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Being an Ethnographer about the Tenure Process

What if you are going up for tenure and happen to be neurotic about the process? Not everyone is, although in my experience almost everyone is expected to be. But let’s say you want to worry, is there anything proactive you can do beside publish the expected amount and in the expected journals, teach well, and be a good colleague? Expected journals, good teaching, and well-behaved colleague are all fairly unstandardized categories but I feel quite confident your institution has fairly definite shared expectations and a good ethnographer can figure them out regardless of how implicit they are. If figuring out the tenure process or what goes into a tenure dossier is opaque to you right now, you can find more details about it in this Faculty Focus post and in your institution’s tenure and promotion guidelines.

A photo of an individual with short brown hair smiling at the camera and sitting in front of a computer screen.
Ilana Gershon. Ilana Gershon

When I went up for tenure, I thought a bit about how the tenure process worked at my institution and did two things that I have never heard circulated as bits of advice. First, I thought the biggest unknown in my file was going to be what my outside tenure letter writers would say. And at all levels in my university, people care a lot about what letter writers say. At my institution, I get to submit a list of eight letter writers that complements my department’s list of recommenders. I vaguely knew everyone that I was going to suggest, but I knew what they were like at conferences or on email interacting with a junior scholar. So I vetted my portion of the list with people who, because of their position in the field, got to see a lot of letters.

This is a moment where people might be a bit subtle about what they think of their colleagues, and you should listen carefully. Professor McGonagall asked me if I cited Septima Vector enough. Not if you are asking me the question, I replied. Septima was off my list.

Another mentor looked at my list and said, “You know, you are at a big 10 school and they like to see other letter writers from big 10 schools. You only have one, Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank.” I was puzzled, Professor Snape was also from a big 10 school. But I had done fieldwork among Samoans for whom an omission was an important political strategy, and so I noticed when she overlooked Professor Snape in this way. I took Professor Snape off my list. To this day, I don’t know why. But I knew that people who might seem fine in a conference interaction could be ungenerous tenure letter writers. I wasn’t willing to risk it.

Think like an ethnographer about the tenure process.

The other thing I did was ask faculty in adjacent departments to read my descriptions of my research, teaching, and service before submitting them. I have to describe a little bit about how the tenure process at my university is organized to explain why I did this. There are three committees involved with any tenure case—the departmental committee, the College of Arts and Sciences’ committee, and the university-level committee. At my university, most departments will support their junior colleagues’ tenure case. If there is a problem, it usually happens in the college-level committee. And that committee is organized in the following way: On the year you go up, no one from your department will be serving on that committee. But the dean will choose someone from an adjacent department to be on the committee, and they will be the ones who will present your case to the rest of the college tenure committee. The same thing is true at the university-level committee. So I approached someone from the history department and someone from the law school, both of whom had served on these committees before. Given my work at the time, it made sense to approach those two people. If I was going up now, I might approach someone in sociology or science studies too. I asked them to read my statements with this question in mind: “What can I add to or change about my statement to make it as easy for you to present me in the best light possible to a college- or university- level tenure committee?” And I got very helpful suggestions.

Every institution is a bit different, and what I did might not be good strategies for you at your place. But I still think the basic principle isn’t a bad one. Think like an ethnographer about the tenure process. How is it organized? What are the moments in which you are most vulnerable in the process, even if you have hit all the marks? And is there something you can do to anticipate those moments, even just a little bit?

Finally, the 2019 AAA Annual Meeting is fast approaching, and it is probably worth pointing out that this is the moment where most people in our anthropological community of practice are together in person. And tenure is a gatekeeping moment where people are evaluating how well you act as a not so junior member of this community. Being at the Annual Meeting thus becomes a moment where you do the social labor that tenure dossier committees are trying to evaluate, however bureaucratically. I know that there is lots of advice out there warning people not to do service, but this is a two-edged sword. Service to your professional association is how you get to know people, and have some say in how our community makes decisions. It is a place where you can talk to people about ideas that excite you and excite them, and be a good community member. All these things trickle into a tenure dossier, often in unpredictable ways.

Ilana Gershon is the Ruth N. Hall Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University. She runs the CaMP anthropology blog and welcomes author interviews of recent media and linguistic anthropology books.

Amelia Tseng ( is contributing editor for the Society for Linguistic Anthropology.

Cite as: Gershon, Ilana. 2019. “Being an Ethnographer about the Tenure Process.” Anthropology News website, November 12, 2019. DOI: 10.1111/AN.1308

Anti Latinu/Anti Spanish Attacks and Anthro-Political Linguistics

This article marks the final piece in a three-part series on language policing which has appeared in the Society for Linguistic Anthropology section news column over the summer.

Recent reports about racially fueled mass murders and the increasing number of hate crimes targeting Latinus (the universal “u” is gender neutral, while respecting Spanish phonology) other immigrants, and people of color in general, have walked a thin line concerning the extent to which comments made by President Trump have contributed to the climate of intolerance and the violence it spawns. Even before being elected, Trump said at least “nine outrageous things about Latinos,” referring to them as criminals, drug addicts, killers, and rapists.

During the campaign, Trump’s verbal abuse included chastising opponent Jeb Bush for speaking Spanish: “This is a country where we speak English, not Spanish.” The Southern Poverty Law Center reported a “national outbreak of hate” after his election, citing 867 incidents in the first 10 days. Most attacks were against Latinus; anti-Latinu hate crime increased 176 percent in major US cities in the three weeks after the election. The numbers are not reliable; for every hate crime reported, many go unreported by immigrants who fear the police and/or border patrol officers.

Can linguistic anthropology help us understand and challenge linguistic and racial profiling?

The old saying “sticks and stones may hurt my bones, but words will never harm me” is belied by many of the Trump administration’s harmful policies. His references to “animals,“ infestation,” and “invasion” accompanied bans on immigrants from Muslim countries, the disavowal of asylum seekers, the separation of immigrant families, and the incarceration of their children. In 2017, Trump pardoned Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had routinely raided restaurants where Spanish was being spoken. Although a federal judge ruled that Arpaio “systematically singled out Latinos in his trademark immigration patrols”; Arpaio is running for the office of sheriff again in 2020. El pueblo repudiates Trump’s insults; a restaurant in Mexico advertised the Donald Trump Taco with the following ingredients: “Mucha lengua, poco seso, y trompita de marrano” (“Lotta tongue, little brain, and tiny pig snout”).

Can linguistic anthropology help us understand and challenge linguistic and racial profiling? In 2001, Bonnie Urciuoli explained how race had been remapped from biology onto language because both bodies and languages were assumed to have inferior and superior varieties with naturally attributed intellectual traits, and some varieties were considered invasive. Accordingly, while racial insults lodged in the body (for example, about a person’s color or hair or facial/physical features) were being condemned (if the microphone was on), and led to the dismissal of sports team owners and others, slurs and mistreatment of speakers of non-standard or foreign-sounding English or those who dared to speak another language were tolerated because of the assumption, central to US linguistic ideology, that individuals can and should control what languages they know and how they use them. The title of Jonathan Rosa’s recent book, Looking Like a Language, Sounding Like a Race captures “the co-naturalization of race and language” at a Chicago high school.

Nationwide, realtors rejected potential renters who sounded African American or Latinu, customers demanded that clerks who spoke Spanish to co-workers or other customers be fired, business owners posted English-only regulations, and telephone operators were commanded to speak English-only (see Zentella 2014). Today, outspoken hostility and physical aggression based on racial and/or linguistic grounds seem equally acceptable. Violent abuses include: a woman brutally assaulted for speaking Swahili in an Applebee’s restaurant in Minnesota, and a bus driver in Idaho who threw water on an 8th grader for speaking Spanish. Threats are common: a New York City lawyer yelled “My next call is to ICE to have each one of them kicked out of my country” when referring to Spanish speaking restaurant staff,  a border patrol agent in Montana detained two US citizens for speaking Spanish, Puerto Rican health care workers in Florida were ordered to stop speaking Spanish or be fired, and an eavesdropping stranger told a Puerto Rican member of the US Air Force, who was having a personal phone conversation, that speaking Spanish in uniform was “distasteful”. According to 2018 FBI data, anti-Hispanic incidents made up around half of all reported ethnic-bias hate crimes since 2004.

Today’s White House website has no response to requests for information in Spanish, no petitions link, and it headlines only five issues: the economy, national security, the budget, immigration, and the opioid crisis.

On Inauguration Day, the Trump administration removed Spanish links to the web page, deliberately eliminating vital information for millions of Latinus. In response, the Language and Social Justice Task group of the SLA, which has undertaken many class, community, and online projects to counter linguistic intolerance and hate speech, collected thousands of signatures for a petition urging reinstatement of the Spanish links: “We urge you to reinstate the Spanish links on, to confirm that your avowed goal to ‘make America great’ includes the entire nation.”

There was no response from the White House because we did not reach the required 65,000 signatures. But we must persist until we succeed, as we did when we convinced the Census Bureau to stop categorizing non-“excellent” English speakers as “linguistically isolated”, and the Royal Spanish Academy to stop referring to Spanglish as “deforming.” As Pierre Bourdieu reminded us, “the language of authority never governs without the collaboration of those it governs.” It is our responsibility to challenge linguistic intolerance. An anthro-political linguistics demands it, acknowledging that language is always political and justice requires action.

Today’s White House website has no response to requests for information in Spanish, no petitions link, and it headlines only five issues: the economy, national security, the budget, immigration, and the opioid crisis. The contrast between this and the 118 topics listed during Barack Obama’s presidency, including Spanish web links tailored to Latino community interests, demonstrates Trump’s disregard for Latinus. The recent rejection of many thousands seeking legal asylum is the latest attack on our “nation of immigrants” ethos, as is the suggested re-wording of Emma Lazarus’ welcoming poem at the Statue of Liberty, from “Give me your tired and your poor … yearning to be free”  to “[Those ] who can stand on their own two feet, and who will not become a public charge.” Recently, the Southern Poverty Law Center—noting “hate groups surge during Trump candidacy and presidency”—exposed 1,020 groups, an “all time high in the US”.

There’s lots to do. At the national level, you may request Spanish links on the government website by calling the president’s comment line (202-456-1111), sending an email via the contact link, or collecting and mailing signed petitions to The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500. And/or, organize against the “visa system overhaul that would prioritize immigrants with advanced degrees, English-language skills and deep pockets.” At the local level, encourage respect for linguistic diversity by celebrating International Mother Language Day (February 21, 2020) and urge libraries and schools to place “Welcome” signs in many languages. At the University of California, San Diego (USCD) and local high schools we will play statements recorded by diverse community members and post QR codes to access them around campus—inspired by the late Misty Jaffe’s effort at California State, Long Beach. In our classes, we can ask students to document examples of linguistic (in)tolerance, language loss, revitalization, and so on, and make those reports widely available (students at UCSD and Swarthmore produced, respectively, “Multilingual San Diego: Portraits of Language Loss and Revitalization,” and “Multilingual Philadelphia: Portraits of Language and Social Justice”). Finally, act on a personal level; in how many languages can you say “Buenos días?” And do you?

Ana Celia Zentella, professor emerita (University of California, San Diego and Hunter College), is an anthro-political linguist recognized for her research on US LatinU languages, language socialization, “Spanglish,” and “English-only” laws.

In 1996, Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger declared October 30 “Doctor Ana Celia Zentella Day” for “her leading role in building appreciation for language diversity and respect for language rights.”  In 2015, the Latin American Studies Association’s Latino Section honored Zentella as Public Intellectual of the Year. In 2016, she received the Award for Public Outreach & and Community Service from the Society for Linguistic Anthropology.

Amelia Tseng ( is contributing editor for the Society for Linguistic Anthropology.

Cite as: Zentella, Ana Celia. 2019. “Anti Latinu/Anti Spanish Attacks and Anthro-Political Linguistics.” Anthropology News website, October 15, 2019. DOI: 10.1111/AN.1279

Speak American

October 16, 2017, begins as a normal day at your New Jersey high school. You are chatting with friends in Spanish, the second most-spoken language in the United States. This is something you do every day. But you are interrupted by your teacher, not because you are speaking out of turn, but because you are speaking a language other than English. The teacher tells you, “Men and women are fighting. They are not fighting for your right to speak Spanish…they are fighting for your right to speak American [sic.]” (Attrino 2017Magness 2017Starnes 2017Strauss 2017).

Language policing involves much more than the actions of individuals. Rather, it relies on and (re)produces a web of types of discourse and actors, which collectively formulate such policing and its effects.

The above incident is an exemplary instance of language policing. Scholars use this analytic to refer to the cultivation of a normative linguistic order that casts some languages as outside the realm of acceptable interaction in order to justify control of their use (Blommaert, Leppanen, and Pietikäinen 2009). Since the 2016 election of Donald Trump, US news outlets have made a showcase of language policing, focusing especially on events, including this New Jersey one, in which a White English-speaker demands that a Latinx person speaking Spanish use English. Often, as in the example above, these language policers draw explicit links between speaking English and “being American,” indexed here by the conflation between the language and the national identity, such that speaking English becomes simply “speaking American.” A basic Google search indicates the ubiquitous nature of these incidents as covered by the media. The phrase “This is America, speak English” yields 61.5 million results, 48 million more than the number of results for “United States immigrants.” A discourse analysis that Brown conducted of 65 language-policing stories in US major dailies, covering 15 policing incidents from across the country, shows that the majority of this coverage focuses on White English speakers attempting to control the linguistic practices of Latinx Spanish speakers. As such, the actions of many language policers are racializing, as they mark some people as inherently threatening and deviant from a putative White normativity (Dick 2011Rosa and Flores 2017)—in this case, by furthering a problematic conflation of whiteness with both being and speaking “American.”

However, language policing involves much more than the actions of individuals. Rather, it relies on and (re)produces a web of types of discourse and actors, which collectively formulate such policing and its effects. In this column, we engage the role that news coverage plays in crafting language policing, with a focus on how this coverage unwittingly contributes to the racialization of Latinx Spanish speakers. We argue that, in focusing on the actions of individuals, US coverage of language policing cumulatively crafts a narrative that reinforces the racialization of Spanish and its speakers through the replication and further authorization of the folk theory of racism. This theory holds that racism is based solely on the intentions of irrational individuals (Hill 2008). Therefore, it diverts attention away from the multifaceted process that racialize Latinx Spanish speakers, from a history of immigration policy that conflates undocumented migration with a cultural image of menacing Latinx migrants (Dick 2011) to practices of quotidian interaction such as mock Spanish (Hill 2008). Such processes are not explicable, or traceable, through an exclusive focus on the intentions of particular actors.

The folk theory of racism is robustly evinced in US media coverage of language policing, which almost exclusively portrays such policing as the work of aggressive and unreasonable actors working in isolation. In short, it individuates racism, rather than examining how it is systematized and institutionalized through raciolinguistic ideologies (Rosa and Flores 2017), such as that which conflates speaking English with “being American,” and being American with “being white.” Through her analysis of such coverage, Brown has shown that the central way the folk theory of racism is replicated and authorized in this coverage is through a dominant metaphor she calls racism-as-attack, crafted through the portrayal of the persona of the White language-policer who acts irrationally and alone (Brown 2019). Melanie found the racism-as-attack metaphor throughout her data set, with 94 percent articles using this metaphor to characterize the event(s) covered.

In crafting this metaphor, journalists repeatedly depict the language policer as “raging” and their actions as “combative takedowns” (and similar descriptors). Journalists frequently named the actions of individuals in the articles as “hateful,” “angry,” and “inappropriate,” calling the individuals themselves “bullies,” “ignorant,” and, most commonly “racist.” Moreover, news media’s characterizations of responses to language-policing incidents furthered the attack framework, as they were repeatedly represented as an “outrage” that left the White policer “under fire.” Consequently, the racism-as-attack metaphor iconizes racism in the figure of a hateful and hostile actor, through this entailing racist practice as a problem of one-on-one confrontation. This individuation of language policing implies that that language policers are outliers whose behavior is aberrant, not representative of an otherwise non-racist society.

There are many processes that contribute to the racialization of Latinx Spanish speakers. Prime among these are the discursive and other semiotic practices that work to construct Spanish and its speakers as beyond the pale of “America.”

As Otto Santa Ana demonstrates in his work on news coverage of immigration (2002), metaphor is a powerful framing device that orders the field of reference by crafting equivalences between original and metaphorical objects. In this case, anything one might say about an irrational, combative individual becomes applicable to racism itself, such that rather than being depicted as an institutional process with systemic effects, it is depicted as the realm of “a few bad apples” whose actions are isolated and, thus, relatively dismissible. Racism-as-attack thereby elides the pervasive structural nature of racism and instead constructs a singular, reductive manifestation of this complex discursive process.

The racism-as-attack metaphor also advances and authorizes the folk theory of racism by establishing a double social indexicality that at once positions White racists as abnormal and the journalist/reader-public as inherently anti-racist. This provides a separation between racism toward Latinx Spanish speakers and the journalists, readership, and responders included in the articles by implying that because this “we” does not engage in aggressive language policing, they are, therefore, not complicit in the racialization of Latinx people. Moreover, the narrative of language policing that emerges from the overwhelming use of the racism-as-attack metaphor hails the anti-racist in-group to call out the irrational racists by expanding their exposure via social media platforms. Thus, the narrative of language policing that emerges across US media coverage functions, however unwittingly, as a strategy of disavowal that denies journalists’ and readers’ participation in the discursive order that legitimates the racialization of Spanish and its speakers.

The newspaper articles we have discussed here are often presented as if they elucidate the racialization of Latinx people. Yet, this elucidation fixates on one fairly obvious aspect of racism: the abhorrent acts of jingoistic individuals. However, as intimated above, there are many processes that contribute to the racialization of Latinx Spanish speakers. Prime among these are the discursive and other semiotic practices that work to construct Spanish and its speakers as beyond the pale of “America.” Language policing events are most certainly examples of such practices, as they draw on and further enact the Othering of Spanish. Nevertheless, a careful consideration of how such events accomplish this effect that moves beyond the depiction and attribution of individual intent could provide new insights into racialization and its enduring effects.

Melanie Brown completed her BA in International Studies at Arcadia University in May 2019; she graduated with distinction from the University’s Honor’s Program. Her BA thesis presents a careful discourse analysis of the ways that US newspaper coverage of language policing extends extant processes of racialization, especially as they affect Latinx Spanish speakers. She is currently Volunteer Coordinator at Louisville Grows through AmeriCorps VISTA.

Hilary Parsons Dick is an associate professor of International Studies and the Steinbrucker Endowed Chair (2019-2021) at Arcadia University. She received her PhD in cultural and linguistic anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Words of Passage: National Longing and the Imagined Lives of Mexican Migrants and is currently working on the manuscript of her second book, provisionally titled Bad Hombres and Angel Moms: Communicating Commonsense Racism in the Time of Trump (under contract, Oxford University Press).

E. Summerson Carr is contributing editor for the Society for Linguistic Anthropology.

Reference list

Brown, Melanie. 2019. “‘Speak American:’ Newspaper Coverage of Language Policing and the Racialization of Spanish Speakers in the U.S.” BA Thesis in International Studies, Arcadia    University.

Cite as: Brown, Melanie, and Hilary Parsons Dick. 2019. “Speak American.” Anthropology News website, August 16, 2019. DOI: 10.1111/AN.1252


Speak English or Else You’ll Be Put on Dish Duty!

University faculty and staff employ raciolinguistic ideologies to police Asian students and their language.

Have you ever been in the United States and heard people speaking a language you didn’t understandDid it bother you? Have you ever thought about why it bothered you? For folks who might tell those people to speak in English, where does that entitlement come from? Why do some people feel they have the right to tell others how or what to speak?

You may be surprised (or not if you read the news) that policing people to speak English also happens on US college campuses. In January 2019, Megan Neely, an administrator in the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics MA program at Duke University, was asked to step down after warning Chinese students in her program that there would be professional consequences, such as losing out on internship opportunities, if they did not speak English while in their main research building on campus or in any other professional setting. In an Inside Higher Ed opinion piece, Susan D. Blum, an anthropology professor at the University of Notre Dame, provides the historical context of language policing in the United States, how it played out on Duke’s campus, and how it plays out in the greater everyday milieu off campus. She explains how Chinese students have recently been singled out with the current Trump administration waging a trade war with China and with Chinese products from companies like Huawei being banned for accusations of espionage, among other instances in which politics and ideologies target minoritized speakers.

As part of a research team at Oregon State University (OSU), my colleagues and I have found that Asian students are also being targeted at our institution. At OSU, internationalized students are often told—implicitly through signage and explicitly through spoken language—to speak only English, despite the evidence that translanguaging, the use of two or more linguistic codes, supports second language learning and general academic comprehension. In fact, when students walk into the Learning Center at INTO OSU—a private-public partnership housed in the International Living and Learning Center where students can take English classes and/or live on-campus in an “international” environment—they can see the following image prominently displayed near the seating area where students await their tutoring appointments.

The photograph displays two signs. The sign on the left has a yellow background and black letters that read "Please speak ENGLISH (in all caps) in the Learning Center." The sign on the right is a photograph of a man, possibly of Anglo-Saxon descent, who is wearing Renaissance-style clothing and smiling. He is pointing at the viewer and the accompanying text reads, in all caps, "HEY! WE ONLY SPEAK ENGLISH IN THE LEARNING CENTER."
Signs displayed in the waiting area for tutoring appointments at the INTO OSU Learning Center at Oregon State University. Jason Sarkozi-Forfinski

Apart from implicit language policing as the image suggests, students have shared stories that reflect the differing degrees of policing at OSU. According to their stories, not only are students chastised for speaking Chinese at work, but they are also called out for not speaking English well enough (or, given my subsequent research example, one could say White enough), oftentimes in front of their peers.

As part of a project to map the linguistic landscape of OSU, our research team examined, among issues of race and racial bias, attitudes toward language use on campus. One question we asked our participants was, “Have you ever experienced discrimination on campus?” OSU student Midori (pseudonym) reported experiencing discrimination in the classroom when a professor ridiculed her in front of her classmates, telling her that she needed to improve her English. The teacher claimed that her accent was too difficult to understand. Why did the teacher feel that is was alright to criticize Midori’s English ability, especially in front of her peers? Was Midori’s English not good enough or rather was it not White enough?

Graphic comic titled 'You're in 'Merica 3...' Comic includes three pictures. The first shows an Asian, female student giving a presentation at a podium. A text bubble represents her as saying: 'That’s the end of my presentation. Thank you!' The second picture shows an Anglo teacher with a text bubble saying, 'Thanks…but I could barely understand your presentation…' The third and final image shows the Asian student with a worried look on her face and a thought bubble with text in Japanese.

Midori, born in Japan and educated in English in various international schools throughout Asia and the Americas, being told her English isn’t good enough. Jason Sarkozi-Forfinski/Flipsnack, 2019

The experiences of Huang and Ellen (pseudonyms) also illustrate examples of racialized linguistic discrimination.

Huang is a second-year student from Southeast Asia who used to work at West Dining Hall. Having Chinese-speaking co-workers, she would often chat with them in their common first language (L1), Chinese (Mandarin), until one day their supervisor prohibited them from speaking it. The supervisor justified the prohibition claiming that she needed to be able to understand them in case they needed help and later confessed that she also wasn’t sure if they were talking badly about her.

Graphic comic titled 'You're in ‘Merica...' Comic shows kitchen workers. Two workers are represented as speaking in Mandarin Chinese in a text bubble. Another kitchen worker is shown thinking in a text bubble, 'are they talking about me?' The comic then says 'later...' The worker who wondered if the Chinese-speaking workers were talking about them says to one of the Chinese workers, 'I need you to speak English! I know if you need help...' Even later, the Chinese speaking worker is shown thinking 'WTF!?' Then the non-Chinese speaking worker says ', I don't know if you're talking about me...' The comic ends.

Huang, from Southeast Asia, being scolded for speaking Mandarin Chinese with her coworkers. Jason Sarkozi-Forfinski/Flipsnack, 2019

Another Asian student, Ellen, told me about the time when she was threatened to be charged with a menial task for not speaking English. At the time of the incident, she was preparing vegetables for the salad bar with a Chinese-speaking coworker. In Chinese, Ellen asked her coworker if there were any more cucumbers. The manager, a White woman from Louisiana, must have overheard her speaking Chinese because later she approached Ellen and told her that she should be speaking English unless she wanted to be put on dish duty, a job that apparently was not highly sought after.

Graphic comic titled 'You're in ‘Merica...2' The comic contains two images. In the first, two female kitchen workers who are wearing aprons are cutting food while a text bubble represents them as speaking to each other in Mandarin Chinese. In the second image, an Anglo supervisor in a suit jacket says to them, represented in a text bubble, 'Y’all need to speak English unless you want to be put on dish duty…' In response, the two workers who were speaking in Mandarin are represented with question marks and exclamation marks above their heads.

Ellen, from China, being threatened with menial labor for speaking Mandarin Chinese with her coworker. Jason Sarkozi-Forfinski/Flipsnack, 2019

Monolingual English speakers may have a hard time understanding why asking someone to speak English at the workplace would be problematic. After all, we are in the United States. But then, the United States does not have an official language; neither does Oregon nor OSU for that matter. While we note that language use, even in the workplace, is always flexible since people joke around, shift among different styles, or use mock languages, among other linguistic strategies, based on our research team’s findings, we argue that the discriminatory acts committed by the supervisors from both stories are connected to racialized bigotry, based on the notion that while in the United States one should use English at the workplace. We argue this because we found that it only applied to folks that were racialized as non-White.

Why does this happen at OSU and other college campuses across the United States?

White public space is a concept that Jane Hill describes as “[being] constructed through intense monitoring of the speech of racialized populations such as [Chicanxs, Latinxs, Blacks, Natives, Asians, and internationalized students] for signs of linguistic disorder.” Fundamentally, people of color (POC) who use languages other than English, or who speak English with an L2 accent or a stigmatized L1 accent (like Black English), are subject to heavy monitoring of their speech. As Gregg argues in “What Ta-Nehisi Coates Taught Me About ‘People Who Believe They Are White,” self-identified White folks, like the manager from Louisiana, listen to these people who they racialize as non-White with an ever critical ear, and some, according to our research, claim to “shut off,” or stop listening, when they hear a so-called “foreign” accent.

When we combine the concept of White public space with raciolinguistic ideologies, we can see why language policing is so prolific on US campuses. Nelson Flores and Jonathan Rosa argue that raciolinguistic ideologies “produce racialized speaking subjects who are constructed as linguistically deviant even when engaging in linguistic practices positioned as normative or innovative when produced by privileged [W]hite subjects.” In other words, in White public space, when POC don’t use the language or accent that is expected of them, i.e. (White-accented) English at OSU, their behavior is considered deviant or different from what is “normal” or “morally correct.”

What can internationalized students do to protect their linguistic practices?

After the incident at Duke, students created a petition to raise awareness of the issue. At OSU, our research team created a glossy zine, from which the above images were taken, to be distributed around OSU’s campus, with dining hall student employees and managers in mind. The zine details resources for students to report incidents of bias and provides information from the US Department of Labor so that managers can understand when it is acceptable to limit an employee’s speech to English. After the zine was distributed, we were contacted by two of the top administrators in housing and dining and discussed ways to move forward, especially focusing on how student employees can be informed of their rights and other resources beyond being given a gigantic orientation booklet that uses language that may not be accessible to all levels of English users. However, much more needs to be done, namely creating more resources for people to become more aware of how language is not only a material object but also a process and a social practice. Also, there need to be resources that help folks be self-reflexive about their own language ideologies and those of others. If we can’t do away with language policing, at least we can recognize when it’s happening, engage it critically, and through those processes perhaps reduce its presence.

In the end, ideas about language, especially about which language is “(un)acceptable” when spoken by certain people in certain contexts, are also ideas about race. When these ideas become institutionalized, they can carry additional authority. Thus, policing language needs to be understood as often constituting a racist practice, much like the Muslim ban, the detaining of POC on the southern border of the imagined community that is the United States, and other abhorrent racist practices that have always been commonplace as part of European colonization.

Jason Sarkozi-Forfinski, ABD, is a former PhD candidate in anthropology at Oregon State University. His research focuses on raciolinguistics in the United States and on disseminating anthropological findings to broader audiences.

Catherine R. Rhodes ( is contributing editor for the Society for Linguistic Anthropology.

Cite as: Sarkozi-Forfinski, Jason. 2019. “Speak English or Else You’ll Be Put on Dish Duty.” Anthropology News website, July 18, 2019. DOI: 10.1111/AN.1226


The Unruly Leftists and Good White Women of the New Campus Free Speech

New conservative personae of free speech rely on language ideologies about race and gender to legitimize some speakers and delegitimize others.

Since the mid-twentieth century, many Americans have seen free speech as primarily serving an inclusive and egalitarian concept of public space and political legitimacy. This view draws on stories of anti-war protestors and civil rights activists, like Mario Savio and Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth. An opposing view of free speech was on offer in President Trump’s March 2019 executive order to “protect free speech on campus.” While the impact of the order itself has been up for debate, its signing ceremony was an inflection  point for a conservative vision of free speech as the province of normatively gendered whiteness.

I have closely followed the language politics of free speech here in the United States while writing a book about free speech and the idea of the free press in India. In both countries, arguments about free speech assert a line between what people consider morally legitimate and illegitimate language, often by creating portraits of its speakers and hearers—what Asif Agha has called the “characterological figures” or persona of speech styles. The executive order’s signing ceremony illustrated a new order of legitimacy by staging a tableau for free speech that featured two opposing figures: the unruly leftist and the good white woman.

The signing ceremony resembled a memorial for those who have suffered for free speech on campus. The US president stood surrounded by rows of seated twenty-somethings, almost all white and at least two-thirds men, while a small group of young women and men stood behind him. He welcomed his guests with tropes of war—“We’re here to take historic action to defend American students and American values. They’ve been under siege.”—that turned the invited speakers into heroic martyrs. These three speakers were all young white women in dresses with hair blown-out in the style of the president’s own daughter. The president described the “attack” each had faced on her campus: the first guest had resisted posting the required “trigger warnings” for her exhibit of crosses for the unborn; the second had been tabling for Turning Point USA when a part-time instructor shouted protests at her; and the third had been only allowed to distribute Valentine’s Day cards saying “Jesus loves you” in the campus’s designated “free speech zone.”

A photograph of protesters of a range of races and genders marching with signs at the University of Minnesota. Some protesters are chanting. Some also wear University of Minnesota clothing. One sign reads "1st gen American against racism" and two others read "build love not walls."
Individuals march in protest against hate speech on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis, October 6, 2016.
Fibonacci Blue/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The event staged the conservative experience on US campuses as one of a threatened minority subject to an abusive majority. Erasing the fact that universities restrict speech across political differences, the president enrolled the students in the room in his combative we/they frame. Going off-script midway through the ceremony, he said, “And if they do have different views, we encourage that. But they have to let you speak. They have to let you speak.” The explicit logic of the executive order is that conservative speakers (“us”) are being denied their rightful conversational turns by “radical leftist” political speakers (“them”). The implicit characterological figures of this narrative connect it to a broader social imaginary.

One place that the characterological figure of that imagined abusive majority—the campus leftist—has taken shape is in media coverage of the “shout-down,” a genre in which protestors seek to be louder than those whom they are protesting. Stanley Kurtz has chronicled this protest speech genre in the National Review over the last several years, using episodic timelines of “disturbances” to portray US campuses as ground zero of an epidemic of unruly speech. In a piece calling 2016–17 the “year of the shout-down,” Kurtz describes campus events at which anti-racist and pro-Palestine protestors shouted or chanted at public speakers. Taking a broken-windows approach to campus protest, Kurtz argues that all shout-downs must be punished because even a “single shout-down left undisciplined by administrators chills speech and poisons the campus atmosphere long afterwards.”

Such outrage about the “shout down” genre has helped to produce the persona of the anti-racist campus activist or “college campus leftist” as a bad-faith disruptor of civil, public space. Like the online memes of the “SJW” or “Social Justice Warrior,” the persona of the campus leftist draws on longstanding associations between loudness, unruliness, and gendered and racialized bodies.

The white women here are not legitimate because of their speech style; their speech is legitimate because they are white and normatively gendered.

Against this foil of the unruly leftist, the signing ceremony constructed a characterological figure, also intertwined with a speech style, for threatened conservative speech: the normatively effeminate young white woman. Both the event memorializing the unborn and the event distributing Christian Valentine’s Day cards were deeply sentimental visual demonstrations—the third event consisted of sitting at a table representing a national organization. In stark contrast to the “shout down” events, these events were largely quiet. The signing ceremony’s celebration of these three speakers presents the speech on siege as the ideal feminine speech that Deborah Cameron has described as “modest, deferential, and publicly silent.”The event makes use of the language ideological processes described by Judith Irvine and Susan Gal to diagram an opposition between virtuous white women and bad-faith “social justice warriors” onto the opposition between legitimate and illegitimate speech. The linguistic feature of loudness connects racist and gendered beliefs about what kinds of people are loud or quiet to moral evaluations of loud and quiet speech (“loud speech is uncivil”). This enables what Miyako Inoue has called an “indexical inversion,” in which the relationship between a cause and an effect is flipped. The illegitimacy of leftist activists becomes their defining feature, their essential quality, not a result of their speech behaviors. Similarly, the white women here are not legitimate because of their speech style; their speech is legitimate because they are white and normatively gendered. Just as racist ideologies sneak in through ideas about “appropriateness” in schools, as Nelson Flores and Jonathon Rosa have shown, they shape ideas about what kinds of speech are politically legitimate and what kinds are not.

Staging the “free speech wars” as an onslaught of loud and dangerous leftists abusing well-meaning, quiet white women helps rescue the conservative free speech position from its own distasteful associations. Nationally publicized campus protests have mostly focused on a few high-profile speakers whom even many conservatives find offensive. The signing ceremony replaced those outrageous figures with the sentimental and demure figures of white women with good intentions. This substitution erases the sticky questions of hate speech and inclusion on US residential campuses and makes the conservative vision seem like basic decency.

In contrast to the association of free speech with civil rights icons, the signing event asserted a vision of American public space and political participation as the moral domain of normatively gendered white people. Pivoting the event on the President’s own preferred norms of femininity shifts the “footing” of campus speakers and judges the legitimacy of their speech on their fulfillment of gendered norms. This implicitly connects the president’s campaign to “protect campus free speech” with the political fight against those queer sexualities and non-normative genders that characterize many online representations of the campus “SJW”—the same that are the focus of panic about gender-free bathrooms as the end of civilization.

It is how the event restages racist tropes that makes the opposition between these characterological figures of the unruly leftist and the good white women into a call to conservative action. The signing ceremony shrewdly pulls together evocations of loud, illegitimate leftists; metaphors of war; and the unfair suffering of good white women to create a compelling plot, replete with bad guys and maidens, that draws on myths about threats to white women’s virtue that, as Angela Davis established, have served to justify violence against Black men since Jim Crow. In doing so, the event calls on its audience of largely white, normatively gendered men to be the hero: to defend free speech and save these good quiet white women from the onslaught of loud radical leftists.

The executive order and its signing ceremony illustrate how entangled speech genres and social personae are, and how entangled both of these are with longstanding ideologies of race and gender.

The explicit promise of the executive order is to punish those universities who do not punish the speakers disrupting legitimate turns to talk. The question is, who gets to be considered legitimate? The apparently neutral solution—advocated by Kurtz himself—is to make policies designating the forms of speech that are legitimate or illegitimate on campus. But the executive order and its signing ceremony illustrate how entangled speech genres and social personae are, and how entangled both of these are with longstanding ideologies of race and gender. When we imagine free speech, we also imagine somebody speaking. Free speech is a powerful medium for political battles precisely because it knits legal rights together with these strongly felt beliefs about language and the social imaginaries that underlie them. While this power can be used to widen political inclusion, it can also be used to reinforce exclusions.

Katherine Martineau is a cultural anthropologist and assistant professor of South Asian Studies in the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies at Binghamton University. Her interests include media and journalism, language politics, postcolonial law, democracy, and historical anthropology.  Learn more at

Catherine R. Rhodes ( is contributing editor for the Society for Linguistic Anthropology.

Cite as: Martineau, Katherine. 2019. “The Unruly Leftists and Good White Women of the New Campus Free Speech.” Anthropology News website, July 1, 2019.

Committee on Language and Social Justice Meeting Report

The SLA Committee on Language and Social Justice (LSJ) aims to increase awareness, both within the AAA and among the general public, of the ways that language is implicated in social discrimination; and where appropriate, to respond to language-related injustice. To these ends, the committee seeks to collect and disseminate knowledge concerning language and social justice; to identify problems and issues in which linguistic anthropologists can effectively intervene, and to which linguistic anthropological knowledge can usefully be applied; to organize and facilitate such interventions and applications; and to advise the AAA Committee on Human Rights, the AAA Executive Board, and other AAA bodies on how the AAA should respond to issues concerning language and social justice.

LSJ is an open-membership committee comprised of faculty and students and is led by six core members; three cohorts of two people serve three-year terms. Lynnette Arnold and Judy Pine are the current co-chairs, Dominika Baran and Suzanne Mateus form the next cohort, and Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein and Paja Faudree have just been confirmed as the most recent cohort of core members. Two new cohort members are elected annually.

What role can linguistic anthropology have in social justice work? If language-as-action is a shared premise for linguistic anthropologists, how can we extend this to social justice efforts? These were the questions that structured the discussion at the widely-attended LSJ session at the inaugural SLA Meeting in March 2018. Breakout sessions, each led by an LSJ member, addressed:

  1. Right-wing attacks on faculty (Bonnie Urciuoli)
  2. Language and sexual violence (Katherine Martineau, Mariam Durrani)
  3. Mentoring in linguistic anthropology (Bernard Perley)
  4. Racialized discourse about immigration (Jonathan Rosa)
  5. Expanding our web and social media presence (Judy Pine)
  6. Teaching the “language gap” (Lynnette Arnold)

During the 2018 AAA Meetings, LSJ met to discuss prior, current, and planned business. The meeting began with a land acknowledgement, a linguistic practice that has been recognized as “a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth.”

LSJ efforts on campus

Perley and Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein are surveying the field on weaknesses in student mentoring and suggestions for improvement.

Language and sexual violence has been an ongoing LSJ focus. At 2018 SLA Meeting, Durrani gave a talk about #MeToo and published an article on this topic in AN. Urciuoli is collecting campus data on sexual harassment and Durrani provided recommendations of responding to harassment or trolling on campus.

Language discrimination affects academic hiring processes and evaluation of student work on campuses. Edwin Everhart is developing union contract language to prohibit accent discrimination; contact Evenhart at with related ideas. CATESOL has a position paper on rejecting discrimination based on English teachers’ “nativeness,” which addresses promotion discrimination and inclusive job advertising and LSJ encourages additional work on this topic. Providing trainings or workshops for students at campus community engagement service-learning centers, which undergraduates frequently use to do language work (e.g., tutoring, interpreting, ESL teaching) but at which students are rarely offered relevant training (e.g., in linguistics, anthropology), can be effective. Course assignments can also be designed to train students to bring course content to bear on current social justice issues (e.g., final papers turned into “pitch” to legislators; funding proposals for practical interventions).

LSJ efforts beyond campus

Hilary Dick is leading efforts to increase awareness about the importance of access to professional translation/interpretation, especially given current migration to the United States. On this topic, see also Sonya Rao’s column, “Communicating in Times of Crisis.”

2019 is UNESCO’s International Year of Indigenous Languages, and the AAA is making this a theme for 2019 projects. Contact Perley to get involved:

Pine is leading LSJ efforts to reach broader audiences, including conveying complex ideas accessibly via social media and addressing issues of who uses social media.

Social justice and the production of academics and academic work

The LSJ released its first member-authored book: Language and Social Justice in Practice, by N. Avineri, L.R. Graham, E.J. Johnson, R.C. Riner, and J. Rosa (Eds.), Routledge, 2019. It contains 24 case-study chapters and is designed for an undergraduate audience. Among the issues discussed in the book are the need to reframe merit within the academy and how to create a central place for social justice in academic work.

LSJ is working on making conferences more accessible to all members, with efforts planned for SLA 2020. This includes considering alternative models and modes of participation (e.g., webinars, Zoom/Skype, partial/total telepresence). Clear session-chair guidelines could help address accessibility as well as working closely with the AAA Disability Research Interest Group, which prepared guidelines for creating accessible presentations.  LSJ encourages members to familiarize themselves with and follow these guidelines.

A group at UCSB, including Kendra Calhoun, Joyhanna Yoo Garzam, and Jamaal Muwwakkil, is studying the experiences of underrepresented people in academia. The study will discuss academic recruitment and retention and offer concrete strategies for both.

LSJ also discussed language discrimination as it pertains to peer review for publication and is considering creating a resource for journals to help them avoid rejecting non-native-English writers.

Gender equity is a key LSJ theme, including recognizing and confronting women’s under-representation amongst tenured faculty and biases in hiring processes and tenure decisions.

The AAAL study on diversity and job placements, summarized here, can be a resource. Gender inequity can also be addressed through citational practices in who we credit in what we write and who and what we teach.

LSJ is also engaged in outreach beyond conventional academic writing, such as sharing experiences with social justice issues and responses to these on the listserv; engaging the Op-Ed Project; circulating the AAA’s document on “Guidelines for Tenure and Promotion Review: Communicating Public Scholarship in Anthropology” involving students in the design and teaching of anthropology (e.g., through Wenner-Gren-funded program, “Anthropology is Elemental,” led by Pritzker); sponsoring films/talks on key social justice issues, such as institutionalized racism (e.g., Walt Wolfram’s film “Talking Black in America”—contact Wolfram or Pritzker for a copy—and John Jackson’s talk on the ethnographic development of critical race theory, hosted at U. Alabama).

Teaching language and social justice

Arnold has created a database with resources about the “word gap.” To contribute, contact

LSJ is also revamping the online curation of materials for teaching social justice through linguistic anthropology.

This is a report of minutes from a meeting held on November 15, 2018. To join the LSJ listserv, contact; on Twitter @LangSocJustice.

Catherine R. Rhodes ( is a contributing editor for the Society for Linguistic Anthropology.

Cite as: Rhodes, Catherine R. 2019. “Committee on Language and Social Justice Meeting Report.” Anthropology News website, May 16, 2019. DOI: 10.1111/AN.1162





#MeToo, Believing Survivors, and Cooperative Digital Communication (Mariam Durrani) Dec.  2018.


New Sovereignties and the Translation of Clinical Authority (Colin Halverson) June. 2018.



Indian Mascots- Naturalized Racism and Anthropology (Bernard Perley) Sept. 2015. Vol. 56. Issue 9

August 2015. Volume 56. Issue 8. Why You Should Consider Applying for the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship (Laura Ahearn)

June 2015. Volume 56. Issue 6. Anthropological Listening as a Genre (Xochitl Marsilli-Vargas)

May 2015. Volume 56. Issue 5. Neither Home Nor Field (Erika Alpert)

April 2015. Volume 56. Issue 4. At the Crossroads of Linguistics and Anthropology- Disciplinary Perspectives on Documentation (Lise Dobrin, Niko Nesbier)

March 2015. Volume 56. Issue 3. Digital Counterpublics- Black Twitter in the Aftermath of Ferguson (Mariam Durrani)

February 2015. Volume 56. Issue 2. Silent Meditation Speech, Power and Social Justice (Netta Avineri, Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein, Robin Conley, Mariam Durrani, Kathleen Riley)

 January 2015 Volume 56. Issue 1. Report on the 2014 SLA Business Meeting (Aaron Ansell)

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December 2014. Volume 55. Issue 12. On Being a Near-Native Speaker (Anna M. Babel)

November 2014. Volume 55. Issue 11. Contact and its Allure (Shunsuke Nozawa)

October 2014. Volume 55. Issue 10″ Scales of Repair: Exploring ‘Putting Things Right’ at NCLALA’s 3rd Annual Workshop, Charlottesville, VA” (Eve Danziger, Brook Hefright, 

and Mark Sicoli)

September 2014. Volume 55. Issue 9. “Talk About Linguistic Anthropology at the AAA Meeting” (Aaron Ansell and Susanne Unger) 

August 2014.Volume 55. Issue 8. “Linguistic Anthropology in the Current Professional Market” (Steven P. Black)

July 2014. Volume 55. Issue 7. “Rush Limbaugh’s Club G’itmo and Semiotic Claims to Minority Status” (Robin Shoaps)

June 2014. Volume 55. Issue 6. “Language and Social Justice Committee Activities, 2013-14” (Bonnie Urciuoli)

May 2014. Volume 55. Issue 5. “Auctioning American Democracy: Language Ideology and the Supreme Court” (Aaron Ansell)

April 2014. Volume 55. Issue 4. “A Rare Opportunity Never Knocks” (Ilana Gershon)

March 2014. Volume 55. Issue 3. “The Language of Instruction or the Instruction of Language” (Becky Schulthies)

February 2014. Volume 55. Issue 2. “The Lavender Languages Conference Turns 21” (William Leap)

January 2014. Volume 55. Issue 1. “Report on the 2013 Society for Linguistic Anthropology Business Meeting” (Bonnie Urciuoli)

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December 2013. Volume 24. Issue 12. “Scholars and Citizens: Judging the Unfortunate Term ‘Spanglish’ (Responses to ‘Is Spanglish a bad term?’)” (Ricardo Otheguy and Nancy Stern)

November 2013. Volume 54, Issue 11. “SLA at AAA” (Bonnie Urciuoli)

October 2013. Volume. 54. Issue 10. “Notes from JLA’s Outgoing Book Review Editor” (Erika Hoffmann-Diloway)

October 2013. Volume 54. Issue 10. “Teleologies of Structuralism” (Christopher Ball, Alejandro Paz, and Michael Silverstein)

September 2013. Volume 54. Issue 9. The Zimmerman Trial- Language Issues and Linguistic Responses” (Aaron Ansell)

August 2013. Volume 54. Issue 8. “Is Spanglish a Bad Term” (Bonnie Urciuoli)

July 2013. Volume. 54. Issue 7. “A Few Words with SLA’s Incoming President” (Bonnie Urciuoli)

June 2013. Volume 54. Issue 6. “Interview with Matt Thompson, Manager pot NPR’s New Blog, ‘Code Switch'” (Aaron Ansell) 

May 2013. Volume. 54. Issue 5. “Language, Social Justice and the Media” (Bonnie Urciuoli)

April 2013. Volume. 54. Issue 4. “Imagining a Deaf Utopia” (Abigail Rosenthal)

No SLA Column in March 2013. Volume 54. Issue 3. Section News

No SLA Column in February 2013. Volume 54. Issue 2. Section News

No SLA Column in January 2013. Volume 54. Issue 1. Section News

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December 2012. Volume 53. Issue 10. “Language, Health and Social Justice” (Steven P. Black), pp. 47-48 

November 2012. Volume 53. Issue 9. “SLA at the AAA” (Bonnie Urciuoli), pp. 39-40

October 2012. Volume 53. Issue 8. “(Un)Happy Discourses- Redefining Social Relations, Linguistic Markedness, and Political Talk” (Elizabeth Spreng), pp. 47-48

No Section News in September 2012. Volume 53. Issue 7

No SLA Column in June 2012. Volume 53. Issue 6.

May 2012. Volume 53. Issue 5. “Linguistic Moments in the Movies” (Mark Allen Peterson), pp. 36-37

April 2012. Volume 53. Issue 4. “From Microblogging to Microperformance in Egypt” (Mark Allen Peterson), pp. 36-37

March 2012. Volume 53. Issue 3. “Language Ideology and ‘Common Sense'” (Bonnie Urciuoli), p. 36

February 2012. Volume 53. Issue 2. “Report on the 2011 SLA Business Meeting” (James Stanlaw), p. 44

No SLA Column in January 2012. Volume 53. Issue 1.

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December 2011.Volume 52. Issue 9. “DLAB and ALALives are on the Line” (James Stanlaw), p. 40

November 2011. Volume 52. Issue 8. “When Cream is Not Cool” (Mark Allen Peterson), p. 44

October 2011. Volume 52. Issue 7. “Meet the New Editors” (James Stanlaw), pp. 16-17

No Section News in September 2011. Volume 52. Issue 6.

May 2011. Volume 52. Issue 5. “Linguistic Moments in the Movies, Part VII” (Mark Allen Peterson), p. 40

April 2011. Volume 52. Issue 4 “Dude! Like, WTF?” (James Stanlaw), pp. 39-40.

No SLA Column in March 2011. Volume 52. Issue 3. 

February 2011. Volume 52. Issue 2. “Report on the 2010 SLA Business Meeting” (James Stanlaw), p. 48 

January 2011. Volume 52. Issue 1. “Developing Expertise” (Mark Allen Peterson), p. 45

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December 2010. Volume 51. Issue 9. “Ah… the The’s Have It” (James Stanlaw), pp. 47-48

November 2010. Volume 51. Issue 8. “Circulating Among the Language Panels in New Orleans” (Mark Allen Peterson), pp. 52-53

October 2010. Volume 51. Issue 7. “Are We Teaching Too Much Spanish?” (James Stanlaw), pp. 59-60

No Section News in September 2010. Volume 51. Issue 6.

May 2010. Volume 51. Issue 5. “Linguistic Moments in the Movies, Part VI” (Mark Allen Peterson), p. 52

April 2010. Volume 51. Issue 4. “Musical Mushaf” (Mark Allen Peterson), p. 48

March 2010. Volume 51. Issue 3. “Sapir-Whorf Redux” (Mark Allen Peterson), p. 52

February 2010. Volume 51. Issue 2. “Report on the 2009 SLA Business Meeting” (James Stanlaw) pp. 48-49

January 2010. Volume 51. Issue. 1. “Learn a Tone Language, Develop Musical Skill, Part 2” (James Stanlaw), pp. 48-49

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December 2009. Volume 50. Issue 9. “Learn a Language, Develop Musical Skill” (James Stanlaw), p. 50

November 2009. Volume 50. Issue 8. “Obama’s Health Care Speech- Linguistic Discontent” (James Stanlaw), pp. 55-56

October 2009. Volume 50. Issue 7. “On Heartfelt Commitments and Gifts in Linguistic Anthropology” (Debra Spitulnik), p. 64

No Section News in September 2009. Volume 50. Issue 6.

May 2009. Volume 50. Issue 5. “Linguistic Moments in the Movies” (Mark Allen Peterson), p. 60

April 2009. Volume 50. Issue 4. “Language and Social Justice: Report from the CfHR Task Group” (Laura R. Graham and Ana Celia Zentella), pp. 51-52

March 2009. Volume 50. Issue3. “Tatti Happens- Swearing, Switching and Speaking Cross-Culturally” (Mark Allen Peterson), pp. 55-56

February 2009. Volume 50. Issue 2. “Report on the 2008 SLA Business Meeting” (James Stanlaw), pp. 55-56

January 2009. Volume 50. Issue 1. “What Will Be the Language Policy of the Obama Administration?” (James Stanlaw), pp. 51-52



December 2008. Volume 49. Issue 9. “Does the French Language Belong to France?” (Alexandre Enkerli), p. 56

November 2008. Volume 49. Issue 8. “‘Words That Work’ in an Election (if You Don’t Put Descartes before the Horse)” (James Stanlaw), pp. 63-64

No Section News in October 2008. Volume 49. Issue 7.

No Section News in September 2008. Volume 49. Issue 6.

May 2008. Volume 49. Issue 5. “Linguistic Moments in the Movies” (Mark Allen Peterson), p. 67

April 2008. Volume 49. Issue 4. “What Can Gitmo Ditainees Read?” (James Stanlaw), p. 63

March 2008. Volume 49. Issue 3. No Title–2007 Business Meeting. (Mark Allen Peterson and James Stanlaw), pp. 59-60

February 2008. Volume 49. Issue 2. “‘What We Mean When We Say- An Explanation of Estimative Language’- Linguistic Surprises from the Director of National Intelligence” (James Stanlaw), pp. 54-55

No SLA Column in January 2008. Volume 49. Issue 1.


December 2007. Volume 48. Issue 9. “A Linguistic Mstyrey form the Itnernet” (James Stanlaw), pp. 62-63

November 2007. Volume 48. Issue 8. “SLA Meeting Preview” (Kira Hall), pp. 62-63

October 2007: Volume 48. Issue 7. “A Decade of Cognitive Linguistics” (James Stanlaw and Mark Peterson), p. 67

No Section News in September 2007. Volume 48. Issue 6.

May 2007. Volume 48. Issue 5. “Linguistic Moments in the Movies” (Mark Allen Peterson), p. 67

April 2007. Volume 48. Issue 4. “What’s in a Name? Or What Defines a ‘Civil War’ and Who Makes the Definition?” (James Stanlaw), p. 63

March 2007. Volume 48. Issue 3. “Lies, Damn Lies and Political Aids” (Mark Allen Peterson), pp. 58-59

February 2007. Volume 48. Issue 2. “Translations- ‘Internationalizing’ Language and Music in Japan” (Carolyn Stevens), p. 54

January 2007. Volume 48. Issue 1. “SLA Thriving–and Aims to Continue” (Mark Allen Peterson and James Stanlaw), pp. 62-63



December 2006. Volume 47. Issue 9. “Don’t Think of an Elephant … or a Donkey” (James Stanlaw), pp. 61-62

November 2006. Volume 47. Issue 8. “SLA in San José” (Mark Peterson and James Stanlaw), pp. 61-62

October 2006. Volume 47. Issue 7. “The DoBeS Program in Action- A Report from Argentina” (James Stanlaw and Mark Peterson) and “The Chaco Languages Project of Argentina” (Lucía Golluscio and Silvia Hirsch), p. 63

No Section News in September 2006. Volume 47. Issue 6.

May 2006. Volume 47. Issue 5. “Bylines as Indexes” (Mark Allen Peterson and James Stanlaw), pp. 61-62

April 2006. Volume 47. Issue 4. “Everett on the Pirahã Language” (James Stanlaw and Mark Peterson), p. 55

March 2006. Volume 47. Issue 3. “Grief, Love and Indices” (Mark Allen Peterson), pp. 54-55

February 2006. Volume 47. Issue 2. “SLA in DC” (James Stanlaw and Mark Peterson), p. 59

January 2006. Volume 47. Issue 1. “I337 5p33k- 4n 31337 I3550n f0r 4n O1d F4r7” (James Stanlaw), p. 62



December 2005. Volume 46. Issue 9. “Japanese Girls’ Orthographic Rebellion” (Laura Miller), p. 60

November 2005. Volume 46. Issue 8. “Rough Guide to Language Panels At AAA” (James Stanlaw and Mark Peterson), pp. 62-63

October 2005. Volume 46. Issue 7. “The Language of Two Occupations: Taiwan and Japan; Iraq and America” (Geoff Sant), pp.61-62

No Section News in September 2005. Volume 46. Issue 6.

May 2005. Volume 46. Issue 5. “Untitled” (Mark Allen Peterson and James Stanlaw), pp. 58-59

April 2005. Volume 46. Issue 4. “Language and the Internet: Is it Always English?” (James Stanlaw), pp. 54-55

March 2005. Volume 46. Issue 3. “Report from SLA Business Meeting” (Mark Allen Peterson and James Stanlaw), p. 51

February 2005. Volume 46. Issue 2. “Language, Linguistis and the FBI” (James Stanlaw), pp. 53-54

January 2005. Volume 46. Issue 1. “SLA Panels at the AAA Meeting” (Mark Allen Peterson), p. 55



December 2004. Volume 45. Issue 9. “Language and Politics Revisited: The Anti-Chomsky Views” (James Stanlaw), pp. 60-61

November 2004. Volume 45. Issue 8. Untitled (Mark Allen Peterson and James Stanlaw), p. 59

October 2004. Volume 45. Issue 7. “Noam Chomsky On Language and Politics” (James Stanlaw), pp. 58-59

No Section News in Volume 45. Issue 6.

May 2004. Voilume 45. Issue 5. “Language of Hate” (Mark Allen Peterson and James Stanlaw), pp. 55-56

April 2004. Volume 45. Issue 4. “Inaccessible Data Mean Lost Langauges, and a Lost Language is as Good as Dead” (James Stanlaw), pp. 51-52

March 2004. Volume 45. Issue 3. “Report on SLA Business Meeting” (Mark Allen Peterson and James Stanlaw), p. 51

February 2004. Volume 45. Issue 2. “Graffiti Photos: Language and Art in Japanese Girls’ Culture” (Laura Miller), pp. 51-52

January 2004. Volume 45. Issue 1. “The Globalization of Hate” (Mark Allen Peterson), p. 60



December 2003. Volume 44. Issue 9. “The English Language and American Identity: Views from Native and Non-Native Speakers” (Joy Bhosai and Nicole Clarke), p.52

November 2003. Volume 44. Issue 8. “The Metaphor of ‘Endangered Languages” (P. Kevin Friedman), p. 63

October 2003. Volume 44. Issue 7. Untitled (Mark Allen Peterson and James Stanlaw), p. 55

No Section News in September 2003. Volume 44. Issue 6

May 2003. Volume 44. Issue 5. “Linguistic Moments in the Movies” (Mark Allen Peterson and James Stanlaw), pp. 51-52

April 2003. Volume 44. Issue 4. “To Be (Online) or Not to Be (Online) … Is THAT the Question?” (James Stanlaw and Mark Peterson), p.. 50-51

March 2003. Volume 44. Issue 3. “Language Components” (Mark Allen Peterson and James Stanlaw), pp. 48-49

February 2003. Volume 44. Issue 2. “Down to Business” (Mark Allen Peterson and James Stanlaw), p. 51

January 2003. Volume 44. Issue 1. “Building Bridges” (Mark Allen Peterson and James Stanlaw), pp. 51-52



December 2002. Volume 43. Issue 9. “Is ‘Like’ Liable to be a Liability in Language?” (James Stanlaw and Mark Peterson), pp. 55-56

November 2002. Volume 43. Issue 8. “Linguistic Aspects of American Politics” (James Stanlaw and Mark Peterson), pp. 59-60

October 2002. Volume 43. Issue 7. “SSILA Withdraws from AAA Meeting” (Mark Allen Peterson and James Stanlaw) p. 55

No Section News in September 2002. Volume 43. Issue 6.

May 2002. Volume 43. Issue 5. “Linguistic Moments in the Movies” (Mark Allen Peterson and James Stanlaw), pp. 55-56

April 2002. Volume 43. Issue 4. Untitled (Interview with Monica Heller) (James Stanlaw and Mark Peterson), pp. 55-56

March 2002. Volume 43. Issue 3. “A Letter on Sept 11” (James Stanlaw and Mark Peterson) p. 55-56

February 2002. Volume 43. Issue 2. “New AN Contributing Editor” (James Stanlaw and Mark Peterson), pp. 55-56

January 2002. Volume 43. Issue 1. “AILLA” (Richard J. Senghas and James Stanlaw), pp. 53-54



December 2001. Volume 42. Issue 9. Untitled (Interview with Mary Bucholtz and Elizabeth Keating) (James Stanlaw and Richard Senghas), p. 55

November 2001. Voilume 42. Issue 8. “Linguistics at the Annual Meeting” (Richard Senhas and James Stanlaw), pp. 63-64

October 2009. Volume 42. Issue 7. “Nu Shu” (Richard Senghas and James Stanlaw), pp. 54-55

September 2001. Volume 42. Issue 6. “Collins Named SLA Board Member” (Richard J. Senhas and James Stanlaw), pp. 58-59

May 2001. Volume 42. Issue 5. Untitled (Interview with Jane Hill) (Richard Senghas and James Stanlaw), pp. 55-56

No SLA Column in April 2001. Volume 42. Issue 4. Section News

March 2001. Volume 42. Issue. 3. Untitled (Interview with George Lakoff) (Richard Senghas and James Stanlaw), pp. 55-56

February 2001. Volume 42. Issue 2. Looking Ahead to AAA2001 (Richard J. Senghas and James M. Stanlaw), p. 55

January 2001. Volume 42. Issue 1. Untitled (Section Business) (Cyndi Dunn and Richard Senghas), p. 60



December 2000. Volume 41. Issue 9. “Lavender Languages IX” (Richard J Senghas and Cyndi Dunn), pp. 56-57

December 2000. Volume 41. Issue 9. “Paradoxes of Public Silence” (Elizabeth Spreng), p. 57

November 2000. Volume 41. Issue 8. “Looking Forwad to the Annual Meeting” (Cyndi Dunn and Richard J. Senghas), pp. 69-70

October 2000. Volume 41. Issue 7. “Preview of SLA Sessions- Part I” (Richard J Senghas and Cyndio Dunn), p. 69

October 2000. Volume 41. Issue 7. “Preview of Invited Sessions” (Laura Miller), p. 70

September 2000. Volume 41. Issue 6. “Deadline for Best Student Paper Award” and “Call for Nominations for AAA and SLA Elections” (Cyndi Dunn and Richard J Senghas), p. 117

September 2000. Volume 41. Issue 6. “Language Rights and the AAA Committee for Human Rights” (John B Haviland), p. 117

September 2000. Volume 41. Issue 6. “New Electronic Discussion List on Code-Switching” (Cyndi Dunn and Richard J Senghas), p. 117

May 2000. Volume 41. Issue 5. “SLA Student Paper Competition and Language Revitalization” (Richard J Senghas and Cyndi Dunn), 77-78

May 2000. Volume 41. Issue 5. “Language and Metaphor” (John McCreery), p. 78

April 2000. Volume 41. Issue 4. “Linguistic Anthropology 2000” (Charles Briggs), pp. 33-34

March 2000. Volume 41. Issue 3. “Untitled Section Business” (Richard Senghas and Cyndi Dunn), p. 72

March 2000. Volume 41. Issue 3. “Eeny Meeny Miny Mo” (Jesse Lee), p. 72-73

February 2000. Volume 41. Issue 2. “Conference Announcements” (Cyndi Dunn and Richard Senghas), pp. 71-72

February 2000. Volume 41. Issue 2. “Sociolinguistics and Anthropology in New Zealand” (Yukako Sunaoshi), p. 72

January 2000. Volume 41. Issue 1. “Informal Annual Meeting Report” (Richard Senghas), pp. 95-97




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September 1984. Volume 25. Issue 6. “SLA By-Laws” (Jane Hill) 1984_09