CFP for AAA 2012 "The Limits of Language"

Mara Green emaragreen at BERKELEY.EDU
Mon Mar 19 22:24:27 UTC 2012

Please see below another CFP for this year's AAAs. Email addresses for
submissions are listed at the bottom. Thanks!

AAA 2012 CFP

Title: The Limits of Language

>From its inception, American anthropology has identified language as a
privileged site of social action. Languages have been shown to create,
presuppose, subvert, stabilize, abstract, and reflect every imaginable
cultural content. As an analytic, language (like all analytics) comes with
boundaries, limits, and thresholds. This panel seeks out those limits as
productive for thinking in new ways about language as social action.

Recent scholarship at the limits of language has examined the emergence of
new languages (Goldin-Meadow et al 2009, Kisch 2008, Nonaka 2007, Sandler
et al 2005, Senghas et al 2004), embodied communication (Enfield 2009,
Goodwin 2000, Hanks 2005, Haviland 2000, Keating et al 2008, Kendon 2000,
Ochs et al 2005), the role of sonic qualities of utterances in historical
and social transformations (Inoue 2003, Feld 2005, Porcello 2008, Johnstone
and Kiesling 2008), and the unfolding of cultural processes in affective
registers (Das 2007; Mazzarella 2003, Seremetakis1994, Stewart 2007, and
Taussig 1992). The limits of language might also be formed at the limits of
perceptual salience, obscuring language that isn't perceived as such or
foregrounding conventionally non-linguistic forms as they pass through
linguistic modalities (e.g. Friedner and Helmreich 2012).

This panel builds on such scholarship in order to consider the complex
interplay between linguistic categories and the often unwieldy ethnographic
phenomena they articulate with. What structures, histories, modes of
engagement, or circumstances give rise to new languages? What are the
unintended reflexes of our heuristics for separating the linguistic from
the non-linguistic? Now that channel (visual, tactile, auditory) no longer
guides us in distinguishing the two, how do questions about language and
embodiment appear anew? What can theories of affect, which draw our
attention to the play between emergence and qualification, contribute to
thought at the limits of language? If we look for codes and contents at
these thresholds of notice, what kinds of social organization emerge? What
sutures or separates the edge of materiality and its representation?

Please send abstracts by April 5 to Mara Green at emaragreen at,
Peter Graif at pjgraif at and Terra Edwards at
terraedwards at Submissions should be based on original research.


Das, V. 2007. *Life and Words: Violence and the Descent into the Ordinary*.
Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Friedner, M., and S. Helmreich. 2012. Sound Studies Meets Deaf Studies. *The
Senses and Society* 7:72-86.

Goldin-Meadow, S., A. Ozyurek, B. Sancar, and C. Mylander. 2009. "Making
Language Around the Globe: A Crosslinguistic Study of Homesign in the
United States, China, and Turkey," in *Crosslinguistic Approaches to the
Psychology of Language: Research in the Tradition of Dan Isaac Slobin*. New
York: Psychology Press.

Goodwin, C. 2000. "Gesture, Aphasia, and Interaction," in *Language and
Gesture*. Edited by D. McNeill. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hanks, W. F. 2005. Explorations in the Deictic Field. *Current

Haviland, J. B. 2000. "Pointing, Gesture Spaces, and Mental Maps," in
and Gesture*. Edited by D. McNeill. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Inoue, M. 2003. The Listening Subject of Japanese Modernity and His
Auditory Double: Citing, Sighting, and

Siting the Modern Japanese Woman *Cultural Anthropology* 18:156-193.

Johnstone, B., and S. F. Kiesling. 2008. "Indexicality and Experience:
Variation and Identity in Pittsburgh". *Journal of Sociolinguistics*12:5-33.

Keating, E., T. Edwards, and G. Mirus. 2008. Cybersign: Impacts of New
Communication Technologies on Space and Language. *Journal of Pragmatics*40.

Kendon, A. 2000. "Language and Gesture: Unity or Duality?," in *Language
and Gesture*. Edited by D. McNeill. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mazzarella, W. 2003. *Shoveling Smoke: Advertising and Globalization in
Contemporary India*. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Ochs, E., O. Solomon, and L. Sterponi. 2005. Limitations and
Transformations of Habitus in Child-Directed Communication. *Discourse
Studies* 7:547-583.

Porcello, T. 2008. Music Mediated as Live in Austin: sound, technology, and
recording practice. *City and Society* 14:69-86.

Seremetakis, C. N. 1994. *The Senses Still: Perception and Memory as
Material Culture in Modernity*. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Stewart, K. 2007. *Ordinary Affects*. Durham: Duke University Press.

Taussig, M. 1992. *The Nervous System*. New York and London: Routledge.

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