Anthropology News Columns

AN News: Right-wing Politics in Brazil:  Iconization and Accusations of Corruption

AN News: Right-wing Politics in Brazil: Iconization and Accusations of Corruption

Anthropology News Column by Aaron Ansell In late 2016, I noticed a peculiar convergence between Brazilian and US politics. In both countries, the political right spurred mass mobilization against a ruling center-left party through the demonization of leading women as corrupt. While neither Senator Hillary Clinton (US) nor President Dilma Rousseff (Brazil) were indicted on […]

AN News: “Run, Hide, Fight” by Anna M. Babel (The Ohio State University)

Anthropology News Column On campus violence, language, and the climate of fear. Monday was my birthday. I was taking a walk along the river near my house when my phone buzzed. I figured it was a birthday message, but instead it was a security alert from the campus emergency system. “Take cover,” it said. “Shelter in […]

AN News: “Detention, Disappearance, and the Power of Language” by Miranda Cady Hallett and Lynnette Arnold

Anthropology News Article By Miranda Cady Hallett (U of Dayton) and Lynnette Arnold (U Mass-Amherst) During the 20th century, military dictatorships in Latin America became notorious for kidnapping and torturing their citizens. Because many of those kidnapped never returned, family members began to name and denounce this repression as ‘disappearance,’ coining the term los desaparecidos […]

AN News: “The Gap That Won’t Be Filled: An anthropolitical critique of the ‘Language Gap'” by Avineri et. al.

Anthropology News Article Netta Avineri (Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey), Susan D. Blum (U of Notre Dame), Eric Johnson (Washington State U Tri-Cities), Kathleen C. Riley (Rutgers U), and Ana Celia Zentella (UC San Diego) Is language responsible for poverty? If poor and minority parents spoke like rich white parents, would they too […]

AN News: “Difficult Interpretations: Linguistic anthropology and access to social services” by Rusty Barrett (U Kentucky), Hilaria Cruz (U Kentucky), and María Luz García (Eastern Michigan U)

Anthropology News Article Since 2000, any agency receiving government funding is legally obligated to provide clients with access to interpreters who speak their language. However, finding interpreters for indigenous languages can be difficult. Those of us who research languages from Mexico and Central America have become used to regular requests for help finding interpreters. Even […]

AN News: “Interdisciplinary Collaborations around Language and Social Justice” by Jonathan Rosa (Stanford University) and Netta Avineri (Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey)

In recent years, AAA’s Society for Linguistic Anthropology (SLA) has generously supported a range of efforts intended to create interdisciplinary dialogues. In 2014, this support took the form of an Invited Colloquium at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), conceived of by then presidents of AAA and AAAL, Monica Heller […]

AN News: “Charting New Territory: The Intersection of Linguistics and Geography” by Catherine Lee (U Hawaiʻi Manoa)

Anthropology News Column When most people think about linguistic geography, if they think of it at all, they think of dialect atlases such as the Atlas of North American English (Labov et al., 2006). But linguistic geography has the potential to be far more than isoglosses and vowel shifts. At the recent American Association of […]

AN News: “Outreach and Engagement in a Science Museum” by Leslie C. Moore (The Ohio State University) et al.

Anthropology News Column In recent years, several sociolinguists have published accounts of successful integration of Outreach and Engagement into their research and/or teaching, including outreach to middle and/or high school students, university service-learning courses, and meaningful involvement of students in research as participants. We have found it exciting and effective to engage with the public […]

AN News: “Taking Full Accountability (but None of the Blame)” by Aaron Ansell (Virginia Tech)

Last year, in the midst of a campus mobilization led by Black students that rocked the U of Missouri (“Mizzou”), we caught a glimpse of a particular breed of non-apology, one anchored in Christian neoliberalism and felicitous of white privilege. I’m referring to the November 9th resignation speech of Tim Wolfe, former President of Mizzou. Wolfe’s resignation […]

AN News: “Working at the Border of Sister Disciplines” by Anna Babel (The Ohio State University)

Anthropology News Article One of this column’s areas of focus for the upcoming year is interdisciplinarity in linguistic anthropology. We’re excited to have contributions lined up from colleagues who are crossing disciplinary borders and collaborating with scholars in geography, agriculture, education, medicine and more.  If you are an interdisciplinary scholar, please check out the SLA […]

AN News: “(Not) Talking about Unmentionable Symptoms” by Christine Labuski (Virginia Tech)

How do I tell my health care provider about a pain that I can’t name? How are symptoms experienced when they emerge from a part of the body for which most sufferers literally have no words? These questions framed my fieldwork with women who experienced vulvar pain (vulvodynia); women for whom vaginal penetrative sex, sitting […]

AN News: “Linguistic and Local Peripherality: The Case of Chalmatians in Greater New Orleans” by Katie Carmichael (Virginia Tech)

Anthropology News Article In Greater New Orleans, there is an enregistered (Agha 2003) dialect of English that sounds similar to New York City English, making it stand out within the linguistic landscape of the American South. This dialect is associated with the white, working class residents of New Orleans, and is imbued with the sorts […]

AN News: “Why You Should Consider Applying for a AAAS S&T Policy Fellowship” by Laura M. Ahearn (AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow)

Anthropology News Article Are you about to complete your PhD and want to do something other than become an adjunct? Or are you perhaps safely tenured but want to make a contribution in government rather than in academia? (“Ask not what your country can do for you…”) Or maybe you’re just curious and would like […]

AN News: “Anthropological Listening as a Genre” by Xochitl Marsilli-Vargas (UC Berkeley)

Linguistic anthropologists are accustomed to exploring the way speakers create structures of relevance that provide directionality to social activity. Could we also say the same for listeners? Listening has the potential to generate a specific context by listening “in a particular way;” for example, when a mechanic is deciphering the semantic meaning of the sounds […]

AN News: “Neither Home Nor Field” by Erika Alpert (Nazarbayev University)

Anthropology News Article One of the perks offered to faculty at Nazarbayev University is a free campus apartment. When I was hired last year, I was pleased to be offered this accommodation. Not only did it mean not having to pay rent, but it meant not having to house-hunt in the unfamiliar cultural and linguistic […]

AN News: “Report on the 2014 SLA Business Meeting” by Aaron Ansell (Virginia Tech)

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 […]