Conference Circular: SHEL-2

Anne Curzan acurzan at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Fri Jan 25 18:36:39 UTC 2002

A notice for all interested participants in SHEL-2:

    Studies in the History of the English Language II

Registration forms are available on the web site for SHEL-2, and the conference
program will be available on the web site by the end of January:

Place: University of Washington in Seattle
Date:  March 22-24, 2002

Paper Sessions and Plenary Talks: Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23
Conference Banquet: Saturday Evening, March 23
Pedagogy Workshop: Sunday Morning (9 AM - 1 PM), March 24


Plenary speakers:
    Douglas Biber (Northern Arizona University)
    David Lightfoot (Georgetown University)
    Donka Minkova (UCLA)

We encourage interested participants to register and book rooms early, and we
look forward to welcoming many of you to Seattle for this conference in March.
You can find information about hotels, etc., on the web site. If you have any
questions, please contact Anne Curzan (acurzan at

Purpose and Objectives:

The first Studies in the History of the English Language Conference (SHEL-1),
organized by Donka Minkova and Robert Stockwell and held at UCLA in May 2000,
brought together many of the top scholars in English historical linguistics, as
well as promising new scholars, for a fascinating and wide-ranging program
highlighting exciting developments in the field. The conference proved a
successful first step in fostering conversation and energy around the research in
this field in the United States, and we look forward to an equally exciting
SHEL-2 conference in Seattle in March, 2002.

By way of background: in Europe the biennial conferences known as ICEHL
(International Conference on English Historical Linguistics) have served the
field of English Language Studies extremely well, giving the field both focus and
recognition that it almost certainly would not have achieved otherwise. In North
America, despite the presence of many major scholars in the field, Historical
English Linguistics -- the History of the English Language told in the light of
contemporary linguistic sophistication – has not emerged with the same kind of
recognizable personality. Many scholars who do this kind of work are to a
significant extent also working in other fields such as general linguistics,
English medieval studies, American dialectology, applied linguistics and teacher

Our goal in organizing SHEL is to begin to provide the same kind of focus for
English Historical Linguistics in North America as the focus achieved in Europe
by the ICEHL series, in North America for Germanic Linguistics by GLAC (Germanic
Linguistics Annual Conference), for American Dialectology by the American Dialect
Society, for Social Dialectology by NWAVE, and of course for General Linguistics
by the LSA. We are not in competition with any of these series or organizations;
we believe, however, that a weekend meeting dedicated entirely to linguistic
issues in the History of English will continue to be an energizing and useful
academic experience for both established and emerging scholars in the field. And
we hope that the pedagogy workshop devoted to issues in teaching History of
English will be engaging and inspiring for teachers in the field.

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