[Lingtyp] ALT: code of conduct
isabelle.bril at cnrs.fr
Mon Nov 20 20:19:59 UTC 2017
Though Martin's, David's and Peter's arguments (about who has the
authority to "find conference participants in violation",
and how participants could defend themselves if wrongly accused) are
I find myself in complete agreement with Kristine's couter-arguments and
support the idea of refining and delimiting the definition of harassment,
rather than stay out.
Le 20/11/2017 à 19:02, Kristine Hildebrandt a écrit :
> I respectfully disagree with Martin, although his comments (and
> David's) regarding unclarity do resonate with me. And this response
> comes from me personally, as an ALT member, and not as an Officer.
> As an employee of a U.S./North American university, I'm obliged to go
> through mandatory annual trainings and periodic refreshers on what
> constitutes harassment/assault (sexual or other), how to "not do it",
> how to spot it when it might be happening to me/a colleague/a student,
> and what to do about that if I do suspect it (as a faculty member in
> the U.S. I'm actually under a legal obligation to /not/ do /nothing/).
> I've found that there are so many definitions (often constructed as
> examples), so many nuances, so many lines that may or may not be
> crossed, that the whole experience can be somewhat dizzying and
> mind-numbing. But: I also feel from a woman's perspective, and this
> moves me beyond U.S. bounds--and I've also lived and worked in enough
> places now to be able to say this--that this very vagueness in *just
> what harassment is*, and the resulting back-stepping from dealing with
> it (even via symbolic language), is one reason why
> harassment/assault/discriminatory and predatory practice has managed
> to go on for so long and perpetuate, evolve, and expand in such
> insidious ways. As if to say: "If we can't pinpoint it, we can't deal
> with it". That's unacceptable to me.
> I do also (again respectfully) disagree somewhat with David's
> observation that "most of us are good people who sometimes make
> mistakes...a few are rotten apples". I engage in no finger pointing,
> here. In my own personal encounters as a professional, I've only ever
> encountered the good people. But my world of professional interaction
> is only a very small subset, and I've heard enough accounts from other
> reliable colleagues from many backgrounds to know that they could have
> benefited from the presence of such codes, even if largely symbolic in
> power. It matters. I have been pleased to see codes of conduct slowly
> making their appearance in other Associations, even if their language
> does raise discussion about interpretation and application.
> The challenge of vague terminology and cross-cultural variations in
> interpretations should not prevent this code from becoming a part of
> the ALT statues. Vagueness in terms of consequences, for example, can
> easily be fleshed out by the organizing committees and institutions
> putting together the meeting. In the U.S. we can turn to the policies
> held at the university level for guidance, for example.
> *I recommend a 'yes' vote.* If a 'no' vote does prevail, then I hope
> it is simply because the language here needs refinement and people are
> open to that process. I do urge ALT members *not* to simply assume
> that this Association (or any other) gets to 'opt out' of this issue,
> so I would welcome some discussion on this towards crafting revised
> language, either online or during a special session, language that
> /can/eventually be adopted formally.
> And finally, I especially disagree with Martin that this ballot item
> and vote distracts from other (equally/more) important issues before
> ALT. I think we can take on/discuss/take action on any number of
> issues, even simultaneously. A code of conduct statement has nothing
> to do (in my mind) with a failure to take other steps to make other
> participants feel welcome within the Association and related events. I
> just don't see how this step precludes other discussions on other
> matters aimed at making ALT a more inclusive organization. Granted, my
> history here is shallow, and I don't always get to attend the meetings
> or be in all of the discussion loops. Perhaps there have been failed
> initiatives in the past and I'm oblivious to these, but with
> successive officer/EC/membership changes through time, we can (and
> should) revisit them. So it will perhaps be with this vote!
> Thanks for hearing me, and I do appreciate all positions and
> perspectives on this important issue.
> On Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 8:09 AM, Martin Haspelmath
> <haspelmath at shh.mpg.de <mailto:haspelmath at shh.mpg.de>> wrote:
> Thanks to the EC for its efforts, but I would strongly urge all
> ALT members to vote AGAINST the code of conduct.
> Such codes of conduct may be needed, but the present formulation
> is incompatible with free science.
> There is no definition of "harrassment" (just some examples of
> what harrassment is), and the formulation "offensive comments
> related to aspects of identity" is terribly vague.
> On the basis of such a code of conduct, almost anything that is
> controversial could be construed as violating the code, so anyone
> could be expelled from the conference, even though they are trying
> to make a serious contribution to science.
> It's completely unclear who has the authority to "find conference
> participants in violation", and how participants could defend
> themselves if wrongly accused. I would not want to attend a
> conference with such rules, as I would not feel safe to express my
> (potentially controversial) scientific ideas.
> So the present formulation is completely counterproductive and
> dangerous for ALT.
> I am aware that in Anglo-American culture, such codes of conduct
> are more and more widespread, but there are big cultural
> differences. In most parts of the world, precarious employment and
> restrictions on travel are much more urgent problems that are
> worth thinking about. I suggest that ALT's EC consider also other
> options to make people feel welcome at ALT conferences, e.g. to
> increase the participation fees for participants from rich
> countries substantially, in order to alleviate the outrageous
> obstacles to conference participation that many (potential) ALT
> members face.
> I'm all for addressing the problem of harrassment, but only if it
> clear what exactly consitutes harrassment, and if there is no
> threat of expelling participants from ALT conferences. (Or if
> there is such a threat, then there should be a due process, as
> we're used to in free societies, rather than an arbitrary decision
> by some unspecified authority.) Maybe there should be a larger
> discussion at the ALT conference, or on the LINGTYP List.
> Best wishes,
> On 20.11.17 14:24, Kristine Hildebrandt wrote:
>> Dear ALT members:
>> We have two important items up for vote. Both items are contained
>> in a single electronic ballot, which can be found here:
>> This link allows you to vote exactly once, and the origin of the
>> vote is untraceable (ie. the vote is anonymous to me when I
>> collect the results).
>> Item 1:
>> Of the six current Executive Committee members, three are
>> rotating off, and need to be replaced (Felix Ameka, Isabelle
>> Bril, Keren Rice). Three continue for another term: Silvia
>> Luraghi, Stepehen Matthews, Felicity Meakins.
>> The ALT nominating committee identified and consulted with three
>> nominees for the EC: Mark Dingemanse, Rachel Nordlinger, and
>> Ljuba Veselinova.
>> When you go the e-ballot, you will see brief bio-sketches of the
>> three nominees. You can vote for all three together, or for any
>> individual. And even if you do not vote for any nominee, you can
>> still vote on Item #2 (below).
>> We are grateful to both the outgoing EC members, and to the
>> Nominating Committee (Nick Enfield, Nina Dobrushina, Martin
>> Haspelmath, and Claire Bowern) for their work for ALT.
>> Item 2:
>> The ALT Officers (Jeff Good, Dmitry Idiatov, and me), in
>> consultation with the EC have drawn up a code of conduct
>> statement to be added to the ALT statutes. Please vote either for
>> or against the adoption of this code.
>> *Voting is now open as of this email. The deadline to vote is
>> Tuesday December 5 at 5pm Central Standard Time.*
>> Thank you!
>> ('Thanks' in Manange)
>> /Kristine A. Hildebrandt/
>> /Associate Professor, Department of English Language & Literature
>> /Secretary, Association for Linguistic Typology
>> /Editor, Himalayan Linguistics
>> Check out our Manang Languages
>> <https://mananglanguages.isg.siue.edu/> project page!
>> /Southern Illinois University Edwardsville/
>> /Box 1431
>> Edwardsville, IL 62026 U.S.A.
>> 618-650-3991 <tel:%28618%29%20650-3991> (department voicemail)/
>> /khildeb at siue.edu <mailto:khildeb at siue.edu>
>> http://www.siue.edu/~khildeb <http://www.siue.edu/%7Ekhildeb>/
>> Lingtyp mailing list
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> Martin Haspelmath (haspelmath at shh.mpg.de <mailto:haspelmath at shh.mpg.de>)
> Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
> Kahlaische Strasse 10
> D-07745 Jena
> Leipzig University
> IPF 141199
> Nikolaistrasse 6-10
> D-04109 Leipzig
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> ('Thanks' in Manange)
> /Kristine A. Hildebrandt/
> /Associate Professor, Department of English Language & Literature
> /Secretary, Association for Linguistic Typology
> /Editor, Himalayan Linguistics
> Check out our Manang Languages
> <https://mananglanguages.isg.siue.edu/> project page!
> /Southern Illinois University Edwardsville/
> /Box 1431
> Edwardsville, IL 62026 U.S.A.
> 618-650-3991 (department voicemail)/
> /khildeb at siue.edu <mailto:khildeb at siue.edu>
> http://www.siue.edu/~khildeb <http://www.siue.edu/%7Ekhildeb>/
> Lingtyp mailing list
> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Directeur de recherches (LACITO-CNRS)
Directeur d'Etudes à l'EPHE (Typologie et Typologie des langues austronésiennes)
Directrice de la fédération de recherches Typologie et Universaux des Langues (FR2559 CNRS)
Ecole de typologie ESSLT 2016
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