Dear 2016, Please Die. Love, 2016

“Time, as it were, thickens, takes on flesh, becomes artistically visible; likewise, space becomes charged and responsive to the movements of time, plot and history.” (Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imagination, 1981) Literary critics, and more recently, linguistic anthropologists, have employed Bakhtin’s term chronotope, which translates directly to “timespace,” to assert the indivisible relationship between time, space,… Read More Dear 2016, Please Die. Love, 2016

Linguistic Anthropology and the terms of the Orlando massacre

It seems that linguistic anthropologists are being invited to play a role in making sense of the Orlando shooting, both in terms of addressing what it was and in terms of taking political action moving forward. The language used to talk about the shooting has become a hot topic, from Facebook walls (mine at least)… Read More Linguistic Anthropology and the terms of the Orlando massacre

“He doesn’t speak Spanish”: Cruz, Rubio and meaning in the Republican debate

Why was I drawn into a news-story that Spanish was a part of last night’s presidential election? Was it because I am a weird linguistic anthropologist? Yes. But there’s more. It was also click bait for me and many others that would not normally tune into the Republic debate because languages other English seem antithetical to the Republic… Read More “He doesn’t speak Spanish”: Cruz, Rubio and meaning in the Republican debate

My Bike: The Linguistic Anthropology of Gentrification

What is the meaning of an utterance? Who has power? And most importantly, what is gentrification? No seriously, what the hell is the referent of gentrification? Yesterday, exiting the YMCA I had a choice encounter that literally overwhelmed my little linguistic anthropological brain with potential answers to these questions. I did not record the encounter because… Read More My Bike: The Linguistic Anthropology of Gentrification

Define and conquer

What is “language”? Here on Speech Events we’ve stated that we’re interested in what people do through language (Saussure’s parole), rather than linguistic form (Saussure’s langue, Chomsky’s grammatical competence, or universal grammar). We pay attention to what language practices do, what they mean socially, ideologically, and politically. Today I find myself asking what is “English… Read More Define and conquer