The Semiotics Workshop

Culture in Context

Month: January 2014

Call for Papers: Michicagoan 2014 – Abstracts due March 28th

Call For Papers:
“Coordinating Continuities: Language and Sameness Across Time and Space”
The Sixteenth University of Michigan – University of Chicago Graduate Student Conference in Linguistic Anthropology
To be held at the University of Chicago, May 2nd and 3rd, 2014
Deadline for abstract submissions: Friday, March 28th, 2014
The annual Michicagoan Conference focuses on the social and cultural analysis of semiotic forms centering on language, providing graduate students with an attentive forum in which to present their work and have it discussed by faculty and students from both universities. We welcome work from students at all stages, and encourage participants to submit formal conference papers as well as to discuss their dissertation proposals and research reports. Commentators for each panel are drawn from participating faculty. The conference promotes ongoing scholarly exchange and collaboration among students and faculty of the two institutions and regional affiliates.
The theme for this year’s Michicagoan “Coordinating Continuities,” draws attention to how contexts with discrete spatial and temporal orders are brought into alignment. By attending to the synchronization of such chronotopic frames, we hope to bring into focus the work done in producing coherent continuities – of ‘a’ language, nation, history, narrative, and so forth – out of what might otherwise be distinct and distant temporal, spatial, and ontological orders. We ask not only what present ties to past, future, and remote contexts are brought into being, but how coherence is created, maintained, and systematized across scales and not withstanding potentially conflicting ideological frameworks.
So: How and why do languages, linguistic features, and linguistic practices fall out of use and/or come to be revitalized? How are old elements of a language or practice made to seem new or new elements made to seem old? How do narratives and histories cross boundaries of geography, ‘culture,’ or genre?
Or, more abstractly: What sorts of authority are mobilized to adjudicate between multiple relevant chronotopes? How are discontinuities managed or glossed over or, conversely, when are discontinuities made relevant? Where are lines drawn between domains imagined as contiguous and in what contexts may those lines be crossed? What sorts of metrical, ritual, or diagrammatic links are productive of continuity or mark its absence?
Presenters will have 15 minutes to give their papers, and will be asked to submit completed papers to their assigned respondent by April 18th. There is no registration fee. Travel expenses for non-Chicago students, and the cost of most meals, will be covered.
To propose a presentation, please submit the following materials, as email text or attachment, to Angelica Felice at or Giovanni Ricci at by March 28th, 2014:
1. Title of presentation
2. Type of presentation: paper, proposal, or report
3. Last and first name, in that order
4. University and departmental affiliation
5. Email address
6. Abstract of no more than 250 words
7. Audio-visual requirements for delivery
(Please specify in the email the number and file type of any attachments; we don’t open attachments we’re not expecting). All other inquiries, including questions concerning access for persons with disabilities, can be directed to Angelica Felice or Giovanni Ricci. Please feel free to circulate this announcement widely among students in programs in anthropology, linguistics, sociology, communication, etc., who may be interested in participating.


The Semiotics Workshop is pleased to announce its 2014 Winter Quarter Theme
and Schedule:

“Remote Presence”

Building on the Autumn Quarter, Winter Quarter will focus on how contextuallydisjointed, displaced, and distanced forces are felt in immediate interactional contexts. Again, the question of mediation is at play, but this quarter we intend to focus on affective and pragmatic impacts from without the here-and-now, experienced by means of mediating technical, embodied, citational, and ritual practices. The distance bridged could be geographical, sociocultural, interpersonal, or along a ‘cosmic axis.’


January 16th – “Made in China Greece:” Competitiveness, cynicism, and brand ‘Greekness’”
Tracey Rosen
PhD Candidate, Anthropology
Univ. of Chicago

January 31st (Friday) – TBA
Britta Ingebretson
PhD Candidate, Anthropology & Linguistics
Univ. of Chicago
Joint meeting with Language Variation and Change

February 6th – “Musicians and neoliberal entrepreneurialism in Pernambuco, Brazil”
Falina Enriquez
PhD Candidate,
Univ. of Chicago

February 20th  – “Channeling the foreign: Khasi modes of representation inBangladesh”
Matthew Rich
PhD Candidate, Anthropology
Univ. of Chicago

March 6th – “Specters of Royalty, Spectacles of Purity: Governing SocialBoundaries in Post-War Sri Lanka”
Eva Ambos
PhD Candidate, Anthropology
Univ. of Heidelberg, Germany

March 14th – TBA
Robin Queen
Associate Professor, Linguistics
Univ. of Michigan
Joint meeting with Language Variation and Change

March 20th – “Structural differentiation and the poetics of violence shaping Barack Obama’s presidency: A study in personhood, literacy, and the improvisation of African-American publics”
Jennifer Jackson
Professor, Anthropology

The workshop welcomes participants from any discipline with an interest in engaging a semiotic framework for analysis. Papers are available by
email request from our graduate student coordinators, Angelica Felice ( and Giovanni Ricci (

If you believe you may need special assistance in attending the workshop or you have other questions or concerns, please contact the graduate student coordinators, Angelica Felice ( and Giovanni Ricci (

Refreshments will be served at the workshop.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén