Category: Time and Space

Prose Study: Border Town by Shen Congwen

This short novel, written in 1934 by Shen Congwen (1902 – 1988), opens a window onto life in China before the communist revolution of 1945 – 1952. The setting is Fenghuang County, an idyllic rural area in the far west of Hunan Province. Here Cuicui lives with her grandfather, who operates a ferry boat across a river outside the small provincial town of Chadong. The boat connects the two ‘worlds’ of Shen’s story: his idealised countryside scene is tucked away in a forgotten part of the world, seemingly locked outside of time; but the town is a gateway to China’s interior lands and forces of modernity are slowly creeping towards their sleepy rural paradise…

Stereotyping Poverty

Find out about poverty myths, learn the social, political and economic reasons that trap people in poverty, and discover both texts that perpetuate false poverty stories, and progressive texts that call for a change in the social narrative about this modern taboo.

Constructing Racial Stereotypes

Racial stereotyping is the act of classifying individuals or putting them into imaginary boxes based on their nationality, ethnicity or skin colour. It is the oversimplification of a person of a particular race. The problem of racial stereotyping occurs when one person’s behaviour is ascribed to a group’s tendencies instead of the causes of an immediate situation.Racial stereotyping is the act of classifying individuals or putting them into imaginary boxes based on their nationality, ethnicity or skin colour. It is the oversimplification of a person of a particular race. The problem of racial stereotyping occurs when one person’s behaviour is ascribed to a group’s tendencies instead of the causes of an immediate situation.

The Future of English

English has become so widespread, and is so frequently used as a method of communication between speakers of different languages (a lingua franca) and for global networking. Some see a future in which English becomes even more dominant – but others suggest a change in the position of English.

Transforming Technologies

Linguistic Economy can be defined as being economical with words/characters/phonemes. It basically means that you can convey meaning using fewer words – so why not do it?! Linguistic economy has become necessary in modern days due to our desire to be more concise and quick in our communications, particularly due to new communication technology.

Proper English?

From the first time we step into an English class, we’re told that the rules matter, that they must be followed, that we must know when it’s appropriate to use a comma and what it means to employ the subjunctive mood. But do these things really matter? Outside of the classroom, what difference does it make if we write “who” instead of “whom” or say “good” instead of “well”? In this section we’ll find out that in the real world it does make a difference.