Examining the Social in Historical Sociolinguistics: Methods and Theory
The 2017 international meeting of the Historical Sociolinguistics Network (HiSoN) will be held April 6–7, 2017, to be co-hosted by the City University of New York's Graduate Center and New York University. This year’s conference will feature plenaries by three noted scholars in the field: Anita Auer, Professor of English Linguistics at the Université de Lausanne; Nils Langer, Professor of North Frisian and Minority Issues at the University of Flensburg; and Donald Tuten, Associate Professor of Spanish and Linguistics at Emory University. For more information about the Historical Sociolinguistics Network, visit the HiSoN homepage.
The conference welcomes submissions for roundtables, panels, individual presentations, and workshops on themes addressed by researchers working in historical sociolinguistics. We take a broad view of the field that includes the reconstruction of linguistic variation and change; the ideological analysis of linguistic history; the cultural and social history of languages; the relation between language and literary history; and the analysis or collation of linguistic corpora of various languages and historical periods. Scholars working with or on language within disciplines and theoretical frameworks other than those typically associated with sociolinguistics—such as linguistic anthropology, literary analysis, cultural studies or history—are encouraged to submit proposals.
The conference co-hosts particularly invite submissions focusing on the theme of “Examining the Social in Historical Sociolinguistics: Methods and Theory.” One of the central intersections between the multiple disciplines represented by those working on the history of languages remains the social, a term with a complicated theoretical pedigree that has changed in its use and meaning significantly from decade to decade. This volatility in meaning and utility from a methodological standpoint stands in contrast to its importance to the field of historical sociolinguistics. The “social” is a term that offers both the opportunity for interdisciplinary and collaborative understanding of the relationship between communities and changes in the language they speak, as well as the risk of uncertainty and even obsolescence as a means of describing the bonds and functions of speech communities.
Given the unique position of scholars of the history of language to collaboratively define the social from both a linguistic and a historical standpoint, how might this concept be theorized going forward? How has our understanding of the social changed in the context of new findings brought by expanded access to historical corpora in digital form, the increasingly sophisticated focus by historians and literary scholars on the working of power in society, and more clearly defined methods of exploring internal and external linguistic change than ever before? We invite contributors seeking to understand this and other current research questions related to the history of language, broadly defined.
Panel and roundtable submissions should include 3 to 4 participants. Individual paper proposals should be 250 words in length, and should include a brief (50-word) bio of the submitter. Panel and roundtable proposals should be 500 words total in length and include a description of the session as well as brief descriptions of each paper and short bios (an additional 50 words) for each participant. The deadline for abstracts is 1 November 2016. Please upload proposals at hison2017.info/submissions.html. For questions, please contact the conference organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicholas Wolf, New York University
José del Valle, CUNY Graduate Center
Allison Shapp, New York University
Laura Villa, CUNY Queens College