Skip to content
Home » Blog (hidden) » SLA Business Meeting Report

SLA Business Meeting Report

Society for Linguistic Anthropology Business Meeting

President’s Report 

SLA Interdisciplinary Public Engagement Award

This funds conference submissions beyond the AAA Annual Meeting, and provides travel reimbursement up to $500 per person/$4,000 annually. There will be a 2–3 year trial period.

Please keep an eye out early next year for the 2018 Call for Proposals for 2019 conferences.

Changes to SLA’s Temporal Rhythms

SLA will begin to have board meetings at their Spring meetings. The meetings may not occur every year. There was a widespread consensus that the second SLA spring meeting will occur in 2020.

The Board voted to draft bylaw amendments for Spring 2018 ballots proposing that

  1. All elected and appointed positions except the president and president-elect will become three year terms
  2. That there will be three instead of two member-at-large positions.

Note: This will first take effect in slates submitted for spring 2019 ballots.

Harassment of Linguistic Anthropologists on Campuses (and online)

There has been an increase in harassment incidents targeting linguistic anthropologists for their research, and also for the identities they are seen as representing. Our colleagues have found that home institutions aren’t always helpful.  We want strategies to address harassment incidents that target linguistic anthropologists, and focus on changing institutional policies.

The Treasurer’s Report

SLA is solvent.

  • Wiley publishing agreement has been renewed for 5 years with favorable terms for the AAA.
  • Membership report: We have 676 active members (393 professional; 265 student; 7 life).
  • Many thanks to Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway for her work as SLA treasurer.

The State of the Journal for Linguistic Anthropology

The journal is clearly thriving—impact factors are improving.

Paul Kockelman notes that these days, everyone seems to be writing a book. This simply can’t be an excuse not to write a review. Shirking peer reviewers are on notice—you must come up with a new excuse.

Many thanks to Paul Kockelman for his patience with our lame excuses and all his hard work.


SLA Program Information

We get lots of individually submitted papers, and had to organize 6 panels from these submissions.  It is very very difficult to get individually submitted papers accepted.  Jennifer Roth-Gordon wants to set up a Google doc for next year so that people can put in ideas and tentative abstracts.

SLA meeting

SLA President Asif Agha will be hosting the inaugural conference March 8–10, 2018  at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Conference Website (thanks to Judy Pine):

There will be a town hall meeting to discuss hate speech and verbal assaults directed at linguistic anthropologists in the course of their jobs.

Jennifer Reynolds will organize these meetings for the next three years.  We as a community should give her constant and enthusiastic support and praise (and think three times before complaining) so she wants to keep doing this.

If you have ideas (or praise), please email Jennifer Reynolds at her conference email account (, not her institutional email.


Language and Social Justice committee

The SLA’s Committee on Language and Social Justice works to increase awareness of the ways language is implicated in social discrimination and, where appropriate, to respond to specific instances of language-related discrimination and injustice.  This is a collective and initiatives are all coming from the group as a whole, there is no leader.


Recent Publications:

#LSJ2016: A Storify of Language and Social Justice. Curated by Mariam Durrani, in collaboration with Hilary Parsons Dick, Netta Avineri, Kate Riley, and Susan D Blum. Anthropology News, Online.

Under Contract. Netta Avineri, Laura Graham, Eric Johnson, Robin Conley Riner, and Jonathan Rosa. Language & Social Justice: Case Studies on Communication & the Creation of Just Societies.

Hilary Parsons Dick and Susan Blum will be finishing their tenures as LSJ Core Members at the end of December. So, we need nominations for two new Core Members.


Tony Webster ( or Jillian Cavanaugh (

To join the LSJ, please email Mariam Durrani (

Ideas for new initiatives or to connect with ongoing initiatives, email Mariam Durrani ( or Bernard Perley (


Anthropology News—SLA Section

We welcome new co-editors: Summerson Carr and Amelia Tseng

Anna Babel is stepping down as co-editor after three years. We want to sing her praises but she is so imaginative and competent that we are worried about letting the world know how fantastic she was at this particular task. People with this level of organizational and editorial skill are rare gems indeed, and should be protected from being spread too thin.

Columns are great for teaching and accessibility. We really encourage you to submit columns that are very readable. We have had very good success posting topical columns.

We have started a series honoring those who are retiring. Please contact Ilana Gershon ( if you or someone in the ling anth community you know is retiring.


Elections and Awards:

Kira Hall—new SLA President Elect (2017–2019)
Christopher Ball—Nominations Committee (2017–2020)
Lauren Deal—SLA Graduate Student Representative (2017–2019)


2017 SLA Undergraduate Essay Prize:

Esra Padgett (CUNY Baccalaureate Program)
“Latex Synecdoche: Language and The Toy Vagina”

Honorable Mention
Alex McGrath (SUNY Geneseo)
“Ideology and Postvernacularity in 21st Century Yiddish Pedagogy”


2017 Graduate Essay Prize:

Anna Bax (University of California, Santa Barbara)
“The C-Word” Meets “the N-Word” 

Honorable Mention
William M. Cotter (University of Arizona)
“The Voice of this Coffee”

Sara Goico (University of California, San Diego)
Meaning Interpretation in a Homesign System

Jessica Pouchet (Northwestern University)


Edward Sapir Book Prize for 2017

Kathryn Woolard
Singular and Plural

Honorable Mention
Sonia Das
Linguistic Rivalries


Erika Hoffman Dilloway
Signing and Belonging in Nepal 


SLA Public Outreach Award

Patrick Moore (University of British Columbia)


SLA Endowment for John Gumperz Annual Graduate Student Essay Prize

The Society for Linguistic Anthropology is pleased to announce that the prize awarded annually to the winner of the SLA’s graduate student essay contest is renamed the John Gumperz Annual Graduate Student Essay Prize.

Our deepest thanks to Bonnie Urciuoli for all her heavy lifting as president of SLA.

Please send your comments, contributions, news and announcements to SLA Contributing Editors Summerson Carr(, Ilana Gershon (, or Amelia Tseng (

Cite as: Gershon, Ilana. 2018. “SLA Business Meeting Report.” Anthropology News website, January 4, 2018. DOI: AN.730