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Linguistic Anthropology Roundup #14

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 across time as well as space, through different organizing principles, and in a variety of shapes and forms.

This idea works well with ideas about language and has inspired a number of linguistically oriented approaches to the topic.
A program can be found at:
and a searchable database should be up shortly.

Papers for the AAA can be individually submitted or submitted as part of a panel. Papers in these sessions usually have a better chance of being accepted than those that are individually volunteered. The best way to organize panels for the American Anthropological Association is to connect with members with similar interests at the AAA or through channels such as this blog or the LingAnth e-mail list ( The AAA Call for Papers is usually posted on their website in January. Abstracts for papers and panels are due April 1. These old directions for submitting panels for the 2008 give an idea of what is involved

The Society for Linguistic Anthropology does not hold smaller meetings at other times of the year but there are a wide variety of smaller independent conferences held around the country on particular aspects of linguistic anthropology

Language, Culture and History Conference (LCH Conference)
The University of Wyoming hosted a conference exploring a wide variety of the intersections between issues of language, culture and history. Michael Silverstein’s keynote speech looked at a hapax legomenon, a unique example in the text, that illustrated how one native speaker of the Northwest American Indian language Kiksht looked back at a past before colonial contact. Ideas of contact, change and adaptation ran through many of the papers at the conference. Abstracts are available at This was the first time this conference was held but participants hope to do it again at some point. Many of the presenters will also be presenting Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning at this year’s AAA on panels on “Circulating Discourses of the Past and Present.”

Conference on Endangered Languages and Cultures of Native America (CELCNA)
CELNA focuses

on any aspect of American Indian languages, including language documentation and description; language revitalization; historical linguistics; theoretical implications of minority languages; anthropological linguistics; sociolinguistics; text collection and analysis; phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. American Indian participants are especially invited and encouraged to attend.

The conference is held at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and the call for papers for the 2011 conference (April 22-23, 2011) can be found at:

International Pragmatics Conference (IPra Conference)
Many of the Europeans and other people from outside the United States who study issues of language and context focus on the pragmatics of language.

1. the search for a coherent general framework for the discussion and comparison of results of the fundamental research, in various disciplines, carried out by those dealing with aspects of language use or the functionality of language;
2. the stimulation of various fields of application (such as language teaching, the study of problems of intercultural and international communication, the treatment of patients with language disorders, the development of computer communication systems, etc.);
3. the dissemination of knowledge about pragmatic aspects of language, not only among pragmaticians of various ‘denominations’ and students of language in general, but in principle among everyone who, personally or professionally, could benefit from more insight into problems of language use.

The deadline for lectures, posters and panel contributors is October 29, 2010 for the July 3-8, 2011 conference in Manchester, England:

A number of important conferences in linguistic anthropology are organized and run by graduate students at various institutions.

Conference on Language, Interaction, and Culture and Conference on Language, Interaction and Social Organization (CLIC and LISO)
Graduate students at the UCLA Center for Language, Interaction and Culture (CLIC) and the UC Santa Barbara program in Language, Interaction and Social Organization (LISO) alternate hosting a multi-disciplinary conference focusing on close analysis of language, often influenced by Conversation Analysis and other transcript oriented approaches to language and culture.
A list of CLIC events at UCLA, including an upcoming February 4, 2011 Symposium on “(De-)Legitimation Crises” and visiting speakers can be found at:

It is LISO’s turn to host the conference in 2011. A LISO website listing past conferences can be found at:

Symposium about Language and Society (SALSA)
Graduate Students in the Departments of Anthropology, Linguistics and Communication Studies at the University of Texas at Austin hold a yearly symposium on some topic related to Linguistic Anthropology. For 2010, the theme was “Speech Play and Verbal Art” in honor of Joel Sherzer,, the 2010 Submission guidelines can be found at:

Michicagoan Graduate Student Conference in Linguistic Anthropology
Students at the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago regularly co-host a linguistic anthropology conference on varying themes. For 2010, the theme was “Linguistic Terrains: Landscapes and Socioscapes” and it looked at questions such as

How do speakers use linguistic metaphors to make sense of the spatiotemporal domain and use spatiotemporal metaphors to make sense of language?
How is language used to elucidate or occlude aspects of the social world, and what are the effects of this erasure and emphasis?
How are social worlds understood to be formed as structures through circulation across -scapes of several kinds?

More information on the 2010 conference can be found at:

Other Conferences

There are also many local anthropology and linguistics conferences of interest to linguistic anthropologists.

Conferences involving our members are often announced in the calendar section of the front page of this blog

Many anthropologically oriented conferences are listed at:

And the Linguist List keeps an extensive list of conferences connected to language

Calls for Papers and other conference related information are also regularly posted on the Linganth list. All these lists also welcome announcements from any source of relevant upcoming conferences and symposia.