Joint Call for Papers for Society for Linguistic Anthropology and Ethnological Society Sections

Session Title: Rumor, Gossip, and Event:  The Circulation of Talk and Its Implications

Building on the "Circulation" theme for the 2010 AAA meetings, we would
like to invite presentation proposals form a proposed "invited" session
considering  the relationship between the unregimented circulation of
talk (in forms such as rumor, gossip, and chat) and the emergence and
interpretation of marked political actions and events.  Rather than
examining the social, historical and linguistic dynamics of everyday,
mundane, and off-stage interactions as distinct from staged, official,
and markedly political events, this panel will examine the relationship
between these seemingly disparate realms.

Specific questions include:

What is the relation between the circulation of "non-eventful" forms of
talk such as gossip and rumor, and the political events they appear to
anticipate, coincide with, and/or follow?  In what ways might
"back-stage" speech contribute to or constitute official events?  How
does the later emergence of the event alter the significance of earlier

What can these relationships tell us about the latent possibilities of
particular media, technologies, and social locations?  How do media,
spaces, and other technologies come to be associated with eventful or
non-eventful modes and moments of interaction?

We invite papers from a range of approaches, linguistic, historical,
and ethnographic that aim to consider these questions with respect to
particular cases and the possibilities that they represent.
If you are interested in participating in the proposed
panel please email a proposed paper title and 300 word abstract to
Laura Brown ( by February 19th.

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