Olio Seminar | Words Shape Worlds: The Discourse of Courtrooms

Justine Khamara

Why does it matter if a lawyer begins a question with "and" or "so?" What is a presupposition, and why does it matter in court? Who is allowed to tell stories in court, and how does that impact the case? What are prototypical norms, how do they shape jurors' perceptions of the defendant and the plaintiff? 

In this Olio, seminar we'll use examples from the Jane Doe v. Brock Turner— Stanford rape case, O.J. Simpson’s murder trial, and the Jodi Arias murder trial to uncover the ways in which language carefully shapes what happens in the courtroom.


September 26: Discourse Analysis in Court

We will learn 5 key concepts in Discourse Analysis and apply them to real courtroom transcripts.


Forensic Linguistics Fieldtrip! 

In between the other two sessions, seminar participants will, on their own, attend night court with a homework assignment.


October 10: Forensic Linguistics: A Data Session

The final session will analyze the written notes collected during courtroom observation.


*This Olio Seminar will take meet on September 26th and October 10th in a living room in Prospect Heights and will be BYOB.*




Location: Living Room

Address will be shared with attendees.

Living Room Salons are members only and take place in an apartment to provide an intimate learning environment.




Interdisciplinary Learning with the Best Professors


Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.


Learn about joining the Scenius for $10 / month



Other upcoming Olios


Jan 22

Living Room Salon | Our Struggle with Free Will

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Jan 24

Living Room Salon | Tough Poetry in Dark Times

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Jan 31

The Dangerous Pleasure of Art

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at Blender Workspace

Sign Up - $20

Feb 1

Feb 2

OlioHouse | Our Stories, Our Bodies: Rape Culture in American History

Taught by Jamie Warren
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Feb 6

Olio Seminar | Space, Time, & Work: Understanding Labor

Taught by Lauren Hudson
7:30 p.m. at Berg'n

Sign Up - $75

Feb 8

Rethinking Refugee Trauma and Mental Health

Taught by Kim Nguyen
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Feb 9

OlioHouse | The Love Symposium

Taught by Skye Cleary
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Feb 15

Philosophy and Friendship

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Feb 21

Living Room Salon | Music and Environmentalism

Taught by Kristy Barbacane
7 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Feb 25

What Would Buffy Do? Radical Feminism and the Slayer

Taught by Jamie Warren
7:30 p.m. at Neuehouse Madison Sq.

Sign Up - $20

Feb 28

Into the Mystic: Music & the Moving Image

Taught by Whitney George
7:30 p.m. at Blender Workspace

Sign Up - $20

May 29

Composing Beauty: Mapplethorpe’s Quest for Perfection

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at BAM Fisher

Sign Up - $20


Find out when we launch new classes!