating culture at universities and in society at large. It is vital to us that our teaching, learning and research environments offer safe spaces for our students and staff while tackling often challenging issues and a wide spectrum of viewpoints. Language use is thus but the entryway into a wealth of ongoing discourses of inclusivity and change. All of us are in a process of learning, and we wish to create a forum for exchanging views, ideas, and arguments in an open, respectful and intellectual framework of academic discussion.



Students are cordially invited to attend the special sessions and join the discussions.

  • Lectures can be attended without further notice, simply come to the sessions you are interested in!
  • If you would like to audit any of the seminars mentioned below, please e-mail the lecturer.


Monday | Nov. 7

  • 10–12am | Lecture Introduction to Linguistics | HS 1098 | Christian Mair
    - 10:15-10:30 | What’s in a word? – 131 years of woke | Ch. Mair
    - 10:30-10:45 | How German listeners rate African accents of English – results from ongoing studies | J. Müller & Ch. Mair
    • 10–12am | Seminar PS Phonetics and Phonology of English | R3, Peterhof | Axel Bohmann
      Topic: Accent discrimination
      - "Teaching children how to discriminate (What we learn from the Big Bad Wolf)." (ch. 7 in Lippi-Green, Rosina. 2012. English with an Accent. Milton Park: Routledge, 101-129.)
      - Baugh, John. 2003. "Linguistic profiling." In S. Makoni, G. Smitherman, A. F. Ball, A. K. Spears (eds), Black Linguistics: Language, Society, and Politics in Africa and the Americas. London: Routledge, 155-168.
    • 10–12am | Seminar Ü Psycholinguistic Experminets | HS 1243 | Alice Blumenthal-Dramé
      Topic: Inclusive design of experimental stimuli | Inclusion criteria for empirical studies
    • 12–2pm | Seminar Ü Theoretische Grundlagen linguistischer Forschung | HS 1231 | Alice Blumenthal-Dramé
      Topic: Guidelines for inclusive language use
    • 4–6pm | Lecture Introduction to Cultural Studies | HS 1199 | Sieglinde Lemke
      Topic: Race in the US: On ‘Culture Wars’, ‘Critical Race Theory’, ‘Political Correctness’, and Wokeism’
      - “Brilliant Mistake.” The Chair, written by Amanda Peet, Annie Julia Wyman, and Jennifer Kim, Netflix, 2021 (≈ 30mins)
      - “The Town Hall.” The Chair, written by Amanda Peet, Annie Julia Wyman, and Jennifer Kim, Netflix, 2021 (≈ 30mins) and “ASU students who filmed incident at multicultural center say they’re facing disciplinary action” (≈ 3mins)
    • 4–6pm | Seminar PS Gender Constructions on the Contemporary Stages of Ireland and Britain | R 00 006, Wilhelmstr. 26 | Sarah Busch
      Topic: The Bad Feminist? | Focus on Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Fleabag
      Read and play:
      - Season 1 of the television series on Amazon Prime or find clips on YouTube
      - Additional: Interview with Roxane Gay about "Bad Feminist"
    • 4–6pm | Seminar HS Variation in World Englishes – Corpus-based Approaches | HS 1139 | Christian Mair Topic: Taboo and prescription – vocabularies of race/ethnicity across varieties of English | Dr. Samsondeen Ajagbe

Tuesday | Nov. 8

  • 10–12am | Lecture English Linguistics: Structures | HS 1199 | Bernd Kortmann
    Topic: Inclusive language and the structures of English
  • 10–12am | Lecture Experimental Cognitive Linguistics | R 00 006, Wilhelmstr. 26 | Alice Blumenthal-Dramé
    Topic: Categories, binarity, and markedness in a cognitive trajectory
  • 12–2pm | Seminar HS Language in the Mind | R 00 016, Wilhelmstr. 26 | Alice Blumenthal-Dramé
    Topic: Effects of stereotypes on language processing
  • 2–4pm | Seminar HS Mechanisms of Language Change | R1, Peterhof | Lotte Sommerer
    Topic: Taboo avoidance and euphemistic language use as mechanisms of language change
  • 2–4 pm | Lecture Survey I: English Literature | HS 3118 | Kirsten Sandrock
    Topic: Early Modern Women Writers
    - Aemilia Lanyer, "The Description of Cook-ham"

Wednesday | Nov. 9

  • 10–12am | Seminar Contemporary Drama | HS 1140 | Kirsten Sandrock
    Topic: Border-Crossing and Nationhood in David Greig's Europe
    - David Greig, Europe
  • 2–4pm | Lecture Critical Mediavalism | Zoom | Eva von Contzen & Racha Kirakosian
    Topic: Weaponizing Medievalism: A Tool for Racism in and out of the Academy | Mary Rambaran-Olm (University of Toronto)
    - Please e-mail for the Zoom link
  • 2–4pm | Seminar PS A State in the Guise of a Merchant - 18th-century Depictions of the East India Company | HS 1236 | Cornelius Beckers
    - Touchstone, Timothy (1792). Tea and Sugar; or the Nabob and the Creol.
    - Nechtman, Tillman (2006). Nabobs Revisited.
  • 4–6pm | Seminar HS Critical Literacies and Sustainability | HS 1134 | Sieglinde Lemke
    Topic: Critical Diversity Literacy
    - Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. 

Thursday | Nov. 10

  • 10–12am | Seminar PS Variationist Sociolinguistics | ÜR 2, KG IV | Katharina Ehret
    Topic: Language Attitudes
  • 10–12am | Lecture English(es) around the World: The British Isles | HS 1016 | Bernd Kortmann
    Topic: Inclusive Language and its Sociolinguistic Dimension
  • 10–12am | Seminar PS Semantics | HS 1032 | Alice Blumenthal-Dramé
    Topic: The debate on the gender star
  • 10–12am | Seminar PS Climate Change Screen Cultures | HS 1134 | Maria Sulimma
    Topic: Cli-Fi Techno-Fixes and Colonial Fantasies: Snowpiercer (2013)
  • 12–2pm | Lecture Introduction to Semantics | HS 1016 | Lotte Sommerer
    Topic: Linguistic Relativity and the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
  • 12–2pm | Seminar PS Language Use on the Web | HS 1021 | Katharina Ehret
    Topic: Toxicity and trolling
  • 4–6pm | Seminar PS African-American Urbanism | HS 1142 | Maria Sulimma
    Topic: Nella Larsen’s Passing (1929)
    - The first three chapters of the novel


Plakat PfisterEvening talk | Nov. 22

  • 6.15 pm | HS 3042

The English Department and the Fachschaft Anglistik would like to invite you to the following evening talk:

Sprache und Denken im Wandel:
über kollektive (Selbst-)Zensur, Meinungsfreiheit und das Ringen um Gerechtigkeit

The talk will be held by best-selling author René Pfister (ein falsches Wort, 2022), chief of the SPIEGEL-bureau in Washington D.C., and Prof. Sieglinde Lemke (American Studies, English Department). It will be moderated by Maria-Xenia Hardt (Science Communication, University of Freiburg).