Oral Presentation Session - Cosponsored Status Awarded
Sponsored by: Society for Linguistic Anthropology
Cosponsored by: National Association of Student Anthropologists
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Students, Those Involved in Mentoring Activities
Primary Theme: The Political
Secondary Theme: Identity and Equity
These top papers in the annual Society for Linguistic Anthropology (SLA) competition examine semiotic, ideological, and interactional processes across a range of genres and contexts, including naming ceremonies and teasing routines in Southeastern Senegal (Sweet); oratorical performances in Madagascar (Wells); wise words and sayings among Mayan women in Mexico (Sheedy); and pedagogical materials and classroom practices in ESL programs for Chicago-based Iraqi immigrants (Jacobs). The panelists are the winners and runners up of the 2018 Society for Linguistic Anthropology John Gumperz annual Graduate Student Essay Competition. This is the inaugural year for the Gumperz Prize, established by the SLA thanks to a generous gift from Jenny Cook-Gumperz which allowed for the creation of an endowment fund in honor of renown linguistic anthropologist and sociolinguist John Gumperz (1922-2013) to support awarding this prize annually. This year’s papers are exemplary of the rich scope and impact of contemporary linguistic anthropology research as they draw on rigorous fieldwork and present well theorized, empirically grounded arguments and analyses. Specific issues of embodiment, performance, ritual, discursive authority, audience, and the negotiation of identity/social difference are brought to the fore as the papers explore the tensions between freedom and constraint in communicative practices. The papers are commented upon by esteemed discussants in the field of linguistic anthropology, who served as judges for the competition.