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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2006

E 376L • Non-Standard Englishes in Contemporary Novels and Films

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35532 TTh
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
MEZ 1.206

Course Description

In addition to the variety of English referred to as 'Standard English', there are regional standard varieties, such as Standard Scottish English (SSE), Indian English and Standard Jamaican English (SJE), and varieties regarded as "non-standard," such as African American Vernacular English (AAVE). On this course, we will look at the representation of these regional standard Englishes and non-standard Englishes in contemporary novels and films.

We begin by elaborating the role played by factors such as nationhood, language policy, literary tradition and education in defining what is to count as a standard variety of a language, and thus how certain varieties come to count as non-standard. We then look at soecific examples of texts and films.

Grading Policy

A 3,000-word essay on a topic chosen from a list of topics. This counts for 85% of the overall assessment. The remaining 15% is based on in-class tests.


Literary Texts
Paul Auster (2004), Auggie Wren's Christmas Story
Irvine Welsh (1993), Trainspotting
D.H. Lawrence (1928), Lady Chatterley's Lover
Two or three more novels TBA.

Films/Television Dramatizations
Wayne Wang & Paul Auster, directors, Smoke
Danny Boyle, director, Trainspotting
Dramatisation of the Lady Chatterley trial
Gurinder Chada, director, Bend It Like Beckham
One more film TBA.


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