School of Arts Staff Notices

Humanities & Arts Research Seminar

Tuesday 10 April at 5.15pm

St. John’s Campus, Conference Centre CC 007 (Malvern Room) 

Jenny Lewin-Jones and Mike Webb

Language and social/political change: “Words of the Year” as an indicator of gender preoccupations

This paper explores one way of analysing social change, especially the fluidity of gender and identity. Language usefully indicates such preoccupations. To explore this we analyse the “Words of the Year” shortlists published by key dictionaries such as Oxford, Collins, and Merriam-Webster. We focus on some of the choices of WOTY (such as “selfie”, “mansplaining”, and “snowflake”) and the social shifts they reflect. Our paper ends by offering insights from theorists such as Bauman and Butler, and shows the benefits of transdisciplinary research. Everybody welcome!


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