This course explores the language of politics. In particular, it examines how politicians or political actors and political commentators use language to talk about politics and how politics also influences language. We will examine the speeches of politicians, party propaganda, slogans, and other discourse types aimed at influencing the political process. Also examined is the language used in communicative events like congressional or parliamentary sessions, cabinet meetings, state of the union address, and so forth. The political actors whose language will be examined include presidents and vice-presidents, members of Congress, parliamentarians, senators, governors, and action group members.
Because the course involves investigating how language and politics influence each other, the course will cross disciplines like political science, journalism, and communication. To help broaden studentsí perspectives on language and politics the course will not focus exclusively on language and politics in the United States. To this end, the course will occasionally cross cultural/national boundaries by observing data from the United Kingdom and non-Western cultures, especially Africa (Ghana).