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Professor Anne Curzan, Ph.D.

Professor Anne Curzan
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Michigan
I love this chance to share my passion for exploring the history of language and the dynamics of everyday talk. It allows us to see and hear the language around us in entirely new ways.
Dr. Anne Curzan is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of English at the University of Michigan. She earned a B.A. in Linguistics from Yale University and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan. Professor Curzan has won several awards for teaching, including the University of Michigan's Henry Russel Award, the Faculty Recognition Award, and the John Dewey Award. Her research interests include the history of English, language and gender, corpus linguistics, historical sociolinguistics, pedagogy, and lexicography. In addition to writing numerous articles, reviews, and edited volumes, Professor Curzan is the author of Gender Shifts in the History of English and the coauthor of How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction and First Day to Final Grade: A Graduate Student's Guide to Teaching. Beyond her teaching and research interests, she is a member of the American Dialect Society and sits on the usage panel for the American Heritage Dictionary. She can also be found talking about language in her column, Talking About Words, in Michigan Today and on the segment, That's What They Say, on Michigan Radio.
Testimonials

"Professor Curzan is not only very professional, but a delight to watch and listen too.  I'll purchase every course Professor Curzan presents."

 

"Dr. Curzan is so fun and full of enthusiasm, her lectures are a joy. I was like, "yeah!", finally somebody has noticed people saying/using words the same way I have. She explained so many word mysteries that have been nagging me."

 

"Listening to Anne Curzan's "The Secret Life of Words" is truly a joy. Her presentation is vivacious and charming, and the things one learns about the origins of English words is often surprising and funny."

20 Courses and Sets

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20 Courses and Sets

  1. How Conversation Works: 6 Lessons for Better Communication

    How Conversation Works: 6 Lessons for Better Communication

    Anne Curzan
    Starting at $69.95 Starting at $69.95 $99.95 $69.95$99.95
    Like it or not, one of the most important things you do on a daily basis is converse with others. Successful conversations help you advance professionally and make, maintain, and deepen relationships. Fortunately, it’s a skill set anyone can acquire and refine. In just six lectures, How Conversation Works: 6 Lessons for Better Communication will teach you key strategies that can dramatically improve your ability...
  2. The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins

    The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins

    Anne Curzan
    Starting at $199.95 Starting at $199.95 $374.95 $199.95$374.95
    It’s a human impulse to play with language and to create new words and meanings—but also to worry about the decay of language. But by studying how and why language changes and the story behind the everyday words in our lexicon, we can learn a lot about ourselves—how our minds work and how our culture has changed over the centuries. In The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins, you’ll get a...
  3. (Set)  How Conversation Works & Art of Critical Decision Makin Set

    (Set) How Conversation Works & Art of Critical Decision Makin

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $199.90 Starting at $199.90 $354.90 $199.90$354.90
  4. (Set) Language A to Z & The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins  Set

    (Set) Language A to Z & The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $289.90 Starting at $289.90 $404.90 $289.90$404.90
    We know that once you experience our new course, Language A to Z, your appetite for extraordinary linguistic facts will have grown. Why wait to slake your mind’s hunger? Pair Language A to Z with The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins for a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the familiar words and phrases we use every day.
  5. (Set) How Conversation Works: 6 Lessons for Better Communication & Art of Conflict Management: Achieving Solutions for Life, Work, and Beyond   Set

    (Set) How Conversation Works: 6 Lessons for Better Communication & Art of Conflict Management: Achieving Solutions for Life, Work, and Beyond

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $199.90 Starting at $199.90 $354.90 $199.90$354.90
    Enjoy smoother, more successful interactions with people at work and at home using the practical lessons in this two-course set. How Conversation Works: 6 Lessons for Better Communication teaches you key strategies that can dramatically improve your ability to speak with anyone, from strangers to supervisors. And The Art of Conflict Management: Achieving Solutions for Life, Work, and Beyond is filled with helpful...
  6. (Set) The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins & Story of Human Language   Set

    (Set) The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins & Story of Human Language

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $399.90 Starting at $399.90 $749.90 $399.90$749.90
    Dig up the fascinating story behind the development of English and other world languages in this two-course set delivered by a pair of top linguists. First, The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins offers a delightfully informative survey of English, from its Germanic origins to the rise of globalization and cyber-communications. Then, The Story of Human Language reveals how a single tongue spoken...
  7. (Set) Your Guide to Using English Set on sale

    (Set) Your Guide to Using English

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $902.90 Starting at $137.90 $236.90 $137.90$236.90
    Get a lively and practical guide to effective uses of English in this course foursome that will help you be more logical, engaging, and persuasive in both speech and writing. In Writing Creative Nonfiction, explore the entire process of writing creative nonfiction, from brainstorming for the perfect idea to getting your final product noticed by literary agents and publishers. In Argumentation: The Study of Effective...
  8. (Set)  Customs of the World & How Conversation Works Set

    (Set) Customs of the World & How Conversation Works

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $199.90 Starting at $199.90 $354.90 $199.90$354.90
  9. (Set) How Conversation Works: 6 Lessons for Better Communication & The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins   Set

    (Set) How Conversation Works: 6 Lessons for Better Communication & The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins

    Anne Curzan
    Starting at $269.90 Starting at $269.90 $474.90 $269.90$474.90
    Join award-winning University of Michigan English professor Anne Curzan for a fascinating journey into the world of words. The first course in this illuminating set, The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins, unearths the story behind the everyday words in our lexicon and clearly explains how and why language changes. Then, How Conversation Works: 6 Lessons for Better Communication teaches key...
  10. (Set) The Secret Life of Words & Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything  Set on sale

    (Set) The Secret Life of Words & Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $478.00 Starting at $75.90 $151.90 $75.90$151.90
    Study how and why language changes, and discover the concepts and methods for clear and strong writing in this dynamic course duo that immerses you in the origins, evolution, and engaging uses of English. In The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins, get a delightful, informative survey of English, from its Germanic origins to the rise of globalization and cyber-communications. And in Analysis and...
  11. (Set) Secrets of Mental Math & Scientific Secrets for a Powerful Memory  & Art of Public Speaking: Lessons from the Greatest Speeches in History & How Conversation Works: 6 Lessons for Better Communication  Set

    (Set) Secrets of Mental Math & Scientific Secrets for a Powerful Memory & Art of Public Speaking: Lessons from the Greatest Speeches in History & How Conversation Works: 6 Lessons for Better Communication

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $529.80 Starting at $529.80 $599.80 $529.80$599.80
    Explore how you can unleash your mind’s amazing potential and hone your communication abilities with this course set that will give you a toolbox of practical life skills. Start with The Secrets of Mental Math, 12 lectures that will show you how to perform even complicated mathematical calculations in your head. Then turn to the 6 lectures of Scientific Secrets for a Powerful Memory to learn how you can...
  12. (Set)  Influence & How Conversation Works Set

    (Set) Influence & How Conversation Works

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $159.90 Starting at $159.90 $299.90 $159.90$299.90
  13. (Set) The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins & History of the English Language, 2nd Edition  Set

    (Set) The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins & History of the English Language, 2nd Edition

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $399.90 Starting at $399.90 $749.90 $399.90$749.90
    Unearth the story behind the everyday words in our lexicon and study how and why language changes in this illuminating two-course set. First, The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins offers a delightfully informative survey of English, from its Germanic origins to the rise of globalization and cyber-communications. Then, The History of the English Language, 2nd Edition explores a wealth of...
  14. (Set) How Conversation Works: 6 Lessons for Better Communication & Effective Communication Skills   Set

    (Set) How Conversation Works: 6 Lessons for Better Communication & Effective Communication Skills

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $199.90 Starting at $199.90 $354.90 $199.90$354.90
    Boost your ability to speak with anyone, anywhere with this practical two-course set. How Conversation Works: 6 Lessons for Better Communication will enhance your personal and professional life by teaching you key strategies for mastering the art of effective conversation. And Effective Communication Skills is your chance to learn more about how you communicate verbally, the common problems you can encounter in...
  15. (Set) Writing and Civilization: From Ancient Worlds to Modernity & The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins  Set

    (Set) Writing and Civilization: From Ancient Worlds to Modernity & The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $329.90 Starting at $329.90 $629.90 $329.90$629.90
    Get a delightful, informative survey in this course set of the world’s writing systems and the transformation of English across the centuries, from its Germanic origins to today’s cyber-communications. You first explore how an array of sophisticated writing systems developed, then were adopted and adapted by surrounding cultures, in Writing and Civilization: From Ancient Worlds to Modernity. Then,...
  16. (Set)  How Conversation Works & Secrets for a Powerful Memory Set

    (Set) How Conversation Works & Secrets for a Powerful Memory

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $189.90 Starting at $189.90 $199.90 $189.90$199.90
    Communication serves as the foundation point for all relationships. Improve your ability to communicate by first tapping into a series of proven techniques to help you improve your memory with Scientific Secrets of a Powerful Memory. Then, focus on the principals behind becoming more conversationally-savvy with How Conversation Works, so the first impression you make is always your best.
  17. (Set) The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins & Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths of Language Usage   Set

    (Set) The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins & Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths of Language Usage

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $329.90 Starting at $329.90 $629.90 $329.90$629.90
    Is English, as a language, in crisis? Hear the informed opinion of two prominent linguists in this two-course set that reveals the remarkable story behind everyday words. First, The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins is a delightfully informative survey of English, from its Germanic origins to the rise of globalization and cyber-communications. Then, Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths of Language Usage...
  18. (Set) Building a Better Vocabulary & The Secret Life of Words Set

    (Set) Building a Better Vocabulary & The Secret Life of Words

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $419.90 Starting at $419.90 $759.90 $419.90$759.90
    Sharpen your language skills with this set. In Building a Better Vocabulary, use the tools of cognitive science to learn new words in a way that truly sticks. Then, in The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins, hear the fascinating stories behind dozens of words you thought you knew well.
  19. (Set) Communication, Influence & Memory: 4 Course Set Set

    (Set) Communication, Influence & Memory: 4 Course Set

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $529.80 Starting at $529.80 $599.80 $529.80$599.80
    Learn the skills to improve your life with this set of courses. Begin by unlocking the scientific secrets for a powerful memory. Move into 6 lessons for better communication–learning the tips you need for better conversations. Then, discover the tools you need for public speaking from some of the greatest speeches in history. Finally, gain mastery of life’s most powerful skill, influencing those around you.
  20. (Set) Language and Society & The Secret Life of Words Set

    (Set) Language and Society & The Secret Life of Words

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $349.90 Starting at $349.90 $644.90 $349.90$644.90
    Delve into the English language's most fascinating facets with this set. First, see how the words that you speak influence the way that you are perceived in society. Then, dive into the interesting stories behind the words you use every day.