Gender, Language, and Creativity

This course, which is suitable for students from a great variety of disciplines, aims to introduce them to a large body of literature on how gender affects people’s creative selection of language during communication. Students will develop a systematic understanding of how different people make innovative use of language creatively and how their linguistic creativity or idiosyncrasy reflects the construction and reproduction of gender similarities/differences, individual identity, personal relations, and gender politics in real-life communication.


Taking a historical approach, students will first be introduced to distinct phases in the development of gender studies in linguistics. Major theories and classical works in the field will be presented and discussed through interactive activities (e.g. group discussion, debates) with a range of spoken and written language examples in order to show students how gender plays an essential role in linguistic creativity.


Building on the knowledge obtained during the study of major theoretical models of gender studies in sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, pragmatics, and intercultural communication studies, and corporate studies, students will further explore the correlation between gender and linguistic creativity in real-life communication in different contexts. Different methods and analytical tools, which are useful for investigating how the creative use of language by different people manifests power struggle between and within different gender groups and how the former influences the formation and the change of the latter, will be introduced through interactive hands-on activities. This course will facilitate students’ reflection upon their own roles and identities and help them develop linguistic creativity in daily-life communication in different contexts.


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