Linguistic Anthropology Reading Group

The Linguistic Anthropology Reading Group meets monthly to discuss a range of readings, written in the tradition of linguistic and semiotic anthropology, from classic papers to modern ethnographies, from sociolinguistics to semiotic theory. Emphasis is given to how the selected readings inform broader themes in anthropology. There are also opportunities for members to discuss their own research. If you interested in joining, please contact or

Upcoming Readings  (held online until we are COVID-clear)

Friday, October 1 (2-3 p.m.)

  • Kockelman, Paul. 2005. “The Semiotic Stance.” Semiotica. 157–1 / 4 , pp 233–304

Friday, October 29 (2-3 p.m.)

  • TBD
  • Friday, November 26 (2-3 p.m.)

  • TBD
  • Friday, December 17 (2-3 p.m.)

  • TBD
  • Previous Readings

    • Parmentier, R. J. (2016). Signs and society: Further studies in semiotic anthropology. Indiana University Press. Part I: Foundations of Peircean Semiotics (Pages. 1-80)
    • Heritage, J. (2012). The Epistemic Engine: Sequence Organization and Territories of Knowledge. Research on Language and Social Interaction45(1), 30–52. 
    • Stevanovic, M., & Svennevig, J. (2015). Introduction: Epistemics and deontics in conversational directives. Journal of Pragmatics78, 1–6. (Optional)
    • Irvine, J. T. (1996). Shadow conversations: The indeterminacy of participant roles. In M. Silverstein & G. Urban (Eds.), Natural histories of discourse (pp. 131–159). University of Chicago Press.
    • Bourdieu, P. (1977). The economics of linguistic exchanges. Social Science Information16(6), 645–668.
    • Durkheim, É. (1949). The division of labor in society. Free Press. (Intro, conclusion and chapter of choice.)
    • Gal, S., & Irvine, J. T. (2019). Signs of Difference: Language and Ideology in Social Life (1st ed.). Cambridge University Press.
    • Goffman, Erving. (1971). Strategic Interaction. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania  – Chp. (p.85-145)
    • Goodwin, C. (2018). Co-operative action. Cambridge University Press. 
    • Searle, J. R. (2011 [1969]). Speech acts: An essay in the philosophy of language (34th. print). Univ. Press.
    • Silverstein, M. (1976). Shifters, linguistic categories, and cultural description. In K. H. Basso & H. Selby (Eds.),Meaning in anthropology (1st ed.–, pp. 11–55). Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.