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After Words: The American Language. Using Interpretive Design to Provoke Critical Reflection on Language Privilege Open Access

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This thesis proposal explores the ability of exhibition design to covertly provoke consideration of complex or socially taboo content through interpretive, participatory, and interactive experiences. After Words: The American Language will take place at the Planet Word Language Museum in Washington, DC, which is scheduled to open in the winter of 2019. The goal of the exhibition is to engage visitors with the uncomfortable topic of inequality in the American class structure, and how it is reflected in the English language, through an interactive museum experience. This exhibition will explore the evolution of English through the lens of the systems which shaped it, a concept also known as sociolinguistics, the study of the relationship between language and society. The target audience for this exhibition is professional adults, ages 25 to 65. Since the goal is to challenge perceived stereotypes in American English speakers, this exhibition has potential for significant social impact, especially in Washington, D.C.

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