Wednesday, January 11, 2017

[The 9th Annual CUHK Anthropology Postgraduate Student Forum] Danes Call People with Down Syndrome ‘Mongol’: Politically Incorrect Language and Ethical Engagement

Title: Danes Call People with Down Syndrome ‘Mongol’: Politically Incorrect Language and Ethical Engagement
Speaker: Don Kulick (Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology, Uppsala University, Sweden)
Date and time: 21 January 2017, 12:30p.m.-1:30p.m.
Venue: 1/F, AIT, School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


What is the point of using politically correct language? How is using politically correct language believed to influence non-linguistic behavior and engagement? What theory of language animates the idea that language deemed politically correct is desirable and good? This talk examines politically correct language in a deeply contentious arena, namely, disability. It contrasts two Scandinavian countries, Denmark and Sweden, that are very similar in terms of government support and services for people with disabilities. However, how people in those two countries talk about disability differs vastly. In Sweden, language about disability is carefully monitored. In Denmark, there is little or no political correctness when it comes to disability. How does this contrast in language relate to the respect with which people with disabilities are accorded?

Kulick is Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology at Uppsala University in Sweden, where he directs a large research program titled “Engaging Vulnerability”. He has conducted long-term fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, Brazil, and Scandinavia, and has published in a number of fields, including linguistic anthropology, sexuality and gender studies, and disability studies. His books include Travesti: sex, gender and culture among Brazilian transgendered prostitutes (1998); Taboo: sex, gender and erotic subjectivity in anthropological fieldwork (1995; with Margaret Willson); Fat: the anthropology of an obsession (2005, with Anne Meneley); Language and Sexuality (2003, with Deborah Cameron); and Loneliness and its Opposite: sex, disability and the ethics of engagement (2015, with Jens Rydström).

All interested are welcome!

Flyer of the keynote speech

Poster of  The 9th Annual CUHK Anthropology Postgraduate Student Forum

1 comment: