Linguistic Anthropology is the comparative study of the ways in which language shapes social life. On this website, you can find information about the SLA, how to contact us, and about our journal. Be sure to also check out our blog, and other helpful resources.
Don’t forget to vote in AAA and SLA elections by 5:00 pm Eastern Time on May 31st.
AN News: “At the Crossroads of Linguistics and Anthropology: Disciplinary perspectives on language documentation” by Lise Dobrin (University of Virginia) and Niko Besnier (University of Amsterdam)
Anthropology News Article by Lise Dobrin and Niko Besnier For a long time in anthropology, the documentation of languages on the brink of disappearing was negatively tainted as salvage: quaint in its Boasian particularism, inappropriately objectifying speakers as passive vehicles of an authoritatively rendered ‘tradition’, naïve in uncritically adopting the folk category of ‘language’ as [...]
AN News: “Silent Meditation: Speech, power, and social justice” by the Committee on Language & Social Justice
Anthropology News Article by Netta Avineri, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey; Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein, Independent Scholar; Robin Conley, Marshall University; Mariam Durrani, University of Pennsylvania; Kathleen Riley, Fordham University The AAA Committee for Human Rights Task Group/Society for Linguistic Anthropology Committee on Language & Social Justice is committed to collaborating with one another to [...]
The American Anthropological Association has passed a resolution condemning the use of Native American mascots unless appropriate consultation has taken place. The move comes in part through the efforts of the SLA Committee on Language and Social Justice, in conjunction with other AAA sections.
AN News: “Digital Counterpublics: Black Twitter in the Aftermath of Ferguson” by Mariam Durrani (University of Pennsylvania)
Anthropology News Article On November 24, 2014, St Louis prosecutor McCulloch announced that the grand jury trial did not indict Officer Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown. As the news media reports and subsequent protests unfolded, the Twittersphere erupted in thousands of tweets condemning the non-indictment, especially given his self-confessed shooting of an [...]
The annual business meeting of the SLA in Washington DC was attended by about 150 people, and proved to be a lively and informative event. President Paul Kroskrity reported on two areas of general concern: increasing public engagement around issues of linguistic racism and the mentoring of junior colleagues within SLA itself. Paul reported on [...]
On behalf of William Leap (American University), Co-editor, Journal of Language and Sexuality: The Journal of Language and Sexuality (www.benjamins.com/#catalog/journals/jls) is now in its fifth year of publication. JL&S explores the discursive formations of sexuality, including (but not limited to) sexual desire, sexual identities, sexual politics, and sexuality in diaspora. JL&S addresses linguistic work in the widest possible sense, e.g. sociolinguistics, anthropological [...]
A list of links shared by SLA members and correspondents, including bilingual education in Columbia, an oral history of segregation in Alaska, a Faroe Islands documentary, and more. Links do not reflect official opinion of the SLA, its officers or members.
Annie Claus’s essay, “How a professional writer improved my academic writing” at Savage Minds is quite useful. She counsels academics to resist overly long sentences, to vary the structure of paragraphs, and to reflect on each element of the paper and what it contributes to communicating the message. I differ with Claus, however, in cautioning against a particular set of words. At the risk of being labeled a positivist, I’ve compared the frequency of “insipid grammatical markers” in American Anthropologist, the Corpus of Contemporary American English, and the work of Joan Didion. The results, to paraphrase an academic writing cliche, are a bit more complicated.
A report on Fox News intimates that a course using Jane Hill’s Everyday Language of White Racism is problematic. It is not clear from the report whether anyone at Fox News read the book.