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LINGUIST List 22.784

Wed Feb 16 2011

FYI: Call for AAA Panel Participants

Editor for this issue: Brent Miller <brentlinguistlist.org>

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        1.     Heidi Swank , Call for AAA Panel Participants

Message 1: Call for AAA Panel Participants
Date: 14-Feb-2011
From: Heidi Swank <heidi.swankunlv.edu>
Subject: Call for AAA Panel Participants
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This call for papers is for a panel that will be proposed for the American
Anthropological Association (AAA) meeting to take place on November
16-20, 2011, in Montreal, Canada.

Gossip, Confession, and Innuendo: Family Resemblances, Social
Processes, and Interstitial Linguistic Practices

This panel explores how language use in 'the nooks and crannies of
everyday life' (Besnier, 2009:11) can be used to build relationships,
create collusion, and engender exclusion. We build upon Niko
Besnier’s work on gossip as a less than hidden linguistic practice,
expanding its scope to a variety of understudied language activities,
such as confession and innuendo, that are often thought of as related.
However, it is not the hidden nature of these linguistic activities that
creates their coherence. For, as has been pointed out by Besnier as
well as Gal (1995) and others, gossip and other hidden transcripts
(Scott, 1990) often do not remain neatly tucked away. Thus, the aim of
this panel is to take seriously Wittgenstein’s notion of 'family
resemblances' whereby a collection of similar linguistic or social actions
are linked not by a single fundamental shared property but through a
chain or series of overlapping similarities. In order to explore and flesh
out such resemblances, we delve into the ways in which language in
these nooks and crannies is both similarly and differentially organized
to create openings for participation in terms of connection, collusion,
and/or exclusion. In doing so, we attend to the microscopic aspects of
linguistic exchanges, while simultaneously placing these activities within
the larger social processes through which each is mutually constituted.
We suggest that it is in Besnier’s emphasis on the nexus of these dual
foci (i.e. the microscopic and macroscopic) that we can best examine
the resemblances among gossip, confession, innuendo and the like.
Thus, this panel seeks to further our understanding of such interstitial
language activities not only by following Besnier’s linking of the
microscopic and macroscopic, but also through bringing together
scholars of these language activities to better understand their
distinctions and correspondences across the globe.

If you are interested in this call, please submit a 250 word abstract by
March 1 to Angela Lewis at lewisa14unlv.nevada.edu. Decisions on
abstracts will be made by March 5.

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Sociolinguistics

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