[lg policy] AAA 2011 panel cfp: Linguisitc legacies of national pluralism

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at GMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 23 15:00:38 UTC 2011

Forwarded From:  LINGANTH at listserv.linguistlist.org

Dear all,

Below is a draft abstract for a proposed panel for the 2011 AAA annual
meeting in Montréal. If you are interested in participating, please
send an abstract of 250 words or less to one of the panel
co-organizers, Thea Strand (trstrand at anthro.umass.edu) or Michael
Wroblewski (wroblews at anthro.umass.edu), as soon as possible but no
later than April 5.

Linguistic Legacies of National Pluralism
           Linguistic pluralism, the prescribed maintenance of
multiple languages and varieties, is often a prominent feature of
contemporary multiculturalist projects. While assimilationist schemes
focus on leveling racial, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic diversity
to establish a dominant national monoculture, pluralist programs
suggest that national unity can be better achieved by celebrating and
stimulating social and cultural heterogeneity. Within these pluralist
visions, existing linguistic forms may become important de facto
symbols of distinct social identities that color the national mosaic.
Linguistic diversity is thus presented as the material substance of an
imagined, multifaceted national character.
           The way diversity is dealt with in abstract national
politics can leave lasting traces in linguistic forms, as well as in
localized language attitudes and ideologies. This panel seeks to
examine these kinds of linguistic legacies through ethnographic
inquiries across a range of settings by asking a number of important
questions, namely: What does linguistic pluralism look like in local
contexts? How is it negotiated? How do national(ist) visions of
linguistic pluralism inform local attitudes toward language variation?
How do language varieties like regional dialects, sociolects, and
ethnolects, factor into pluralist agendas? And is the promotion of
linguistic pluralism really as egalitarian as it sounds?

Thea R. Strand, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
214 Machmer Hall
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
trstrand at anthro.umass.edu


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com


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