The History of English The Biography of a Language

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Named one of America’s best professors by the Princeton Review, Christopher R. Fee invites you to explore your heritage from an unconventional angle: through the origin and development of the English language.

Professor Fee is an award-winning professor and medievalist whose expertise spans Old English, Old Norse, and historical linguistics. With flair and gusto, he draws from this well of knowledge to help you trace the evolution of English across a fascinating range of cultures.

In liberal arts fashion, this series of 24 lectures mixes the study of technical subjects (like phonetics, linguistics, and historical grammar) with cultural and historic topics, such as the impact of the Norman Invasion on Old English, the advent of the printing press, the place of Ebonics in the modern public-school curriculum, how English became a world language, and how close the Vikings came to ensuring that this course might have been about Danish instead of English.

Prof. Fee has a knack for combining scholarly insight with great storytelling. Expect to enjoy his account of the characters “worthy of a seamy soap opera” tasked with writing a dictionary.

Language is the foundation of human culture. It is a vital part of who we are and a subject invaluable to anyone interested in the humanities.

This course is part of the Learn25 collection.


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