2021-2022 CFP

Semiotics Workshop: 2021-2022 Call for Papers

“Voice, Sound, and Sonic Modalities of Communication”

The Semiotics: Culture in Context Workshop is now accepting submissions for the 2021-22 academic year. As usual, this workshop serves as a forum for scholars attuned to the emergent production of cultural and linguistic phenomena via diverse semiotic processes. Our theme for the year is Voice, Sound, and Sonic Modalities of Communication

A longstanding concern of linguistic anthropologists, the concept of voice has been rigorously applied to analyze processes of mediation in social interactions, ranging from the materiality of sound production to the metaphor of “voice” as a form of representation in a political body. Thus, we invite paper presenters to consider the following questions: who produces, authorizes, receives, and responds to which modalities of voice and for what purposes (Agha 2005; Bakhtin 1986)? How are voices produced according to different subject positions and across different technological and social infrastructures (Harkness 2015)? What forms of authority arise out of relationality across voices, and what political claims made more or less apparent (Bauman and Briggs 2003)?

Further, we seek papers that consider the many qualities of voice and voicing as components of narration and/or expression. Such dimensions might include polyphony (Bakhtin 1986), resonance (Sicoli 2020), immersion, overlap, prosody, coordination, intimacy (Perrino and Pritzker 2019), repetition, or flow. What results from sensations of hearing, sight, touch, time, or emotion as they take on value as qualia of “voice” – and how do we investigate or diagram these (often sensorial) relations? This year’s theme thus invites papers that also think methodologically about how to study and represent the pragmatics of voice, broadly defined.

Students from any discipline are invited to submit papers that ethnographically discuss semiotic processes of voice, voicing, and sound production.

If you would like to workshop a paper with us sometime next year, please send an email to Fadi Hakim (hakimf@uchicago.edu) and Emily Kuret (kuret@uchicago.edu) with the following information:

● Paper title
● Type of paper (e.g., dissertation chapter, MA paper, a potential manuscript submission for a journal)
● An abstract of no more than 250 words
● The quarter(s) in which you are able to present (if more than one, please list your preferences in ranked order): Fall 2021, Winter 2022, or Spring 2022.

The deadline for abstract submission is August 27, 2021.

Please note that your paper must be an unpublished work in progress at the time of presentation.

Linguistic Anthropology Lab Data Sessions

If you are interested in further discussion of discursive data, broadly construed, in an informal setting, graduate students and faculty at the University of Chicago also host regular Linguistic Anthropology Lab Data Sessions on Fridays in addition to the Semiotics Workshop. Data sessions in the past have included discussions on transcripts and audiovisual materials. If you are interested in presenting for a data session at the Linguistic Anthropology Lab, or if you would like to learn more about these data sessions, please contact Feng Ye at fengye@uchicago.edu.

References cited:

Agha, Asif. 2005. “Voice, Footing, Enregisterment.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 15 (1): 38–59.

Bakhtin, M. M. 1986. The Dialogic Imagination, edited by Michael Holquist, translated by Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Bauman, Richard., and Charles L. Briggs. 2003. Voices of Modernity: Language Ideologies and the Politics of Inequality. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Harkness, Nick. 2015. Songs of Seoul: An Ethnography of Voice and Voicing in Christian South Korea. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Perrino, Sabina and Sonia Pritzker. 2019. “Language and Intimate Relations.” In The Oxford Handbook of Language and Sexuality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sicoli, Mark. 2020. About Saying and Doing in Zapotec: Multimodality, Resonance, and the Language of Joint Actions. New York: Bloomsbury Studies in Linguistic Anthropology.