Nonaka, Dr. Angela M., U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research and writing on ''It Takes a Village': Anthropological Analysis of Indigenous Sign Language Development and Decline in Thailand' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. ANGELA M. NONAKA, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship to aid research and writing on ''It Takes a Village:' Anthropological Analysis of Indigenous Sign Language Development and Decline in Thailand.' It Takes a Village is a 311-page manuscript that traces the life cycle of Ban Khor Sign Language. BKSL arose some 80 years ago in response to an unusually high incidence of hereditary deafness, and until recently was widely used in daily life by both hearing and deaf villagers, fostering participation and inclusion of the latter. This rare sociolinguistic ecology is undergoing dramatic changes, however, that threaten the continued vitality of BKSL, which is being supplanted by Thai Sign Language. Synthesizing more than a decade of continuous, holistic anthropological research, this study examines the causes and consequences of language emergence, maintenance, and shift. Ethnographically compelling on their own merits, the descriptive particulars of the Ban Khor case study have applied import for understanding the widespread endangerment of this rare sign language variety. This project also breaks new theoretical ground. By adopting a language socialization perspective that emphasizes interactional, use-based analysis of BKSL, this study counters key assumptions in formal linguistics about 'village' or 'indigenous' sign languages (and other lesser-known signing varieties), by demonstrating their full linguistic complexity and utility in situ, in the course of quotidian talk and interaction.
Schieffelin, Dr. Bambi Bernhard, New York U., New York - To aid workshop on 'Analyzing Change: Cultural and Linguistic Models,' 2008, New York U., in collaboration with Dr. Joel Robbins
'Analyzing Change: Cultural and Linguistic Models'
April 9-12, 2008, New York University, New York, New York
Organizers: Bambi Schieffelin (New York University) and Joel Robbins (University of California - San Diego)
This workshop brought together cultural and linguistic anthropologists and sociolinguists to develop theoretical positions on the causes, types, and nature of linguistic and cultural change. In these fields, issues having to do with contact and transformation have become central. Yet for all the discussion of globalization, modernity, hybridity, syncretism, and the like, there is still little sustained theoretical work on the topic of change itself. Invited scholars -- all of whom focus in their empirical work on different kinds of change processes and dynamics (religious, political, economic, and linguistic) -- presented a range of theoretical explanations. Cultural anthropologists most often attended to the endurance of tradition or the nature of mixture. Linguistic anthropologists examined the role played by language(s) and their ideologies in social and political change, while sociolinguists focused on languages in contact and the role of variation in change. In synthesizing the strengths of these fields, participants came to appreciate what each could offer as contributions toward the development of integrated theories of cultural and linguistic change.
Enfield, Dr. Nicholas James, Max Planck Institute, Nijmegen, The Netherlands - To aid workshop on 'Dynamics of Human Diversity in Mainland Southeast Asia,' 2009, Siem Reap, Cambodia, in collaboration with Dr. Joyce Carol White
'Dynamics of Human Diversity in Mainland Southeast Asia'
January 7-10, 2009, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Organizers: Nicholas Enfield (Max Planck Instittute, Nijmegen) and Joyce White (University of Pennsylvania Museum)
This four-field meeting brought together an international group of linguists, social/cultural anthropologists, archaeologists, and physical/biological anthropologists, to address the following question: What is the nature of human diversity in mainland Southeast Asia, and how did it come to be this way? The focus of discussions was restricted spatially to
mainland Southeast Asia (centrally, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Malay Peninsula) and temporally to the Holocene (the last 11,000 years). Drawing upon exciting new developments in all sub-fields of anthropology in this area, scholars from different disciplines came together to update one another on the states of their respective arts, as well
as to identify new syntheses and new agendas for interdisciplinary research. Issues of homeland of ethnolinguistic groups, and of timing of migrations (especially of the Asian groups of peninsular Malaysia and Thailand, and more generally the Austroasiatic language family), were illuminated by considering different kinds of evidence from the most recent
research in historical linguistics, archaeology, and especially the latest results from bioarchaeology and genetics. None of the biggest questions were definitively solved, but the meeting succeeded in bringing all participants further along in the search for solutions, as well as forging some new scholarly relationships with the potential for future interdisciplinary collaborations.
Enfield, N.J. 2011. Linguistic Diversity in Mainland Southeast Asia. In Dynamics of Human Diversity: The Case of Mainland Southeast Asia. Pacific Linguistics. School of Culture, History and Language. College of Asia and the Pacific. The Australian National University: Canberra.
Tavel, Aviva Mintz, Indianapolis, Indiana - To aid preparation of the personal research materials and film collection of Jerome Mintz for archival deposit with the Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Suitland, Maryland
Int'l Union of Anthropological & Ethnological Sciences
April 2, 2003
Intl. Union of Anthropological & Ethnological Sciences, Florence, Italy (through Executive Secretary, IUAES) - To aid 15th International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, 2003, Florence