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SLA 2022 John Gumperz Graduate Student Essay Prize

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, a small travel grant to attend the annual American Anthropological Association (AAA) meeting, and an invitation to submit the paper for consideration for publication with the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology.  Other notable submissions will also receive modest travel grants to support participation in an SLA-sponsored panel at the annual meeting. The next annual AAA meeting will be held in Seattle, WA November 9-13, 2022.

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; and must submit the paper no more than two years after it was written. Students may only win this award once. Past winners and honorable mentions may not submit revised papers or new papers for consideration. Submissions should be in English.

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 10,000 words, not including bibliography. Include an abstract of no more than 250 words. The paper must be submitted electronically in pdf format by February 1, 2022 at 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. Questions about the competition can be directed to

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 single-authored paper presentation. Membership in SLA is not required for submission, although it is required for awardees who wish to present their papers at the AAA conference.