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Autumn 2014 Theme & Schedule

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By , September 29, 2014 9:50 am

The Semiotics Workshop is pleased to announce this year’s theme and the Autumn 2014 schedule:

Materiality and Mediation

Moving beyond a construal of materiality as that which contrasts with the “ideational” or the “symbolic”, this year we seek papers that interrogate the concept of materiality. We are interested in how materiality comes to be actualized and through what reflexive processes something comes to be understood as material or immaterial. That is to say, how is (im)materiality mediated? These questions presuppose that materiality is not an inherent property, but rather precipitates over time.

Given materiality is not an inherent property, we seek papers addressing what counts as (im)material for different social groups. At stake is how qualia are embodied, socio-culturally organized, and shared, and, following that, how qualia are made to be similar or different through their materializations. Crucial here are the metrics, standards, and other mediating semiotic technologies of different regimes of practice and expertise. How are these technologies employed by the groups we study, but also within academia?

Finally, we are interested in not only the construal of materiality, but also the movement from one kind of materiality to another. This question includes, but is not limited to, how practices of representation – like archiving, documentation, or even writing – negotiate issues of materiality.

 

Schedule:

October 9: “Cadastral Mapping, Semiotic Ideology, and the Recalcitrant Human Landscape:  Dili, Timor-Leste”

Gabriel Tusinski

PhD Candidate, Anthropology

Univ. of Chicago

Discussant: Jack Mullee

 

October 23: “The Limber Corpse: The Semeiotic Agency of the Dead”

Zoe Crossland

Associate Professor, Anthropology

Columbia University

Discussant: Menna Khalil

(Joint meeting with the Interdisciplinary Archaeology Workshop)

 

October 30: “Luck as quality and substance in northern Peru”

Marieka Sax

PhD, Anthropology

Carleton University

(Joint meeting with the Workshop on Latin America and the Caribbean)

 

November 6: “The Semiotics of Spirits and Spanish: Code-Switching in Cosmological Discourses as Epistemological Strategy amongst the Inuya River Amawaka”

Erik Levin

PhD Candidate, Anthropology and Linguistics

Univ. of Chicago

 

November 20: “Forms of Care and Temporalities of Citizenship in the Neoliberal State”

Yazan Doughan

PhD Candidate, Anthropology

Univ. of Chicago

2014 Michicagoan Schedule

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By , April 26, 2014 11:04 pm
“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 Gordon Center for Integrative Science, W301, 929 East 57th Street, University of Chicago, May 2nd and 3rd, 2014
Keynote Speaker: Penelope Eckert, Linguistics & Anthropology, Stanford University
 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.
Conference Schedule
Friday, May 2nd
12:00pm                Registration and Lunch
1:00pm                  Panel 1: (Re)placing and (Re)identifying
2:45pm                  Panel 2: Marginality and the Construction of Memory
5:00pm                  Refreshment Break
5:30pm                  Keynote Address: Penelope Eckert, Stanford University
6:30pm                  Student Dinner at Haskell Hall, 1126 East 59th Street
Saturday, May 3rd
9:00am                  Breakfast
10:00am                Panel 3: Text and Representation
12:00pm                Lunch
1:00pm                  Panel 4: Modes of Indexicality
3:00pm                  Refreshment Break
3:30pm                  Panel 5: Coordinating the Nation-State
5:30pm                  Dinner
6:30pm                  Party at Haskell Hall, 1126 East 59th Street
Funded by The Student Government, The Lichtstern Fund, The Humanities Division, The Department of Linguistics, The Student Catering Fund, and The Center for the Study of Communication and Society

Spring 2014 Theme & Schedule

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By , April 2, 2014 1:23 pm
The Semiotics Workshop is pleased to announce its 2014 Spring Quarter Theme and Schedule:
“Scaling Back”
In the Spring Quarter, we continue our attention to the bridging of disparate contexts, but focus on the particular challenges of theorizing the junction of scalar differences. On the one hand, we will attend to negotiations between micro and macro scales; between individuals and nations, states and groups, interactions and institutions. We are interested here in how these interactions are grounded across scale. On the other hand, we are here dealing with the question of transduction: on the appearance of sameness over scales, that is, over synecdochically-figurated contexts.
Schedule:
April 10th – “Kujenga Mayuts (Building the Youth): Managing ‘youth’ in a Kenyan comic book”
Elizabeth Brummel Phd Candidate, Anthropology
Univ. of Chicago
Discussant: Janet Connor
April 24th  – “MEDIATIZED METAPRAGMATICS ON RADIO PACHA QAMASA’S ‘AKHULLI AMUYT’AWI’” Karl Swinehart
Collegiate Assistant Professor, Society of Fellows, Anthropology
Univ. of Chicago
Discussant: Chris Bloechl
May 8th – “Why Can’t Asians Speak Good English?”
Adrienne Lo
Associate Professor, Anthropology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
May 22nd – “When is a dick a dick? Love and hate in the Israeli Controlled Territories”
Yaqub Hilal
PhD Candidate, Anthropology
Univ. of Chicago
May 29th – “The Stakes of Storytelling: Hip Hop Historiography and Narrating an Ex-YU Scene”
Owen Kohl PhD Candidate, Anthropology
Univ. of Chicago
June 5th – “Language in Revolutionary Moments: Army Myths and Public Crises”
Menna Khalil
PhD Student, Anthropology
Univ. of Chicago

March 20th, Jennifer Jackson Meeting, Cancelled

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By , March 17, 2014 5:15 pm

Dear Semiotics Workshop Participants,

 

Unfortunately, we must cancel the workshop session scheduled for this Thursday, March 20th. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

Best regards,

Angelica

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

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By , January 21, 2014 3:51 pm
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 afelice@uchicago.edu or Giovanni Ricci at grg@uchicago.edu 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.

 

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By , January 6, 2014 9:16 pm

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.’

Schedule:

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,
Anthropology
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
UCLA

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 (afelice@uchicago.edu) and Giovanni Ricci (grg@uchicago.edu).

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 (afelice@uchicago.edu) and Giovanni Ricci (grg@uchicago.edu).

Refreshments will be served at the workshop.

Adrienne Lo, December 5th Meeting Cancelled

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By , December 3, 2013 2:52 pm

Dear Semiotics Workshop Participants,

 

Unfortunately, we must cancel the workshop session scheduled for this Thursday, December 5th. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

Best regards,

Angelica

2013 Fall Theme and Schedule

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By , September 23, 2013 1:40 pm

The Semiotics Workshop is pleased to announce its 2013 Autumn Theme & Schedule:

 

Embodied Absence

 

In the Autumn Quarter, we will focus on the materiality and embodiment of signs, that is to say, those contexts in which semiotic form is seen as both distinct from and expressed in some material/cultural/physiological substratum. At stake, in the first place, is the poetic “bundling” of qualities as qualia, and so the opening of the sign to the caprice of material circumstance. In the second place, is the calling into question of the markedness of “media” which depend on fundamental displacements of the intensional practice so mediated. Paradigmatic of this displacement is the distinction drawn (temporal/spacial/ontological) between authors, principals, and animators.

 

October 3: “Cultures of Consent & the Reappropriation of Law in the ‘Shadow of Law'”

Jill Weinberg

PhD Candidate, Sociology

Northwestern Univ.

Discussant: Colin Halverson

 

October 17:  “The Narrative Semiosis of Disruption and Resettlement Among Khmer American Refugees”

Brandon Bales

MAPSS Student

Univ. of Chicago

Discussant: Stacy Pape

 

October 31: “‘The Dark World’: Material Signs of Ghostly Presence and Power in Timor-Leste”

Gabriel Tusinski

PhD Candidate, Anthropology

Univ. of Chicago

Discussant: Adam Sargent

 

December 5: Title TBA

Adrienne Lo

Assistant Professor, Anthropology

Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Discussant: Owen Kohl

 

 

Update: Change in Presenter for June 6th Meeting

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By , June 3, 2013 11:12 pm

There has been a change in presenter for the last meeting of the Spring Quarter:

 

June 6 – “Rehabilitating Switzerland’s image abroad: ideological continuities and structural transformations”

Alfonso Del Percio

PhD Candidate, Anthropology

Univ. of Chicago/Univ. of St. Gallen, Switzerland

Discussant: Elizabeth Brummel

2013 Spring Theme & Schedule

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By , April 1, 2013 2:48 pm

The Semiotics Workshop is pleased to announce its 2013 Spring Quarter Theme and Schedule:

 

“Semiotic spatialities”

Despite, or because of, the ways in which semiotic forms constantly travel, there are many attempts to keep them within boundaries of space and place. Papers this quarter will address how semiotic forms are bound, maintained and controlled within particular socio-geographic milieux.

 

Schedule

April 11 – “Anatomy of a failed raid: gendered harassment on the internet and the metapragmatics of trolling”

Giovanni Ricci

PhD Student, Anthropology

Univ. of Chicago

Discussant: Michael Castelle

April 25 – “‘The Irish Appelation’: How and why whiskey became ‘Irish’ in the early modern British imaginary”

Megan Edwards

PhD Candidate, Anthropology

Univ. of Chicago

Discussant: Colin Halverson

Joint meeting with IAW, in Haskell 315

May 16 – “Chronotope and Crisis: Interdiscursivity and the Semiotic Production of Violence”

Gabe Tusinski

PhD Candidate, Anthropology

Univ. of Chicago

Discussant: Giovanni Ricci

Meeting in Haskell Mezzanine Room 131

May 23 – “Warring standards: Contesting the enregisterment of Cosmopolitan Mandarin”

Qing Zhang

Assistant Professor, Anthropology

Univ. of Arizona

Discussant: Angelica Felice

June 6 – TBA

Erik Skjon

PhD Candidate

Univ. of Chicago

Discussant: Elizabeth Brummel

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