Knight, Dr. Vernon James, U. Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL - To aid preparation of the personal research materials of Dr. C. Earle Smith for archival deposit with the National Anthropological Archives, Suitland, Maryland
McComsey, Melanie, U. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA - To aid research on 'Bilingual Spaces: Socialization to Spatialized Practice in Spanish and Juchitán Zapotec,' supervised by Dr. John B. Haviland
MELANIE McCOMSEY, then a student at University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, was awarded funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Bilingual Spaces: Socialization to Spatialized Practice in Spanish and Juchitán Zapotec,' supervised by Dr. John B. Haviland. This project offers a fresh perspective on the classic problem of linguistic relativity associated with Humboldt, Sapir, and Whorf. It draws on ethnographic and semi-experimental linguistic data collected over two years of fieldwork with bilingual speakers of Spanish and Juchitan Zapotec, an Otomanguean language spoken in Juchitan, Oaxaca, Mexico. Because the languages differ in their spatial grammar, and because the speakers differ in their bilingual proficiency in the two languages, the researcher was able to investigate whether different cognitive styles are related to specific linguistic codes. Research found that some changes in spatial cognitive style are happening independently of changes in the grammars of Spanish and Zapotec. This suggests that ways of thinking about space may not be coupled to individual linguistic codes, but can vary as part of a local system of practice and communication. It was also found that embodied interactions with the rapidly modernizing built environment in Juchitan affect how children learn particular styles of spatial problem solving. This project contributes to the fields of linguistic relativity and language contact, showing how multiple worldviews are created and lived through practice within a single speech community.
Reuter, Dr. Thomas A., Monash U., Clayton, Victoria, Australia - To aid WCAA conference on 'Opportunities and Challenges: Toward an Agenda for World Anthropology,' 2009, Kunming, China, in collaboration with Dr. Gustavo Ribeiro
'Opportunities and Challenges for International Cooperation and Participation in Anthropology: Toward an Agenda for World Anthropology'
July 27-31, 2009, Kunming, China
Organizers: Thomas A. Reuter (Monash University) and Gustavo Ribeiro (Universidade de Brasilia)
This symposium was an open forum at which cooperative efforts to facilitate international communication and collaboration among anthropologists and anthropological associations were discussed. Representatives of all WCAA member associations present at the 2009 IUAES World Congress (July 27-31, Kunming, China) were invited to contribute to the
meeting, together with key representatives of the IUAES. The discussion focused on the different roles of the WCAA, IUAES, regional and national associations, asking what each can accomplish and how they can support one another’s endeavors. Individual presentations focused on specific tasks within the overall goal of advancing cooperation and participation within the discipline globally. The discussion explored how such important tasks may be accomplished through existing institutional resources and collaborations. Each representative at the meeting was asked to report back to their governing board and membership on the forum’s ideas and proposals for collaboration. A joint publication of the
presentations is in progress.
Smith, John Charles, St. Catherine's College, Oxford, United Kingdom - To aid Third Oxford-Kobe Linguistics Seminar: 'The Linguistics of Endangered Languages,' 2006, St. Catherine's College, in collaboration with Dr. Peter K. Austin
'The Linguistics of Endangered Languages'
April 2-6, 2006, Kobe Institute, Kobe, Japan
Organizers: Dr. John Charles Smith and Dr. Masayoshi Shibatani (Kobe Institute), and Dr. Peter K. Austin (St. Catherine's College - Oxford)
The Third Oxford-Kobe Linguistics Seminar brought together distinguished scholars from inside and outside Japan to present their research in the dedicated academic environment and so define the 'state of the art' in their discipline. The two previous Linguistics Seminars dealt with 'Language Change and Historical Linguistics' (2002) and 'The History and Structure of Japanese' (2004). The topic of 'The Linguistics of Endangered Languages' was chosen as the focus of the seminar because to elaborate on the point (often made, but less frequently demonstrated) that the loss of endangered languages means the loss of unique and unusual linguistic features that we would otherwise have no knowledge of, and that the extinction of languages inevitably results in a poorer linguistics and a poorer language and cultural heritage for the world as a whole. In addition to invited papers, a poster session was convened to highlight the work of junior scholars and graduate students in the field.
Hewlett, Dr. Christopher E., Charlottesville, VA - To aid preparation of the personal research materials of Dr. Joanna Overing for archival deposit with the University Library at the University of St. Andrews, United Kingdom - Historical Archives Program
Kramer, Elise Ann, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Mutual Minorityhood: The Rhetoric of Victimhood in the American Free Speech/Political Correctness Debate,' supervised by Dr. Susan Gal
ELISE A. KRAMER, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Mutual Minorityhood: The Rhetoric of Victimhood in the American Free Speech/Political Correctness Debate,' supervised by Dr. Susan Gal. It is a curious feature of contemporary American political debates that they tend to shade into arguments about censorship and freedom of speech. Moreover, these arguments often fit into a well-trod metapragmatic cycle: 'You're censoring me!' 'No, I'm not, and by saying I'm censoring you, you're censoring me.' Freedom of speech is simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. The dissertation attempts to make sense of this apparent paradox by arguing that seemingly specific and localized arguments about censorship and silencing are actually one of the central organizing tools for a wide range of folk ideologies about power, language, representation, identity, and the shape of the social landscape. The project is based on nine months of ethnographic fieldwork at a state American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) affiliate in the Bible Belt, supplemented by interviews with high-level staff at various political nonprofits in Washington, DC. Through the analysis of the language that these activists used in political and apolitical interactions, the dissertation unpacks the extraordinarily complex notion of 'censorship' in the modern multicultural state and demonstrates that its stakes are not only far-reaching but central to American political life.