Language, Culture, and History: a reading list

Having appropriately propitiated the curricular deities, it appears that this coming fall, I’m going to be teaching a graduate seminar in linguistic anthropology on the topic of Language, Culture, and History.   The readings will be drawn from linguistically-oriented historical anthropology and ethnohistory, anthropologically-oriented historical sociolinguistics, and linguistically-oriented archaeology, if that makes any sense.  Maybe not?

Anyway, last night I put together my ‘long list’ of 40-odd books that we might potentially read. Some of these will come off the list due to price or availability.  Others I haven’t looked at thoroughly yet, and when I do will come off because they aren’t suitable.  That might get me down to 25, but then I’ll need to get it down to 13 or 14, one a week. The rest can go on a list from which individual students can pick to do individual book reviews and presentations.

Here’s the list, below.  Additional ideas of books that fit these general themes would be welcome. Any thoughts?

Anthony, D. W. (2009). The horse, the wheel, and language: how Bronze-Age riders from the Eurasian steppes shaped the modern world. Princeton University Press.

Bate, Bernard. (2009). Tamil Oratory and the Dravidian Aesthetic: Democratic Practice in South India. Columbia University Press.

Bellwood, Peter. (2014). First migrants: ancient migration in global perspective. John Wiley & Sons.

Bender, Margaret Clelland. (2002). Signs of Cherokee culture: Sequoyah’s syllabary in Eastern Cherokee life. Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Press.

Blench, Roger. (2006). Archaeology, language, and the African past. Lanham, MD: Rowman Altamira.

Bolton, Kingsley. (2006). Chinese Englishes. Cambridge University Press.

Bouchard, Chantal. (2008). Obsessed with language: a sociolinguistic history of Quebec (Vol. 55). Guernica Editions.

Burke, P. (2004). Languages and communities in early modern Europe. Cambridge University Press.

Chase-Dunn, C. K., & Mann, K. M. (1998). The Wintu & Their Neighbors: A Very Small World-system in Northern California. University of Arizona Press.

Chew, P. G. L. (2012). A sociolinguistic history of early identities in Singapore: From colonialism to nationalism. Palgrave Macmillan.

Dakubu, Mary E. (1997). Korle Meets the Sea: A Sociolinguistic History of Accra. New York: Oxford University Press.

Drechsel, E. J. (2014). Language Contact in the Early Colonial Pacific: Maritime Polynesian Pidgin before Pidgin English. Cambridge University Press.

Drews, R. (1994). The coming of the Greeks: Indo-European conquests in the Aegean and the Near East. Princeton University Press.

Eisenlohr, Patrick. (2006). Little India: diaspora, time, and ethnolinguistic belonging in Hindu Mauritius. University of California Press.

Errington, Joseph. (2008). Linguistics in a colonial world: A story of language, meaning, and power. John Wiley & Sons.

Goody, Jack. (1987). The Interface between the Written and the Oral. Cambridge University Press.

Goody, Jack. (1977). The domestication of the savage mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Graff, Harvey J. (1979). The literacy myth: Literacy and social structure in the nineteenth-century city. New York: Academic Press.

Granberry, Julian. (2011). The Calusa: Linguistic and Cultural Origins and Relationships. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press.

Gray, Edward G. (1999). New World Babel: Languages and Nations in Early America. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Groce, Nora Ellen. (1988). Everyone here spoke sign language: Hereditary deafness on Martha’s Vineyard. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Hanks, William F. (2010). Converting words: Maya in the age of the cross. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Kirch, Patrick Vinton. (2010). How chiefs became kings: divine kingship and the rise of archaic states in ancient Hawai’i. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Kroskrity, Paul V. (1993). Language, history, and identity: Ethnolinguistic studies of the Arizona Tewa. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.

Lang, George. (2009). Making Wawa: The genesis of Chinook Jargon. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Leonard, S. P. (2012). Language, society and identity in early Iceland. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Lurie, David B. (2011). Realms of literacy: early Japan and the history of writing. Harvard University Asia Center.

McQuillan, P. (2003). Native and Natural. University of Notre Dame Press.

Mitchell, L. C. (2001). Grammar Wars: Language as cultural battlefield in 17th and 18th century England. Ashgate Publishing.

Nichols, P. C. (2009). Voices of Our Ancestors: Language Contact in Early South Carolina. Univ of South Carolina Press.

Pollock, Sheldon. (2006). The language of the gods in the world of men: Sanskrit, culture, and power in premodern India. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Rappaport, Joanne, & Cummins, Tom. (2011). Beyond the Lettered City: Indigenous Literacies in the Andes. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Renfrew, Colin. (1990). Archaeology and language: the puzzle of Indo-European origins. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Sanft, Charles. (2014). Communication and Cooperation in Early Imperial China: Publicizing the Qin Dynasty. SUNY Press.

Shaul, D. L. (2014). A prehistory of western North America: the impact of Uto-Aztecan languages. UNM Press.

Sneddon, J. N. (2003). The Indonesian language: Its history and role in modern society. UNSW Press.

Spolsky, Bernard. (2014). The languages of the Jews: a sociolinguistic history. Cambridge University Press.

Storch, Anne. (2011). Secret manipulations: Language and context in Africa. Oxford University Press.

Tagliamonte, Sali. A. (2012). Roots of English: Exploring the history of dialects. Cambridge University Press.

Townend, M. (2002). Language and history in Viking Age England: linguistic relations between speakers of Old Norse and Old English. Brepols.

Wolf, Nicholas M. (2014). An Irish-Speaking Island: State, Religion, Community, and the Linguistic Landscape in Ireland, 1770–1870. University of Wisconsin Pres.

Author: schrisomalis

Anthropologist, Wayne State University. Professional numbers guy. Rare Words: Blog:

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