07: Why Language and the Inclusivity of English Matters (Anne Curzan)

I had the pleasure of meeting Professor Anne Curzan at a talk she gave during the MLK Symposium at the University of Michigan in January 2019. After the talk was over, I raced up to introduce myself and ask her to be a guest on the podcast and I was ecstatic that she said yes. Speaking with Anne was easy and enjoyable. It was uplifting to know that she's thinking about many of the complexities that other disruptive storytellers are thinking about in terms of inclusivity of English and the impact it has when we decide that English spoken by some speakers is acceptable, while English spoken by others is not. 


Anne Curzan is Geneva Smitherman Collegiate Professor of English at the University of Michigan. She also holds faculty appointments in the Department of Linguistics and the School of Education, and she is currently the Associate Dean for Humanities in the College of Literature, Sciences, and the Arts (LSA). Her research focuses on the history of the English language,  attitudes about language change, language and gender, dictionaries, and pedagogy. Professor Curzan has received university awards for outstanding research and undergraduate teaching. She has published multiple books and dozens of articles; her most recent book is Fixing English: Prescriptivism and Language History (2014). She has also created the audio/video courses “Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins” (36 lectures) and “English Grammar Boot Camp” (24 lectures) for The Great Courses. Professor Curzan can be found talking about language on the weekly segment "That's What They Say" on local NPR station Michigan Radio.


To connect with Professor Curzan:


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