Language and Identity - DEEP DIVE SEMINAR

Grace Fielder
Thursdays 1 PM - 4 PM (AZ Time)
September 29, October 6, 13, 20, and 27, 2022
Watch the video to learn more about this course

Language and Identity - DEEP DIVE SEMINAR

Fall 2022
In Session
1 PM - 4 PM (AZ Time)
September 29, October 6, 13, 20, and 27, 2022


Main Campus



NEW! HSP Deep Dive Seminar

Humans use language not just to communicate information but also to indicate identity, that is, the “self versus other” or “us versus them” distinction. Judges 12:6 describes how the pronunciation of the Hebrew word shibboleth was used by the Gileadites to identify their enemy, the Ephraimites, at the river Jordan. Putin claims that Ukrainian is not a separate language; therefore, Ukraine is Russian territory. In the 19th century, language was part of the nation-building process whereby a ‘people’ or ‘nation’ could be identified with a specific geographic territory. In contrast, the 20th-21st century disintegration of empires and globalization has resulted in new configurations of identities. In this course, we will examine the connections between language and identity that are observable in everyday life and provide insight into language and what it means to be human.

What Are Deep Dive Seminars?
Deep Dive Seminars bring together a small group of dedicated students who want to immerse themselves in a topic under the close guidance of an eminent professor.

What’s New about Deep Dive Seminars?
Many Humanities Seminars Program courses are lectured-based surveys, while Deep Dive Seminars are discussion-centric and reading-intensive smaller groupings. This allows for broader topic explorations, debates, and conversations, as well as increased interactions with the instructor. Weekly assignments may be extensive: students might be asked to read several book chapters, scholarly articles, poems, or plays.

What Will I Be Expected to Do?
While there are no prerequisites for these seminars, participants should be ready to complete assigned readings, take part in discussions, and attend all weekly three-hour sessions.

How Will I Benefit from a Deep Dive Seminar?
With more preparatory reading and extensive discussions of their own and others’ ideas, seminarians will find abundant intellectual challenges sparked by their fellow students and their teacher.

Do Deep Dive Seminars Cost More?
Yes. Due to its limited size (20 students), a Deep Dive Seminar will cost more than current lecture-based courses.

Will Deep Dive Seminars Be Accessible Online?
No. Deep Dive Seminars are designed for and rely on substantive interpersonal interactions within the classroom. This purpose is best accomplished in person and therefore these courses will not be offered online or in a hybrid format.

Registration will open online on Monday, August 29, 2022, at 8 AM (AZ Time)

Required Reading: 

  • No textbook is required. All readings will be distributed to students electronically.

Course Registration

Meet Your Professor

Professor Emerita
Department of Russian and Slavic Studies

Grace E. Fielder is a professor emerita in the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies at the University of Arizona. She holds a Ph.D. from UCLA in Slavic Linguistics and her current research and teaching interests deal with language, identity, culture, and ideology in the Balkans. She was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, and has moonlighted as a lavender harvester on the island of Hvar in Croatia.


Poetry Center
Dorothy Rubel Room
1508 E Helen
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States
Located on the SE corner of Helen Street and Vine Avenue, one block north of Speedway and three blocks west of Campbell Ave.

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