SLA Call for Invited Sessions

From the SLA Program Chair, Kira Hall:

(please feel free to forward this to potentially interested parties )

Dear Linguistic Anthropologists,

It’s that time of year again: The Society for Linguistic Anthropology (SLA) invites your submissions for the American Anthropological Association’s 2010 Annual Meeting, to be held in New Orleans, on November 17-21. As this year’s SLA Section Program Editor, I am writing to encourage you to submit invited sessions, volunteered sessions, and volunteered papers and posters so that we can have an exciting meeting in New Orleans this November. The theme of the 2010 Meeting is “Circulation.” I hope that you will consider orienting your panels to the conference theme (see below), although you do not have to do so.

There are two deadlines for submission: an internal SLA deadline for Invited Sessions (Friday, March 5), and the AAA deadline for volunteered sessions and volunteered papers/posters (5pm, Eastern Time, Thursday, April 1). While you must submit your materials to the AAA website for both of these submission processes before these respective deadlines at , Invited Session submissions must also be sent by the March 5th deadline directly to the Program Chair ( ). Your email to me should include a copy of your session abstract as well as individual paper abstracts from each of your proposed participants. I will then send these out to the SLA Program (6-member) Committee for review. (Note: Invited Session submissions to the AAA website by March 5 can still be somewhat preliminary; you can make changes on your submission up until the general deadline on April 1.)

The word limit for a session abstract is 500 words and for a paper abstract 250 words. More detailed information on panel or paper submission can be found on the AAA meetings website ( ) under “Call for Papers PDF.”

This year, the Society for Linguistic Anthropology is encouraging panel organizers to make use of the official SLA website for the building of sessions: . We encourage SLA members as well as nonmembers to visit the site and post descriptions of panels-in-progress. This is potentially a great way to find other scholars working in your area of interest. The email linganth list is also a great place to advertise panel ideas; for information on how to subscribe, visit


For those of you unfamiliar with the conference structure, Invited Sessions are, in the words of the AAA, “innovative, synthesizing sessions intended to reflect the state-of-the-art in the major subfields and the thematic concerns of those fields.” The SLA Program Committee is responsible for selecting sessions for invited status; we are especially interested in panels that feature cutting edge research and theory, topics that cross subdisciplines, and/or topics related to this year’s meeting theme. If you are organizing a panel and would like it to be considered for invited status, please notify me of your interest via email ( ) as soon as possible, but by March 5th at the very latest (when the full panel submission is due). Again, you must submit your materials both to the AAA website and to me (preferably in pdf format) by the March 5th deadline. (When you submit your panel to the website, you will not yet know whether or not it has been chosen for invited status, so simply submit it as a volunteered session. We can always change the session status later, should your panel be selected as invited.)

Important note: The SLA unfortunately has very few allotted spaces for Invited Sessions: we can choose either 3 single panels or 1 double panel plus 1 single panel. We therefore encourage you to consider the possibility of having another AAA section co-sponsor your panel with the SLA, so that we can put more Invited Sessions on the conference program. If there are other sections that you feel your panel might interest, please specify this on your application to me and I will consult with the Program Section Editor in those sections to see if there is a possibility for collaboration. For a list of other AAA sections, consult . (You can also contact other Section Program Editors directly on your own, to see if co-sponsorship might be a possibility.)

If your panel is selected for invited status, I will send you an email to this effect in late March, with a password to use on-line. You will need this password to answer question 2 on the proposal form, so as to complete your on-line submission by the deadline on April 1.


Please refer to the AAA website for more details on the theme, at . The AAA elaborates on the theme as follows:

“New Orleans has inspired the theme of the 2010 AAA Annual Meeting: “Circulation.” This theme is meant to encourage us to think about what happens when movement is the organizing trope of our questions, methodologies, analyses and accounts. We can think in terms of circulation across time as well as space, through different organizing principles, and in a variety of shapes and forms.
The idea of circulation invites us to consider what triggers, facilitates, constrains, disrupts or stops flows; what is at stake in these processes, and for whom; and what their consequences might be for humans and for the environment. It opens up questions about what exactly circu lates: signs, objects or bodies. Do different things circulate in different ways? Do they change or remain constant? What new phenomena, arrangements and inequalities does circula tion produce? How are resources and ways of understanding them identified, made sense of, produced and distributed in the process? How and why do rates and types of circulation vary across time and space? What crystallizes and what continues to flow and reshape?
“Circulation” also invites us to think across boundaries, whether those are boundaries orga nizing phenomena we seek to describe and explain, boundaries within and across disciplines, or boundaries among anthropologists or other social groups. It asks us to turn our attention to zones of encounter, conjunctions and liminal passages. It also requires us to ask whether “circulation” is a helpful trope for the production of anthropological knowledge. What light does it shed on the (increasingly widely circulating) concept of “culture”—argu ably the central organizing construct of anthro pology—and on anthropology itself?
We are interested in bringing together papers reflecting the perspectives of all subfields and forms of anthropological practice, or across them, investigating this theme with data, method and theory oriented to all temporal and spatial horizons.”


The AAA has again asked Program Chairs to encourage their memberships to consider allotting more time for discussion and experimenting with non-traditional formats. You can certainly fall back on the tried-and-true standard sorts of formats if you wish, but the SLA Program Committee is eager to consider variation. This year, the AAA is also encouraging submissions and presentations in languages other than English, a development that is obviously of great interest to us as linguistic anthropologists. If you are thinking of submitting a bilingual or multilingual panel, I encourage you to contact me in advance, as I will need to set up appropriate reviewers for assessing the submission.

Finally: Registration waiver. In an effort to facilitate the participation of and increase members’ access to international and community-based scholars at the AAA annual meetings, one registration waiver will be made available to each of the 38 sections of the AAA Section Assembly, of which SLA is a member. Unused or unallocated waivers will go back into a pool and a lottery held to redistribute them. Qualifying scholars need not be current AAA members and cannot hold employment in university-based anthropology departments nor work as practicing anthropologists in any of the discipline’s four main subfields (archaeology, sociocultural, biological, linguistic). Registration and membership fees will be waived for the qualifying scholar nominated by sections to receive this waiver. Individual qualifying scholars are responsible for all other conference-associated costs.The AAA deadline for the waiver nomination is March 1, so session organizers must contact Kira Hall before that date with nominations. Along with information on the proposed session, please provide the name of the qualifying scholar nominated to receive the section’s waiver, and a short description of the nature of the scholar’s proposed meeting participation as well as her or his credentials and qualifications (i.e., non-anthropologist, community-based scholar, international scholar, etc).

Please contact me if you have any questions. I’m looking forward to another exciting AAA Annual Meeting with strong SLA participation!

Kira Hall
Chair, SLA Program Committee

Kira Hall, Associate Professor
Director, Program in Culture, Language, and Social Practice (CLASP)
Departments of Linguistics and Anthropology
Campus Box 295
University of Colorado
Boulder, Colorado 80309-0295
Phone: (303)492-2912
Fax: (303)492-4416

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