I’m very pleased to announce that in the spring balloting, SLA member and former SLA Treasurer Monica Heller was elected Vice-President and President-Elect of the American Anthropological Association; after a 2 year term, she will serve 2 years as AAA President. Niko Besnier was elected to the Linguistics Seat on the AAA Executive Board. Hurray for Monica and Niko, and warmest congratulations. Best wishes to all, Kit Woolard President, SLA
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 2011 Annual Meeting, which will be held this year in Montreal, Quebec, November 16-20. This year’s theme is: “Traces, Tidemarks, and Legacies”. 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. We are also including the call for submissions for graduate student papers for the SLA’s Annual Student Essay Prize; please take a look at that call if you are a graduate
Forty Years After: Tidemarks, Legacies and Futures of Research on Language Contact This year marks forty years since the publication of Pidginization and Creolization of Languages. Edited by Dell Hymes, the volume has been foundational for research on language contact and creolization. Furthermore, in foreshadowing our intellectual engagements with the shifting realities of today, many of its insights and implications have entered into intellectual traffic with other fields and disciplines. The field of research charted by Hymes and DeCamp in their introductory remarks in the volume was as much concerned with questions of population flows, the linguistic and communicative continuities
January 5, 2011 David S. Johnson, Division Chief Housing and Household Economic Statistics U.S. Census Bureau 4600 Silver Hill Road Washington, DC 20233 Dear Mr. Johnson, Thank you for your Dec 22, 2010 response to our May 27, 2010 letter concerning the Census Bureau’s use of the term “linguistically isolated.” Speaking on behalf of the Association and its Task Group on Language and Social Justice, I am very encouraged to learn that you have been considering alternatives to this inaccurate classification, and hope that the elimination of this term will be implemented in next year’s data cycle. Thanks to your
By Mark Allen Peterson (MiamiU) Journalist Alix Spiegel’s feature story “When Did We Become Mentally Modern?” on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered in August 2010 raised a wide-ranging discussion on the Linganth listserv about the expertise of linguistic anthropologists. While a well-intentioned effort, its descriptions of language and semiotics were… simplistic—to be generous. The story claimed human language was “entirely composed of these arbitrary symbols”—even when many of the examples used were non-arbitrary indexes. Spiegel did interview an anthropologist—Dr. Allison S. Brooks of George Washington University, a respected paleoanthropologist who often contributes to debates on when homo sapiens originated.
From Jillian Cavanaugh, Brooklyn College, Chair of the Society for Linguistic Anthropology Student Essay Prize Committee The 2010 SLA Graduate Student Essay prize went to: Nicholas Harkness (University of Chicago) for his paper “Vowel Harmony Redux: A Binary Structure of Attribution in Korean and Its Ideological Framings.” The 2010 SLA Undergraduate Student Essay Prize went to: Jade Sewa De La Paz (Brooklyn College CUNY) for her paper ““OMG, Guess What?!”: The Indispensability of Gossip in Community Building.” Both winners were given a spiffy framed certificate and $500, as well as $300 to cover travel costs to new Orleans to accept
Mark Allen Peterson Miami University Circulation is the keyword of this year’s meeting, and it appears in the title of several of the more than forty panels devoted to language at the meetings in New Orleans next month. There are eight language panels on Wednesday beginning at noon with “Time and Language among the Maya.” At 2:00 pm the “Diaphonous Medium: A Semiotics of Hiding and Suggestion” is scheduled. Two panels are scheduled for 4:00 pm: “Anthropologies of the Voice” and “Chronotopes and Morality.” Another two are scheduled at 6:00 pm: “Circulation and Communicability” and “Language, Ideology and Identity.” At
Leila Monaghan, SLA Digital Content Editor I wanted to use this blog to write about the opportunities that linguistic anthropologists have to get together in person, the many conferences that go on each year. The biggest annual get together is at the Society for Linguistic Anthropology business meeting and many sessions at the American Anthropological Association. This year’s meeting will be held in New Orleans. The theme is “circulation” and 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
This year’s AAA meetings have the highest number of registrants on record. As one of the student assistants on the Executive Program Committee, the level of interest was both reassuring and daunting. Last month, I traveled to Washington DC to the AAA offices to help with the enormous task of scheduling the academic program. It was great to see the “backstage” spaces of the organization and to understand the labour process of putting together the meetings. Staff members, Jason Watkins and Carla Fernandez, had already been hard at work preparing for Dr. Monica Heller, Dr. Rob Albro and myself to
On May 27, AAA President Virginia Dominguez sent a letter to the Census Bureau regarding its language questions and classifications, which you can find through AAA Challenges Questions on US Census and the AAA homepage. The letter was written by the newly constituted SLA Committee on Language and Social Justice, which partners with the AAA Committee on Human Rights (CfHR). It suggests several alternatives for the classification of speakers who live in households where no one over the age of 14 speaks English “very well” as “linguistically isolated.” This is a follow up to the AAA’s 2007 AAA resolution (seeStatement
All Society for Linguistic Anthropology members and anyone interested in language and culture issues is invited to join the Linganth E-mail list. The Linganth List was established in 1994 and has long been the main e-source for information and news in the linguistic anthropology community. You can join by clicking on the link for e-mail lists under the Resources menu or by clicking this link: http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=linganth&A=1 Look forward to seeing you on the e-mail list!
[Update: a student representative has been found] The AAA is creating a Student Representative Caucus and wishes to include representatives from the various sections. Although SLA does not have a student representative on it board, we’ve been invited to appoint a student to the caucus who is interested in representing our wing and communicating to other SLA students about the caucus’s and AAA’s activities. Please see the description below of the caucus’ makeup and activities, from its chair, Jason Miller. We have been given a very narrow window in which to nominate such a representative for this year. If you
Dear Linguistic Anthropologists, The Society of Linguistic Anthropology (SLA) has postponed the deadline for invited sessions from Monday, March 3, to Friday, March 7th. We hope that this will enable more of you to get sessions together for submission. The earlier post I sent out regarding the submission process is archived below, in case you missed it. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about either invited or volunteered session submission. The general AAA deadline for volunteered sessions, papers, and posters remains April 1st. See you in San Francisco, Kira Hall University of Colorado