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2020 John Gumperz Annual Graduate Student Essay Prize

Deadline: February 1, 2020

The Society for Linguistic Anthropology (SLA) announces the John Gumperz Annual Graduate Student Essay Prize competition.  Each year the Society for Linguistic Anthropology confers an award for a distinguished graduate research paper.  The winner receives a cash prize, travel funds to attend the annual American Anthropological Association (AAA) meeting, and an invitation to submit the paper for publication consideration with the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology.  Other notable submissions will also receive a modest cash prize. In addition, the winner along with other notable papers will be invited to participate in an SLA-sponsored Presidential panel at the annual AAA meeting, with the competition judges serving as discussants. The next annual AAA meeting will be held in St. Louis, MO Nov. 18-22, 2020.

Eligibility & Criteria: In order to be eligible for the award, the applicant must have been a graduate student in a degree-granting program when the paper was written; must be the sole author of the paper; must submit the paper no more than two years after it was written; and must not have received the first place award within the past 4 years. Papers which were awarded honorable mentions in previous years are not eligible for submission. The paper must be an original work based on original research conducted by the author. Papers will be judged on the basis of research contributions to the field of linguistic anthropology, clarity, organization, and engagement with existing scholarship. At the time of submission for this competition, the paper must not have been published, submitted for publication, or under review for publication.

Submission Process: The paper should follow the style and format of the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology and must not exceed 25 double-spaced pages, not including bibliography. Include an abstract of no more than 250 words. The paper must be submitted electronically in either .pdf, .doc or .docx format by the February 1, 2020. It should be sent to: The cover sheet should include the title of the paper; the author’s name; the author’s email address; the author’s college or university affiliation; and the name of the faculty member who served as the student’s advisor for the paper. Submissions should be in English. Membership in SLA is not required for submission, although it is required for prize winners who wish to present their papers at the AAA conference.

Decisions will be made in early March. Applicants should be aware of the 1 plus 1 rule for AAA meeting participation, which limits meeting participants to one paper presentation only.