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SLA Conference Postponed Until Spring 2021!!


Dear SLA 2020 Registrants and SLA Membership,


As the COVID-19 health and economic crises continue in the US, I wanted to be in touch with important updates about the SLA conference. In consultation with the SLA 2020 Conference Organizing Committee, the SLA Executive Board has determined that it is in the best interest of our conference attendees to postpone the Society for Linguistic Anthropology 2020 conference until Spring 2021. The new conference date (for what will now be called SLA 2021) is April 8-10, 2021. The conference will be held in the originally proposed location, the Hiltons on Canyon in Boulder, Colorado.


We came to this decision after considerable deliberation, recognizing that the ongoing pandemic has had significant and in many cases as yet unknown impacts on our membership. Our foremost concern, of course, is with the difficulty of ensuring the safety of our attendees during a global public health crisis. The University of Colorado Boulder, whom we are in close partnership with for this conference, has mandated strict social distancing guidelines for all activities and limits for how many people may gather in any one room, which we feel, due to the size of our event and the available space in the hotel, would be impossible to maintain even if our attendees were able to attend. Many academic institutions have placed restrictions through the end of the year 2020 on the funds our members rely upon to attend conferences; in many institutions, non-essential travel has been completely banned for all university students and employees.


We are pleased to report that we were able to move the conference date without any penalty fees, thanks to careful negotiations between the AAA and the Boulder Hiltons. Should we find that the new date of April 8-10 is also impracticable, we have worked out a fallback plan for the Fall of 2021. We are grateful to the Boulder Hiltons for their generosity in supporting the needs of our organization and for making this transition as smooth as possible. As with the last postponement, the Boulder Hiltons will move all hotel reservations to the new date in the same configuration as before. Registrants may cancel or change their reservations without penalty up until the week before the conference in April. However, please know that the SLA Executive Board will be reassessing the situation again in January to make sure the April date is indeed possible; if not, we intend to notify registrants in plenty of time to make any necessary changes in travel plans.


Since the conference is now scheduled to take place one year from its original date, the SLA 2021 Conference Organizing Committee will provide additional opportunities in the months leading up to the conference for participants to update their submissions. We also plan to host an open call for late-breaking panels, papers, and posters, most likely in January of 2021, to keep the conference current. Registrants may request a return of registration fees at any time by writing However, given that the conference is in a state of flux, we hope that conference participants will consider staying with us, in case the conference needs to be rescheduled yet again. We were delighted that when we postponed originally, almost all participants wanted to stay on the schedule and attend the conference when it would be safe to do so. We hope that you all maintain your enthusiasm for the program, even as we have to delay our meeting again. As a reminder, the current conference program can be found at our Trello site:


In this time of uncertainty, one thing is certain: When we do finally come together in Boulder for SLA 2021, it will be an intensely exciting, stimulating, and rewarding event! We ask for your patience as we work to secure a date that will be safe and feasible for all of our members and registrants.


Thank you,


Kira Hall, SLA President

On behalf of the SLA Executive Board and the SLA 2021 Conference Organizing Committee