SLA at the AAAs

September 30, 2017 No Comments annab Anthropology News Columns, SLA Section News

SLA Invited & Co-Sponsored Sessions & Meetings Thursday, November 30 4:15 PM – 6:00 PM  –  SLA graduate student paper contest: Semiotic processes across scale media, and voice – Omni, Cabinet 6:30 PM – 8:15 PM  –  Taking Action in Troubled Times: Learning and Engaging with Shirley Brice Heath – Marriott, Balcony A Friday, December 1 7:30 AM – 8:45 AM  –  Society for Linguistic Anthropology (SLA) Board Meeting – Marriott, Park Tower 8219 12:15 PM – 1:30 PM  –  Society for Linguistic Anthropology (SLA) & AAA Committee for Human Rights (CfHR) Language and Social Justice Task Force Meeting – Marriott, Wilson A 2:00 PM – 3:45 PM  –  Toward a transdisciplinary coalition in sociocultural linguistics: A collaborative analysis of

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

May 14, 2017 No Comments ilana AAA, Anthropology News Columns, SLA Section News

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 criminal charges, these accusations helped to bring about drastic changes in each country’s government. In Brazil, where I’ll focus my attention here, popular allegations of Rousseff’s corruption had previously emboldened the congress to impeach her based on “an eclectic bunch of reasons” often having nothing

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

December 19, 2016 No Comments annab Anthropology News Columns, Uncategorized

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 place, wait for additional information.” A few moments later, another message arrived: “Active shooter on campus. Run, hide, fight.” The name of a campus building and an address followed. I walked back home and turned on the local news. There was no more information on

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

November 15, 2016 No Comments annab Anthropology News Columns, Uncategorized

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 (the disappeared) to discursively highlight the systematic nature of this form of state violence. We are in a new era of los desaparecidos, this time perpetrated by the US government against the racialized bodies of immigrants. Immigration law enforcement and deportation in the United States

AN News: “SLA at the 2016 AAA Meeting” by Aaron Ansell and Anna Babel

The Society for Linguistic Anthropology (SLA) panels and other events at the upcoming AAA Annual Meeting (November 16-20 in Minneapolis,MN) promise to be exciting ones. Below is a schedule of these events with links to the Full Program on the AAA website. Wednesday, November 16th 2:00 p.m.-3:45 p.m. Affect, Identity, and Language Ideologies (2-0145) Blank Faces (2-0170) Prayer, Poverty, and Song: Cultivating Religious Sound in a Secular World(2-0225) 4:00 p.m.-5:45 p.m. Discourses of Power and the Politics of Discourse (2-0380) Media and the Movement of Language (2-0415) Sticks and Stones: Struggle in Discourse (2-0330)   Thursday, November 17th 12:15 p.m.-1:30

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

August 29, 2016 1 Comment annab Anthropology News Columns

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 become rich and successful? That’s the impression one gets from the now-familiar discourse about the language gap (or word gap, or 30 million-word gap) between children (of color) on welfare and children of professional (white) parents. This notion of a language gap is based on

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)

August 23, 2016 No Comments annab Anthropology News Columns

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 so, cases where no adequate interpreter can be found often have dire consequences. A well-known example is the case of Cirila Baltazar (discussed in the second edition of Lippi-Green’s English with an Accent), a Chatino speaker who had her newborn infant taken away by the

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

July 27, 2016 No Comments aaron Anthropology News Columns, SLA Section News

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 and Aneta Pavlenko, respectively, and organized by Angela Reyes. Aneta also organized a related roundtable at the 2014 AAA meeting. Both the Invited Colloquium, “Conceptualizing Linguistic Difference: Perspectives from Linguistic Anthropology,” and the roundtable, “Dilemmas and Complexities of Multilingual Fieldwork,” provided forums for SLA members and

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

July 26, 2016 No Comments annab Anthropology News Columns

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 Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting in San Francisco, I organized a series of three sessions dedicated to linguistic geography, broadly defined. The presenters in these sessions (follow these links for abstracts for Session 1, Session 2, and Session 3) were a mix of human geographers, linguistic

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

June 13, 2016 No Comments annab Anthropology News Columns, Uncategorized

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 through informal science education in a science museum. In 2012, the Language Sciences Research Lab opened at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio. The lab is better known as the Language Pod, a research-in-real-time exhibit that consists of a glass-enclosed room

AN News: “Communicating Bodies: New Juxtapositions of Linguistic and Medical Anthropology” by Charles L. Briggs (U California, Berkeley) and Paja Faudree (Brown U)

Linguistic anthropology and medical anthropology are growth areas of anthropology, yet research across these two fields has been relatively limited. Recently medical and linguistic anthropologists have shifted from viewing language, medicine, and science as established objects to documenting the practices, discourses, and technologies through which they are produced. Important developments around the world—including the ascendance of biomedicalization, neoliberal markets for language practices, and new forms of mediatization—invite coordinated attention. Nevertheless, the epistemological commitments of scholars in both subfields have frequently resulted in forms of boundary work that impede fruitful exchanges and cooperation. In 2014, we began bringing together scholars who

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

March 14, 2016 No Comments aaron Anthropology News Columns, SLA Section News

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 represented a win for campus activists who through protests, encamped demonstrations, a hunger strike, and a historic strike of many football players, publicized the endemic racial injustice at Mizzou. Here I offer no comment about the protests, the injustices that motivated them, the culpability of Wolfe’s administration,

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

March 11, 2016 No Comments annab Anthropology News Columns

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 Interdisciplinary Engagement Conference Fund, which supports participation in conferences beyond the usual linganth venues. I thought we might kick this series off with a practical discussion of the most common, and most fundamental, disciplinary alignment in our field—the convergence and dialogue between linguistic anthropology and

AN News: “A Proposal to Initiate a Spring SLA Meeting” by Michael Silverstein (University of Chicago)

At our recent SLA annual business meeting in Denver, I proposed to the Board and to the membership in attendance that we consider organizing a Spring meeting along the lines of the long-standing and very productive ones of other sections of the American Anthropological Association. Two of our sub-disciplinary “quadrant” (or “quintile”) counterparts, the American Ethnological Society and the Society for Cultural Anthropology, as well as the Society for Psychological Anthropology, have long had either annual or biennial meetings, frequently held jointly with one or more smaller organizations that have collaborated to highlight a thematic focus especially rewarding as a

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

December 15, 2015 No Comments aaron Anthropology News Columns, SLA Section News

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 down for extended periods, and wearing jeans were intolerable activities, and for whom the words vulva and labia were rendered unavailable by their socially disruptive nature. While my primary orientation toward these patients was medical, it was impossible for me to ignore the ways that language—and (lack of) access

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

November 16, 2015 No Comments annab Anthropology News Columns

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 of low status, high solidarity associations so many nonstandard regional dialects possess—speakers are framed as “uneducated” and “lazy,” but also “fun-loving” (Greenfield 1994; Starnes 1994; Coles 1997). Examining commercial and parodic memes circulating on the Internet reveals a pattern to the negative versus positive framing

AN News: “Indian Mascots: Naturalized Racism and Anthropology” by Bernard C. Perley (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

Anthropology News Article The month of September ushers in another season of professional football. Native Americans across the country will have to endure yet another year of public humiliation. The professional football team from Washington DC continues to use their racist moniker with impunity. How is it, in the Nation’s capital, such a public display of racist language can continue to be defended as honorific discourse presumed to elevate the public imagination of the entire population of the Indigenous peoples of North America? This is a social imaginary unworthy of a nation that purports to endorse the best values of

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

August 17, 2015 No Comments annab AAA, Anthropology News Columns, Jobs

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 to find out what a very different work environment would be like? Whether you’re at the early, mid-, or late-career stage, an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellowship might turn out to be the perfect way for you

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

July 6, 2015 No Comments aaron Anthropology News Columns, SLA Section News

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 of a broken car, when a psychoanalyst is listening emphatically to an analysand, or when a doctor is translating the sounds emitted from my body through auscultation. Just by turning the ear in a particular framework—what I call a genre of listening—the individual is transforming a

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

June 8, 2015 No Comments annab Anthropology News Columns, Uncategorized

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 environment of Astana, the new capital of Kazakhstan. Now that I’m here, I find myself living on a construction site. It is frequently loud and muddy, and the path from my apartment block to work shifts on a somewhat regular basis. New paths are built