sla graphic 2

The Executive Board of the SLA, together with the SLA 2022 Conference Organizing Committee, is pleased to announce that we are moving forward with the thrice-postponed SLA Spring Conference, to be held in Boulder on April 7-9, 2022. We are issuing a new SLA 2022 Call for Updates and New Submissions. Although we are proceeding with extreme caution given the rise of the Omicron variant, we expect to meet in-person at the Hiltons on Canyon in downtown Boulder, with new virtual options for those unable to attend. The conference will officially begin on the morning of April 7, 2022 (Thursday) and continue through the evening of April 9, 2022 (Saturday), with pre-conference events scheduled for Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday evening, April 6, 2022. We are excited to report that all four of our original keynote speakers (Letícia Cesarino, Michel DeGraff, Angela Reyes, Virginia Zavala) and our pre-conference plenary speaker (Shalini Shankar) have confirmed their in-person conference participation.

As many of you are aware, we have had to shift the date of the conference semester-by-semester from the originally scheduled date of Spring 2020 to meet our contractual and financial agreements. Given the success of the in-person/hybrid AAA meetings in November, we believe that it is now time to move forward. As we plan for the conference, the health, safety and well-being of all attendees remains our top priority. SLA 2022 has adopted several preventative measures to reduce the potential spread of the Covid-19 virus in accordance with current guidance from the CDC, Boulder County, and CU Boulder: all in-person conference attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination and booster during onsite check-in; high-quality masks will be required in all public indoor spaces and will be available to registrants at no cost; Covid-19 testing kits will be available for purchase at the registration desk; and participants will be encouraged to access the hotel’s many outdoor patios for socializing.

SLA 2022 will offer two tracks for participation: (1) the in-person/hybrid track (full registration fees) that provides full access to all in-person/hybrid and virtual track sessions, book exhibits, and catered receptions, and (2) the parallel, exclusively virtual track (50% reduced registration fees) that provides access to sessions in the virtual track and a select streaming of in-person keynotes and featured sessions. (See details on the Virtual Track, which will be hosted on Gather.town below.) If you registered for the previously scheduled conference and/or booked a hotel room in the Embassy Suites conference block, your conference registration and hotel reservations have automatically been shifted to the April 2022 conference date. For information regarding how to cancel your registration or reservations, see below.

The original program can be found on our SLA 2022 Trello site, now revised to reflect the new conference dates. We are accepting new submissions and also allowing for updates on previously accepted proposals. All presenters accepted to the originally scheduled conference in 2020 may update their proposals at our Updates link; those wishing to submit new proposals may do so at our New Submissions link. The hard deadline to update or submit new proposals is Monday, February 14, 2022, at 11:59PM EST. The conference team will be working to bring the Trello site up-to-date after the Updates and New Submissions deadline. If you have any questions about the information below, please consult our SLA 2022 Conference Organizing Team at SLABoulder@gmail.com.

Call for New Submissions

SLA 2022 invites new proposals of the following types: (1) organized panel sessions, (2) roundtable sessions, (3) workshop sessions, (4) papers presented as part of an organized panel, (5) individually volunteered papers, (6) individually volunteered posters. Please visit our New Submissions link to upload new proposals for consideration in the main, in-person hybrid track or the parallel, exclusively virtual track. The hard deadline to update or submit new proposals is Monday, February 14, 2022, at 11:59PM EST. Submissions must include an abstract of up to 500 words for sessions and up to 250 words for papers or posters. The SLA 2022 Organizing Committee has created an Official SLA 2022 Padlet to help you organize panels and collaborate with fellow participants. New submitters will be notified of acceptance/rejection status on Tuesday, March 1.

Call for Updates to previously accepted proposals

Please visit our Updates link to revise titles, abstracts, and/or participants of previously accepted proposals. We ask that you consult your entry on the original program at the SLA 2022 Trello site when revising your submission. If you are scheduled to present on the original program but find that you are unable to attend in-person, you may either (1) remain on the main in-person/hybrid program and present remotely via zoom or a pre-recording with the session organizer’s approval (note: at least two session participants must be physically present to create a hybrid session) or (2) move your submission to the parallel, exclusively virtual track (but only if requested by the February 14, 2022 deadline). Because staying on the main conference program requires additional technology support and physical space at the conference venue, hybrid presentations will require the same registration fee as other presentations on the main in-person/hybrid program. It is also possible for session organizers to move their entire session from the in-person/hybrid track to the virtual track for a 50% reduction in fees (but only if requested by the February 14, 2022 deadline). All of these options are available on our Updates link. The Official SLA 2022 Padlet may be used to find new participants to compensate for cancellations in previously accepted panels. Sessions previously accepted to the 2020 conference will be automatically accepted to SLA 2022, even if substantial updates are involved.

Details on Virtual Track

The virtual track, which is also fully accessible to registrants in the in-person/hybrid track, will be hosted in the quick-to-learn virtual interface Gather.town. Conference registrants may choose to present in both the in-person/hybrid and virtual tracks. Gather allows for traditional panels, roundtables, and lectures as well as more creative possibilities, such as exhibition sessions, interactive workshops, post-keynote discussions, ‘speed mentoring’ sessions, networking sessions, and small-group conversations within auditorium-style events. Please consult our virtual track co-organizers to brainstorm creative possibilities: Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein <jenabl@knology.org>, Jennifer Delfino <jdelfino@bmcc.cuny.edu>, and Josh Babcock <jdbabcock@uchicago.edu>.

Registration Information

If you did not register for the conference previously but would like to attend the April 7-9, 2022 conference, you may pre-register at the conference link on the AAA website. Registration by the Updates and New Submissions deadline of Monday, February 14 is highly encouraged; after this date, an additional fee of $20.00 will be applied for the main, in-person/hybrid track and $10.00 for the parallel, exclusively virtual track. Registration fees for the main conference track are the same as in 2020 (SLA Professionals $130; Non-SLA Professionals $150; SLA Students $50; Non-SLA Students $70); registration fees for the virtual conference track are 50% of this cost (SLA Professionals $65; Non-SLA Professionals $75; SLA Students $25; Non-SLA Students $35).

Refund Policy

Please register all refund requests at our Refund Requests link. The SLA will process 50% refund requests for those wishing to switch from the main, in-person/hybrid track to the parallel, exclusively virtual track if submitted by February 14, 2022. The SLA will process other refund requests with respect to main track or virtual track registration if submitted by March 14, 2022. After this date, we are unable to guarantee refunds.

Hotel Arrangements

The SLA has reserved a block of rooms at the Embassy Suites in downtown Boulder, which together with the Hilton Garden Inn forms The Hiltons on Canyon complex. If you would like to book a room in the conference block (with breakfast included, 2-room suites available upon request) but did not do so previously, you may book a room for a reduced rate at our Special Reservations link by March 8, 2022. Please visit our roommate finder padlet to connect with others looking to share. The number of rooms in the conference block is limited, so we encourage you to make your reservations as soon as possible. Should you find that you cannot attend the conference, you may cancel your hotel reservations for a full refund up until a week before arrival in Boulder. You may check on the status of any previously made reservations at 1-303-443-2600 (please hold main line without pushing other numbers to speak to a local agent).

We are excited for us all to come together in Spring 2022 to celebrate the beginning of a new era in the fight against Covid-19 and for the Society of Linguistic Anthropology. The conference organizers are working to create a stimulating and up-to-date program on the (still) acutely relevant theme of “Future Imperfect: Language in Times of Crisis and Hope.” We hope you will join us for the promised best party ever!

The Conference Theme

As human societies face the tragedies of climate, war, racism, corruption, and displacement that are projected to define the 21st century, the SLA 2020 Fall Conference calls upon scholars to question the way forward in an imperfect future world. The future inhabits our uncertain present, generating complex intersections of crisis and hope. The imperfect, as a verb construction, describes an ongoing, incomplete action. With this conference theme, we wish to highlight the ever-unfinished and evolving condition of academic research and its contribution to pressing sociopolitical issues. How do we, in our role as researchers, reconcile time-honored methodologies with the novel challenges that have arisen in contemporary social life? How can our academic labor more effectively address the concerns of the future? We welcome submissions that make use of diverse methods, both micro and macro, to explore the precarity and forms of resistance that characterize our contemporary moment. We are especially interested in submissions that address the ways that language use may both enable and contest the sociopolitical shifts that continue to destabilize human equality (and indeed the future of humanity itself), whether at local, national, regional, or global scales.

In its focus on imperfect futures, the conference theme additionally proposes disruption and transformation as necessary concepts for critical language study. In social analytic research, these concepts each invoke traditional paradigms as they move toward more innovative ways of thinking and doing. We highlight disruption as a rethinking of relationships between researchers, participants, audiences, and methodologies. What counts as knowledge production in linguistic anthropology and related fields? Who gets to produce and circulate knowledge, and in what fora? How can we productively disrupt our reliance on knowledge systems that may be more suited to past instead of future concerns? Likewise, we highlight transformation as encompassing the many ways in which laypersons as well as researchers may change and advance the contours of language study to confront an increasingly anxious world. Through the reflexive interrogation of positionality and subjectivity, we search for emergent paths to take within—and beyond—the comfort zones in our research fields. Disruption and transformation, as mutually reinforcing, co-constitutive phenomena, create the opportunity for more critical and participatory directions in language study. This conference theme invites linguistic anthropologists and related researchers to reflect on ways to realize goals of racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, gendered, and other forms of social justice in times of crisis and hope.