About the Workshop:

This workshop seeks to advance research based on a semiotic framework. Presentations will come from a variety of fields including but not limited to linguistics, psychology, sociology, political science, literary theory, and anthropology. By not limiting the topic of research by area, period or discipline, the workshop encourages discussion to center on how to study social and cultural phenomena as embedded in a meaningful context. By building on many seminal studies that have used semiotic approaches, the goal of the workshop is to continue to develop the rigorous analytic framework that provides the method for clearly defining linkages between the object of analysis and its context.

If you encounter problems with this website or have questions about the workshop, please contact the graduate student coordinators Hannah McElgunn (mcelgunn@uchicago.edu) and/or Janet Connor (jeconnor@uchicago.edu)

2015-2016 Theme: 

Language and Technology

As usual, this workshop focuses on how various semiotic processes allow us to explore the emergent constructivity of cultural and linguistic phenomena.  This year we are focused on the relation between technologies and language.

We seek papers taking semiotic and linguistic anthropological approaches to media, be it  television, radio, film, or newer technologies of communication. Moving beyond these media, we are also interested in the emergent structures of machine-human interaction. What does attention to these microstructures reveal about larger scale processes? Another set of questions we hope to address is how language itself can serve as a kind of technology and how it can be deployed as a resource or as a kind of infrastructure. How do different modalities of linguistic representation, like graphic inscription, audio transcription, or translation between media, function as kinds of technologies? We are interested in how technologies work to regiment the material qualities of voice, sound, and noise.  In what ways can we bring a linguistic anthropological understanding of language and textuality together with studies of sound and soundscapes?  Finally, we are also eager to discuss papers dealing with visual media.