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Writing/Philosophies of Language 105P


In 1744, Giambattista Vico wrote (here translated into modern English):

“It is noteworthy that in all languages the greater part of the expressions relating to inanimate things are formed by metaphor from the human body and its parts and from the human senses and passions.

Thus, head for top or beginning; the brow and shoulders of a hill; the eyes of needles and of potatoes; mouth for any opening; the lip of a cup or pitcher; the teeth of a rake, a saw, a comb; the beard of wheat; the tongue of a shoe; the gorge of a river; a neck of land; an arm of the sea; the hands of a clock; heart for centre (the Latins used umbilicus, navel, in this sense); the belly of a sail; foot for end or bottom; the flesh of fruits; a vein of rock or mineral; the blood of grapes for wine; the bowels of the earth. Heaven or the sea smiles, the wind whistles, the waves murmur; a body groans under a great weight.” (Vico 1968, 129)


 Course Syllabus 105P Fall 2013

Instructor Email:

Instructor Office Hours: 1308 Girvetz T/Th, 1:00-2:00 p.m.


Password to Discussion Board is:


There are three types of readings for this course that you will be asked to look at and to which you will potentially respond. Links for these readings and guidelines for response are in the schedule below.

  1. Articles/Visual and Audio Clips/Visuals: Information from various sources
  2. Sections: Short explanatory readings on course material
  3. Term Sets: A glossary of terms by topic being covered
WEEK 1                                                                                                                                               _
  • Th 09.26.13      Introduction
      1. For T., READ Scott McCloud from The Vocabulary of Comics
      2. For T., READ Section: Semiotics
      3. For T., read Term Set: Semiotics

Due on T., Post Discussion Responses on: 1) McCloud; 2) Section: Semiotics and Term Set: Semiotics.

WEEK 2                                                                                                                                                
  • T 10.01.13. Semiotics
    • Due Today: Post Discussion Responses on: 1) McCloud; 2) Section: Semiotics and Term Set: Semiotics.
    • For Th:
      2. LISTEN Audio Pinker*
      3. READ Term Set: Unique Lunacy of Language
      4. (for fun only) READ Language Gone Awry
        • * WARNING! Profanity in Pinker.
        • This link is to first ten minutes of Pinker’s lecture
        • If interested, for full lecture, see Pinker Full Lecture 
  • Th 10.03.13 The Unique Lunacy of Language
    • Due Today: Post Discussion Response on 1) Reading/Audio 2) Term Set: Unique Lunacy of Language.
    • For T:
      1. Read Section: Binaries in Language
      2. Read Term Set: Accent and Dialect
        • NOTE:
          • The Section reading is on Binaries in Language
          • The term set is on the issue of Accent and Dialect.
WEEK 3                                                                                                                                               
  • T 10.08.13 Binaries/Accent and Dialect
    • Due Today: Post Discussion Responses on 1) Section: Binaries in Language 2) Term Set: Accent and Dialect.
    • For Th:
      1. Read Bernhardt
      2. Read (for fun only) “Large Block of Text

Due Th., Post Discussion Responses on Bernhardt ONLY

  • Th 10.10.13 -
WEEK 4                                                                                                                                              
  • T 10.15.13 Visual Quality of Text
    • No response due today-discussion
  • Th 10.17.13 NO CLASS-instructor is presenting at a conference

For T.

      1. Watch Goldin. If you have trouble opening Goldin, please click HERE
      2. Read Term Set: Gesture
      3. View Visual Bodily Code


WEEK 5                                                                                                                                                
  • T 10.22.13 Non-Verbal Communication
    • Due today: Response on Goldin and Term Set: Gesture/Visual Bodily Code

For Th.,


  • T 10.24.13 Critical Question and Discussion
    • Due Today: Critical Question (see guidelines)

For next T.:

WEEK 6                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Th  10.31.13     Critical Questions-Groups
    • For T., please read short essay by Mangini. No Response necessary.

WEEK 7                                                                                                                                                       

WEEK 8                                                                                                                                              

  • Th 11.14.13 The Means, the Message, and Public Writing
      • Workshop
      • public writing/means and message

WEEK 9                                                                                                                                                   

  • Th  11.21.13 Workshop
      • For extra-credit, read Sagan and respond on course blog.

WEEK 10                                                                                                                                                

  • Th 11.28.13     ***********UCSB HOLIDAY. HAVE A NICE WEEKEND!**********

WEEK 11                                                                                                                                                 

  • T 12.03.13 Attendance Mandatory. WRAPUP. Portfolio Materials Returned.
  • TH 12.05.13  Last Day Classes
    • Due: Final Portfolio with Cover Sheet provided.


  • Sat 12/15   Final Article (note that real length requirement is 10+ pages, not including any visuals or citation material. Length may exceed 10 pages, if you wish-there is no upward limit. Please ensure article is formatted correctly. It’s a drag, but we all have to do it. Due by Email. Click here for EMAIL GUIDELINES.