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Anthony Di Fiore, Chair SAC 4.102, Mailcode C3200 78712 • 512-471-4206

Brian M. Stross

Professor Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Brian M. Stross

Contact

  • Phone: (512) 471-0059
  • Office: SAC 4.124
  • Office Hours: Fall 2013: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 11 a.m.-Noon and by appointment
  • Campus Mail Code: C3200

Biography

I am a linguistic anthropologist who studies communication systems and especially languages in use.  I completed my PhD in Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley in 1969, with a dissertation on language acquisition by Tzeltal Mayans, and got my first academic job at the University of Texas at Austin, where I currently am a Professor of Anthropology. 

Research Interests

I have broad interests in all four fields of anthropology, while specializing in studying communication systems and especially languages in use.  I am particularly interested in  meaning, metaphor, symbolism, writing, and the ways in which cultural presuppositions are created in discourse.  My geographic interests are focused on indigenous languages and cultures of Mesoamerica, including Mesoamerican iconography and epigraphy of the Classic Maya.  I have undertaken linguistic, ethnographic, and folklore research in several Mayan and non-Mayan communities in Mexico and Guatemala, spending the most time with Tzeltal Mayan speakers.  I also do research and teach courses in the anthropology of food and in ethnobotany, viewing these topics from the perspectives of communication and language, and with attention to both universals and the particulars.

I am currently conducting several research projects, including the following:

(1) Preparation of materials on indigenous languages and cultures in Mesoamerica, from earliest times to the present, with a focus on Mayan and Mixe‑Zoquean language families in terms of culture, language prehistory, discourse, epigraphy and iconography.  This entails the production of Mayan and Mixe‑Zoquean etymological dictionaries as part of  Mayan and Mixe‑Zoquean language and linguistic prehistory project once included in a database that I designed for a Project Quest program development grant.

(2) Transcription, transliteration, translation and annotation of a Colonial Tzeltal (Mayan) dictionary.

(3) Research ongoing concerning the anthropology of food: foods and their uses for communication in varying social circumstances; feast and famine foods and the messages they convey; cuisine; food plants, domestication, and language; edible foam.

(4) Research on Mayan sacred geography, discourse and shamanism.

(5) Researching the role of lightning in indigenous Mesoamerican religion and in Andean South America.

(6) Research into the ethnobotany of saponin producing plants in Mesoamerica, and the ethnobotany of the plant genera Plumeria and Cnidoscolus.

Additional affiliations:

Américo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies

Institute for Latin American Studies

Mexican-American Center

Religious Studies Center

Courses taught:

Culture and Communication; Introduction to Graduate Linguistic Anthropology; Speech Play and Verbal Art; Ethnobotany; The Anthropology of Food (Foodways); Maya Hieroglyphic Writing; Indigenous Mesoamerica (Indians of Mexico and Guatemala); Symbolism, Iconography, and Worldview

Interests

Linguistic Anthropology, Indigenous Mesoamerica, Maya Iconography and Epigraphy, Anthropology of Food, Ethnobotany, Cultural Forms.

ANT 307 • Culture & Communication-Honors

31260 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm SAC 4.118
(also listed as LIN 312 )
show description

The ability to learn and use language is a quintessentially human characteristic—one that distinguishes homo sapiens from other animal species. Language is simultaneously generated through and generative of social life; the former is a primary resource that we humans use in both the structuring and accomplishment of the latter. These dynamics form the subject of study of linguistic anthropology.

This course is an introduction to linguistic anthropology. It is impossible in a single semester to provide a complete overview of all topics that linguistic anthropologists address, so this course covers selected topics, the selection of which is aimed to illustrate how linguistic anthropologists go about doing their work: the range of topics they examine, the kinds of questions they ask, the types of approaches and methods they utilize, and the sorts of conclusions they reach.

ANT 325M • Lang In Culture And Society

31430 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am CLA 0.112
(also listed as LIN 373, SOC 352M )
show description

Description  

This course is an upper division introduction to topics in linguistic anthropology.  Languages, like other communication systems, are adapted to new and different environments in which they are spoken, creating and maintaining social realities, reproducing cultural traditions, and conveying messages in a complex interplay of new and old information, sometimes necessary and sometimes frivolous, packaging meaning in various ways that generally conform to standards that can be articulated,  As speech is an important mode of human communication, we start by outlining basic concepts allowing for the description of linguistic form,  In the end we will focus as much on language use as on language structure, and in the process we will examine various expressive speech genres, metaphors that we live by, the power of language, gender preferences in communication, language learning, proverbs, jokes, and multilingualism, among other topics. We will examine these forms, processes, and contexts in an effort to deliver the tools necessary for describing and understanding the multiple ways in which language, culture, and society interact.

Goals

The goals of this course are to introduce students to the study of language use from a sociocultural perspective and to develop skills (through fieldwork and data analysis) in analyzing the role that language plays in the structure and interpretation of human interaction. Students will collect language data from a "speech community" in a setting of their choice, and will use this data: 1) collectively as a basis for examining and questioning concepts discussed in lectures and readings such as ethnicity, identity, power, and gender as they are constructed through language, and 2) individually as a basis from which to generate an analytical paper, which shows an understanding of the major ideas covered in the course but which is specific to student interests.

Grading and Requirement:

Two midterm exams 25% each

10 page analytical paper based on fieldwork due on the last class day 25%

Comprehensive final exam 25%

No penalty for one unexcused absence, but further such absences can lower one’s course grade by two and a half percentage points for each instance.  Exams include information from lectures,readings, and films.

Texts:    

Susan Blum    2009.  (ed.)  Making sense of Language.  Oxford  

 

ANT 322M • Indians Of Mex And Guatemala

31210 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 4.112
(also listed as LAS 324L )
show description

ANT 393 • Food In Discourse And Thought

31515 • Spring 2013
Meets W 400pm-700pm SAC 4.116
show description

ANT 325M • Lang In Culture And Society

31220 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WAG 420
(also listed as LIN 373, SOC 352M )
show description

Description  

This course is an upper division introduction to topics in linguistic anthropology.  Languages, like other communication systems, are adapted to new and different environments in which they are spoken, creating and maintaining social realities, reproducing cultural traditions, and conveying messages in a complex interplay of new and old information, sometimes necessary and sometimes frivolous, packaging meaning in various ways that generally conform to standards that can be articulated,  As speech is an important mode of human communication, we start by outlining basic concepts allowing for the description of linguistic form,  In the end we will focus as much on language use as on language structure, and in the process we will examine various expressive speech genres, metaphors that we live by, the power of language, gender preferences in communication, language learning, proverbs, jokes, and multilingualism, among other topics. We will examine these forms, processes, and contexts in an effort to deliver the tools necessary for describing and understanding the multiple ways in which language, culture, and society interact.

Goals

The goals of this course are to introduce students to the study of language use from a sociocultural perspective and to develop skills (through fieldwork and data analysis) in analyzing the role that language plays in the structure and interpretation of human interaction. Students will collect language data from a "speech community" in a setting of their choice, and will use this data: 1) collectively as a basis for examining and questioning concepts discussed in lectures and readings such as ethnicity, identity, power, and gender as they are constructed through language, and 2) individually as a basis from which to generate an analytical paper, which shows an understanding of the major ideas covered in the course but which is specific to student interests.

Grading and Requirement:

Two midterm exams 25% each

10 page analytical paper based on fieldwork due on the last class day 25%

Comprehensive final exam 25%

No penalty for one unexcused absence, but further such absences can lower one’s course grade by two and a half percentage points for each instance.  Exams include information from lectures,readings, and films.

Texts:    

Susan Blum    2009.  (ed.)  Making sense of Language.  Oxford  

 

ANT 393 • Speech Play And Verbal Art

31400 • Fall 2012
Meets W 400pm-700pm SAC 4.116
(also listed as LIN 393 )
show description

 

This course is a graduate seminar on speech play and verbal art within a framework of the anthropological study of language.   Speech play, associated with the ludic impulse common in humanity, and verbal art, emphasizing an association with the aesthetic, are overlapping categories of performance involving manipulations of the form component of the speech act, and both could be subsumed under the label speech play.   Speech play is generally found in more informal contexts while verbal art occurs in more formal contexts. 

 

Speech play as a manifestation of culture in discourse, sometimes trivialized in the literature, can also be seen as central to the anthropological enterprise of documenting, translating, and understanding both culture and discourse, because in use it highlights boundaries, points out limits, and illuminates competence conventions derived from patterns of performance.  It is particularly important in providing a useful methodological perspective from which to look through the window that separates one’s own culture from that of an other.

 

We will commence with Dell Hymes’ formulation of speech act components and functions, using it as a basis for investigating speech play and verbal art.  

 

No prior training in linguistics is assumed, expected, or required.

ANT 322M • Indians Of Mex And Guatemala

31305 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm UTC 4.112
(also listed as LAS 324L )
show description

 The course opens with an introductory review of the environment, history and prehistory of Mexico and Guatemala, a summary of language distributions and broad characterization of indigenous societies in the region.   The main part of the course describes a series of some 13 representative Indian societies of Mesoamerica--their lifestyles, speaking habits, social patterns, and views of the natural and supernatural universe.   Students should gain insight into the richness and variety of  life in Mesoamerica, into the descriptive strands that can be discerned running through the warp and weft of the Mesoamerican tapestry, and into the ways that people have adapted to changing natural and social environments.  The course will be of interest to students concerned with Latin America, indigenous populations, and anthropology, among other things.

ANT 325M • Lang In Culture And Society

31350 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.112
(also listed as LIN 373, SOC 352M )
show description

Description:

This course is an upper division introduction to topics in linguistic

anthropology. Languages, like other communication systems, are adapted to new and

different environments, creating and maintaining social realities, reproducing cultural

traditions, and conveying messages in a complex interplay of new and old information,

sometimes necessary and sometimes frivolous, packaging meaning in various describable

ways. As speech is an important mode of human communication, we start by outlining

basic concepts allowing for the description of linguistic form. In the end we will focus as

much on language use as on language structure, and we will examine various expressive

speech genres, metaphors that we live by, the power of language, gender preferences in

communication, language learning, proverbs, jokes, and multilingualism, among other

topics. We will examine these forms, processes, and contexts in an effort to deliver the

tools necessary for describing and understanding the multiple ways in which language,

culture, and society interact.

Goals:

The goals of this course are to introduce students to the study of language use

from a sociocultural perspective and to develop skills (through fieldwork and data

analysis) in analyzing the role that language plays in the structure and interpretation of

human interaction. Students will collect language data from a "speech community" in a

setting of their choice, and will use this data: 1) collectively as a basis for examining and

questioning concepts discussed in lectures and readings, such as ethnicity, identity,

power, and gender as they are constructed and negotiated through language, and 2)

individually as a basis from which to generate an analytical paper, which shows an

understanding of the major ideas covered in the course but which is specific to the

individual student’s interests.

Requirements / Exams, Paper, Attendance:

The course grade will be based on two midterm exams 25% each

Comprehensive final exam 25%

10 page (double spaced) analytical paper, derived from fieldwork, that is due on the last class day 

Attendance: No penalty for one unexcused absence, but each additional unexcused

absence can lower one’s course grade by two and a half percentage points.

Text:

Susan Blum (ed.) 2009. Making Sense of Language

ANT 325M • Lang In Culture And Society

31045 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm UTC 4.132
(also listed as LIN 373, SOC 352M )
show description

Description:

This course is an upper division introduction to topics in linguistic anthropology. Languages, like other communication systems, are adapted to new and different environments, creating and maintaining social realities, reproducing cultural traditions, and conveying messages in a complex interplay of new and old information, sometimes necessary and sometimes frivolous, packaging meaning in various describable ways. As speech is an important mode of human communication, we start by outlining basic concepts allowing for the description of linguistic form. In the end we will focus as much on language use as on language structure, and we will examine various expressive speech genres, metaphors that we live by, the power of language, gender preferences in communication, language learning, proverbs, jokes, and multilingualism, among other topics. We will examine these forms, processes, and contexts in an effort to deliver the tools necessary for describing and understanding the multiple ways in which language, culture, and society interact.

Goals:

The goals of this course are to introduce students to the study of language use from a sociocultural perspective and to develop skills (through fieldwork and data analysis) in analyzing the role that language plays in the structure and interpretation of human interaction. Students will collect language data from a "speech community" in a setting of their choice, and will use this data: 1) collectively as a basis for examining and questioning concepts discussed in lectures and readings, such as ethnicity, identity, power, and gender as they are constructed and negotiated through language, and 2) individually as a basis from which to generate an analytical paper, which shows an understanding of the major ideas covered in the course but which is specific to the individual student’s interests.

Requirements:

Two midterm exams (25% each)

Comprehensive final exam (25%)

10 page (double spaced) analytical paper, derived from fieldwork, that is due on the last class day (see this URL

http://www.utexas.edu/courses/stross/ant325m_files/analyticalpaper.htm ). Exams include information from lectures, readings, and films.

Attendance: No penalty for one unexcused absence, but each additional unexcused absence can lower one’s course grade by two and a half percentage points.

Text:

Susan Blum (ed.) 2009. Making Sense of Language.

Brief Overview of Major Course Requirements: will include attending class, doing the assigned homework, taking the exams, and writing the analytical paper.

ANT 393 • Symbolism And Iconography

31213 • Fall 2011
Meets W 400pm-700pm SAC 5.118
show description

ANT 322M • Indians Of Mex And Guatemala

31270 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.112
(also listed as LAS 324L )
show description

The course starts with an introductory review of the environment, history and prehistory of Mexico and Guatemala, summary of language distributions and broad types of societal grouping.  The main body of the course describes a series of representative Indian societies--their lifestyles, speaking habits, social patterns, and views of the natural and supernatural universe.  Students should gain an insight into the richness and variety of Indian life, and the ways the people have adapted to changing natural and social environments.  The course will be of interest to students concerned with Anthropology, Latin America, or the "Third World" generally.

ANT 393 • Food In Discourse And Thought

31530 • Spring 2011
Meets T 400pm-700pm SAC 4.116
show description

   Food sustains us, giving meaning, order, and values to our lives; and food reflects the symbolism in our ideological systems.  Food plays an important part in our identity construction, our religious practices, and our socialization.  Foodways can thus tell us a lot about the society in which they play a part.  This course will investigate the facts that we communicate messages by means of as well as about foods, that we communicate frequently and much about foods, and that we can look at foodways to discern cultural presuppositions used in communication.  
     Topics explored in this course will include food preferences and taboos, conversation during the production and consumption of food, food as a topic of conversation, naming and beliefs about foods, food metaphors, social structure in seating and eating, meals and manners, food and education, food and religion, food and sex, food and identity, food and power, food and the senses, food and the flow of time, and maize in Mesoamerica.   
     Food participates in multiple symbolic systems in a society, and one goal of this course, conducted in a seminar format, will be to discern some of the meanings that can be read into the language-like patterns to be found in the choices and variations to be found in what, when, where, and how people eat, as well as what, where, when, and how they talk about food.
     In this course we will have a three ethnographic "exercises" in which participants will collect information on foods that could be interesting and relevant to the course.

ANT 325M • Lang In Culture And Society

30175 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm UTC 4.132
(also listed as LIN 373, SOC 352M )
show description

The goals of this course are to introduce students to the study of language use from a sociocultural perspective and to develop skills (through fieldwork and data analysis) in analyzing the role that language plays in the structure and interpretation of human interaction.  Students will collect language data from a “speech community” in a setting of their choice, and will use this data:  1) collectively as a basis for examining and questioning concepts discussed in lectures and readings, such as ethnicity, identity, power, and gender as they are constructed through language, and 2) individually as a basis from which to generate an analytical paper, which shows an understanding of the major ideas covered in the course but which is specific to student interests.

Prerequisite: Anthropology 302, 305, 307, or Linguistics 306; or consent of instructor.

 

ANT 393 • Food In Discourse And Thought

30370 • Fall 2010
Meets W 500pm-800pm EPS 1.128
show description

    Food sustains us, giving meaning, order, and values to our lives; and food reflects the symbolism in our ideological systems.  Food plays an important part in our identity construction, our religious practices, and our socialization.  Foodways can thus tell us a lot about the society in which they play a part.  This course will investigate the facts that we communicate messages by means of as well as about foods, that we communicate frequently and much about foods, and that we can look at foodways to discern cultural presuppositions used in communication.  

     Topics explored in this course will include food preferences and taboos, conversation during the production and consumption of food, food as a topic of conversation, naming and beliefs about foods, food metaphors, social structure in seating and eating, meals and manners, food and education, food and religion, food and sex, food and identity, food and power, food and the senses, food and the flow of time, and maize in Mesoamerica.  

      Food participates in multiple symbolic systems in a society, and one goal of this course, conducted in a seminar format, will be to discern some of the meanings that can be read into the language-like patterns to be found in the choices and variations in what, when, where, and how people eat, as well as what, where, when, why, and how they talk about food.

     In this course we will have three ethnographic "exercises" in which participants will collect information on foods that could be interesting and relevant to the course.

ANT 322M • Indians Of Mex And Guatemala

30260 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 930-1100 BUR 136
show description

 

http://www.utexas.edu/courses/stross/ant322m_files/ant322m.htm

 

INDIGENOUS MESOAMERICA

alternatively

INDIANS OF MEXICO AND GUATEMALA

 

Ant. 322M  (30260),   Las 324L  (40525 )              Spring 2010            Stross,     EPS 2.204

 

Class  TTH   9:30-11     

 

B. Stross Office Hours TTH  11-noon   & by appt. in EPS 2.204.       bstross@mail.utexas.edu     .

 

TA  Amber O’Connor  Office Hours  TTH 11-12 in the Linguistic Anthropology Lab  (2nd floor EPS) 

 

Final Exam  will be on  Thursday, May 13, 9:00–12:00 noon,  

 


 

Text    

TEXT (req)   Carmack, Gasco, Gossen. 2007. The Legacy of Mesoamerica. (2nd ed) 

F 1219 L44 2007 PCL   Reserves    ISBN  0-13-049292-2 (paper)

 

 

 Lecture Topics and Reading Assignments  (

 

Week 1      GEOGRAPHY            1/19, 21,

                        climate, fauna, flora, geology, hydrography, physiography

                        (Mexico map 1map 2, map 3, map 4map 5)

(Guatemala map 1, map 2, map 3)  (detailed Mexico state maps)

                                    Film on Thursday, The Mayo Tribe – Desert Speaks  *28 *

 

            ReadingText CH 1 (1996 ed)  or Introduction (2007 ed) and flora and fauna page

                       

 

Week 2      CULTURE AREA    1/26, 28

some shared traits, contiguity

Mesoamerica as a culture area .  Kirchhoff, (Armillas)  

Film on Thursday The Tree of Life

                                     (VIDCASS 9978    UGLAVC)  *30*   Q's )  

 

            Reading:   Text  Ch 3 (1996 or 2007)

 

 

Week 3      THE PAST            2/2, 2/4

                        Prehistory    (Maya Vessel, Olmec Portal, Isthmian Stela)

(earliest inhabitantse.i.2e.i.3-migrations)

                                                (FAMSI maps of Mesoamerica)

                        History      (seeing the other),   (the colonial caste system).

(Cortés as Quetzalcoatl)

(Columbus) (Columbus2 longer) (NAFTA) (The Requerimiento)

                                    Film on Thursday: Popol Vuh  ( DVD 6990    AVL FAC)

  *60*   Q's ) (free book version of Popol Vuh is at:

http://www.mesoweb.com/publications/Christenson/PopolVuh.pdf )

 

 

            ReadingText CH. 2,4,5,6 (1996 ed)   or  Text CH 1, 4, 5, 7 (2007 ed)

 

 

Week 4      LANGUAGE AND CULTURE OVERVIEW    2/9, 2/11

                        Language distribution (Languages of Mexico, Languages of Mexico

Belize, Guatemala

                        Language characteristics, culture characteristics and worldview  

                                    Film on Thursday:: Shunka's Story  (Vidcass 6294)  *20*

                                    Film on Thursday:: The Lacandon Maya Balché Ritual

(Vidcass 6290)  *40*  Q's )

 

            ReadingText CH. 11, 12 (1996 ed) or  CH 11, 6 (2007 ed)  and  de Landa)

                        (de Landa is at:  http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/maya/ybac/index.htm  )

 

 

Week 5      MACRO-MAYAN        2/16, 2/18

                        *Mayan diversification (Chart),   *Mayan writing  (Script)

                        Lacandon, clans and communication.  (bibliography)  (hach winik pics

1, 2, 3)   (Lacandon and the future - Plan Puebla Panama ) (Lacandon website)

                        *(Yucatec; relating to nature and supernature,  housingcustoms)

                                    Film on Thursday,: Todos Santos Cuchumatan   

(Mam Maya)  (Vidcass 1269 UGLAVC)  *41*  Q's )

 

Reading:  McGee (or Perera & Bruce or Redfield & Villa Rojas or McClusky

or Boremanse) (or watch Swidden Horticulture Among the Lacandón Maya   VIDCASS 6291  (Lacandón)

or The Living Maya VIDCASS 4811  (Programs 1-4)  (Yucatec Mayans)

 

 

 

Week 6      MACRO-MAYAN II        2/23, 2/25

                        Huastec, an outlier.  (Teenek)  (teenek pictures 1, 2, 3, 4  -TBA)

                        Quiche and the Popol Vuh.  (Maya Perspectives videos in UGL AV  Library)

                                     (Guatemala 2003)

                                    Film Thursday: Todos Santos: the Survivors

                                                (VIDCASS   22O2 UGLAVC)  *58*   Q's )

 

            Reading:  Popol Vuh and (Ariel de Vidas  or B. Tedlock  or  Hernandez Castillo or

 watch Discovering Dominga in AVL)  

                        (Popol Vuh is at http://www.mesoweb.com/publications/Christenson/index.html )

                        (Cacao in the Popol Vuh – Michael Grofe)

 

Week 7      MACRO-MAYAN III        3/2,  3/4

Tzeltal, divination, souls, colors, dreams, reincarnation, numeral classifiers. 

(the biopiracy debate)   (batz'il winik pics 1, 2, 3)

Film on Thursday:   Appeals to Santiago   (Tenejapa Tzeltal)

                                                VIDCASS  6293 *27*   Q's

 

            Reading: Vogt (or Gossen, or Nash or Eber or Rosenbaum) (or watch

                        Chac: the Rain God in AVL)

 

 

Week 8      MACRO-MAYAN  IV       3/9, 3/11

                        Tzotzil, gossip, insults, and proverbs   *(Slides: Tzeltals and Tzotzils )                

                                    Film ThursdaySacred Games    (Chamula Tzotzil)

                                                (VIDCASS 1812  UGLAVC      *75*   Q's )

 

            Reading:  Wilson or G.P. Gonzalez (A Maya Lifeor G.P. González

(Return of the Maya) or watch El Norte or any one of

the Maya Perspectives series in AVL)

 

 

(Spring break  3/15-20)  -     good time to start working on the 2 page book report

(due on last day of class)  on a book from the list: click here

 

 

 

Week 9      MACRO-AZTEC-TANOAN        3/23, 3/25

                        Tarahumara, long distance runners, (Tarahumara and tourism

(Rarámuri pics 1, 2, 3)  alcohol in Indian society   

                                    MIDTERM EXAM on Thursday of Week 9; i.e.. 3/26/09) 

(to cover materials of Weeks 1 through 8)  

 

            Reading:    J. Kennedy or W. Merrill (Raramuri Souls) or watch

                        Voices of the Sierra Tarahumara   52min    (Tarahumaras)  or

                        Teshuinada, semana santa Tarahumara  60  min (Tarahumaras)

 

Week 10     MACRO-AZTEC-TANOAN  II      3/30, 4/1

Huichol, the peyote quest, yarn painting   (links) (article 1, 2) (tunnel to Catorce)

            (Real de Catorce) (Mara’akame Canta; Huichol Musical ej.,

 El Venado Azul)

Film on Thursday 3/29To Find Our Life   *63*

 

              ReadingText CH. 8 (1996 ed) or Text Ch 14 (2007 ed), or  Myerhoff’s

                                    Peyote Hunt  or watch  Huichol Sacred Pilgrimage to Wirikuta

                                    (VIDCASS 6019 UGLAVC) (or watch Huicholes y Plaguecidas 1

                                    & 2 )    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0DDIIaUCSw 

 

Week 11     MACRO-AZTEC-TANOAN  III     4/6, 4/8

                        Aztecs; worldview, compadrazgo, cosmology (Quetzalcoatl) (article-wiki)

                                    (music)

                                    Films Thursday 4/5Tepoztlan  (VIDCASS 9580  UGLAVC) *30*;

                                    The Tarahumaras   (VIDCASS   4900 UGLAVC)   *30*   Q's

 

             Reading:  (Berdan or Soustelle  or Bray, or Clendinnen)  (or watch

                        Blood and Flowers – In Search of the Aztecs 48 min  youtube)

 

Week 12     MACRO-OTO-MANGUEAN  I   4/13, 4/15

                        Mazatec; whistle speech, mushrooms, medicine bundles, shamanism. 

                        (Flesh of the Gods trailer)

Film Thursday 4/12:  Guenati'za  (Zapotec)   or

                                                  Sueños Binacionales (Chatino)    and

                                                 To Make the Balance  (Vidcass 6292)  *33* 

 

            Reading:  Text Ch 7, 10, 13 (1996 ed)  or  Text  Ch 8, 9, 13  (2007 ed.) or

                        María Sabina, mujer espíritu (1978)  80 min   (Mazatecs)

 

Week 13    MACRO-OTO-MANGUEAN  II     4/20, 4/22

                        Zapotec, trade, symbolism, witchcraft, asking for favors,intermediary.

                (Zapotec-wiki) (hear Zapotec tones)

                        Film Thursday,  Blossoms of Fire   *60*   Q's )

 

            ReadingText Ch. 9 (1996 ed) or  Text Ch. 12 (2007 ed)  and (Chiñas, or Selby,

                                    or Berg or González or Cohen or Hunn)

 

 

Week 14     MACRO-OTO-MANGUEAN   III        4/27, 4/29

                        Huave worldview.      (pics 1, 2, 3)  

                                    Film Thursday : Mayan Voices; American Lives

(Vidcass 4792)  *58*   Q's)

 

Reading:  Kearney, (skim first half if available, read second half )

 

 

Week 15     MACRO-HOKAN      5/4, 5/6

Seri    the singers    (Seri komka’ak nation)

Chontal of Oaxaca  / Tequistlatec   (Tequisistlan) 

                                    Film Thursday  Ópata palm weavers  *27*   and/or

                                    Film Thursday  The Tree of Knowledge  *30*

 

                                                (Vidcass 6990) *27*  Q's )

 

 

 

 

GRADING AND EXAMINATIONS

You should complete the weekly reading assignments and prepare for exams by going over your notes on both lectures and readings. If puzzled by the fact that the lectures and the readings are complementary rather than purely mutually reinforcing or redundant, click here.   This link also explains the rationale for what at first appears to be a large number of books, from which the individual is required to read only 8 or so.

 

The course grade will be based primarily on a midterm (about 31%) and a final examination (about 62%).   

An example of the format of the midterm exam can be found here.  Another consideration will be class attendance, Attendance is expected, and missing two classes can lower one's average by as much as a half grade.   There will be a short book report, based on a book from the list at this link: book report (due last class day

Exams will contain both objective and essay questions (with an edge to the objective). 

The final exam will be longer than the midterm and comprehensive (i.e. it will include material tested on the midterm as well as from the rest of the semester), and will count twice as much.  The final exam  will be held at the officially scheduled time and place (Thursday, May 13, 9:00–12:00 noon).  Click here for a sample of the final exam.

 

SAMPLE FINAL

 

 

                                           BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY  -  For Midterm 

Achiote, Ahuehuete, Amaranth, Anona, Atitlan, Atlatl, Atole (or Atol), Balché, Rio Balsas, Bark-cloth, Benito Juarez, Bor, Bolim, Brocket Deer, Cargo System, Caribal, Ceiba, Cenote, Censer, Chapala, Chayote, Chiapas, Chicha, Chilam Balam, Cabracan, Cocijo, Co-Essence, Comal, Copal, Chinampa, Diego de Landa, Divination, Eagle Dance, Ejido, Guanabana, Guava, Gucumatz, Hachakyum, Hero Twins, Hetzmek' (or Placing-Astride-the-Hip), Huastec, Hunahpu (or One Hunter), HunBatz', Hun Chouen, Ihk’al, Indigo, Kayum, Kin (or K’in), Kisin (or Quisin), Lacandón, Ladino, La Venta, Lerma-Santiago, Lints’i', Macro-Oto-Manguean, Maguey, Malinche, Mam, Manioc, Metate, Mexica, Monkey Twins, Motagua River, "Mother of Hand", Muxi’-maam (or Mushi-mam), Nagual (or Nahual), Nahuatl, Olmec, Onen, Orizaba, Palenque, Panuco, Papaloapan, Peccary, Peñon Woman, Petate, Peten, Pinole (or Pinol), Popocatepetl, Popol Vuh, Porfirio Díaz, Pozole (or Pozol), Pulque,  Quiche, Ramon Nuts, Subin, Tamal (or Tamale), Teenek, Temascal, Tenochtitlan, Teotihuacan, Tepexpan Man, Tlaloc, Tohil, Toltecs, Totonac, Tonal, Treemoss, Trivet, Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Usumacinta, Veracruz, Voladores, Vucub Caquix (or 7 Macaw), Xbalanque (or Jaguar-Deer), Xibalba, Xmucane, Xoloitzcuintli, Xquic, Xtabay, Zacahuil, Zapote, Zinacantan, Zipacna.

 

 

                                         IDENTIFY - For Final   (include above words as well)

Aire (or Aigre), Amate-Fig, Antojo, Aztec, Cabecera, Chaneque, Chatino, Chinantec, Chipil, Cipactli, Coa, Coatlicue, Compadrazgo, Condoy (or Kondoy), Coral Bean, Deer-Maize-Peyote Complex, Divination, Dutuburi, Espanto, Esquiate, Guelaguetza, Gozona, Go-between, Horizontal Loom, Hot & Cold Classification, Hauve/Wabi, Huehuete, Huichol, Huitzilopochtli, Indigenismo, La Llorona,  Mara'akame, Matlacigua,  Mazatec, Mexica, Michael Kearney, W.J. McGee, Medicine Bundle, Mexica, Mictlantecuhtli, Mije (or Mixe), Mixtec, Muina, Nanahuatl, Nixtamal, Norawa, Oaxaca, Oaxaca Chontal, Peyote, Pingo, Pochteca, Popoluca, Quetzalcoatl, Rain Dwarf, Seri, Shaman, Slash & Burn / Swidden, Structural Replication in Zinacantan, Susto, Tarahumara, Tarascan, Tecciztecatl, Tehuana, Tejate, Tepache, Tepoztlan, Tequistlatec, Tesgüinada,  Tezcatlipoca, Tlaloc, Tlazolteotl, Toloache, Whistle Speech, Wirikuta, Xolotl, Yacatecuhtli, Zapotec, Zoque. 

 

 

*Books to be read -  approximately 4 of these must be read as part of assignment (to be explained in class)

*A. Ariel de Vidas.  Thunder Doesn't Live Here Anymore

*F. Berdan, The Aztecs of Central Mexico (pb) F1219.73 B47 PCL    

*R.L. Berg, Jr., Shwan: A Highland Zapotec Woman  F1221 Z3 B47  PCL

 *D. Boremanse, Hach Winik, the Lacandon Maya of Southern Mexico.   F 1221 L2 B67 1998 BLAC

  W. Bray     Everyday Life of the Aztecs 

*B. Chiñas,  The Isthmus Zapotec:  Women's Roles in Cultural Context.  F1221.23  Z462 PCL  

  J. Cohen,  Cooperation and CommunityEconomy and Society in Oaxaca  

*I. Clendinnen, Aztecs: An Interpretation  (pb)   F 1219.76 S64 C44 1991 PCL Reserves

*C. Eber,  Women & Alcohol in a Highland Maya Town.  F 1221 T9 E24 1995 BLAC

*Gaspar Pedro González, A Mayan Life. (La Otra Cara) Yaxte' Press  PM 3912 Z77 G6618 1996 BLAC

*Gaspar Pedro González  Return of the Maya (El Retorno de las Mayas)  Yaxté Books

   R. González,  Zapotec Science: Farming and Food in the Northern Sierra of Oaxaca. (pb)

*G. Gossen, Chamulas in the World of the Sun (pb) F1221 T9 G677 PCL 

  R. A. Hernández Castillo, Histories and Stories from Chiapas:  Border Identities in Southern

            Mexico.  (pb)

E.S. Hunn,.  A Zapotec Naural History.  (Zapotec)

 M. Kearney, The Winds of Ixtepeji.  F1221 Z3 K42 PCL

*J. Kennedy, Tarahumara of the Sierra Madre. (pb) F1221 T25 K47 1978 PCL

*D. de Landa, Yucatan Before and After the Conquest. (pb)  G 7, 972.Ol5,

        M 451 M, no. 2O ; F1376 L24613 1978  PCL   

*O. Lewis,  Tepoztlán (pb)  G917.249 L587T   PCL 

 L J. McClusky,  Here Our Culture is Hard:  Stories of Domestic Violence From a Mayan

Community in Belize.  (pb) [Mopan]

R. J. McGee, Life, Ritual and Religion Among the Lacandón Maya.  F 1221 L2 M4 1990 PCL Reserves

R. J.  McGee,  Watching Lacandon Maya Lives

*B. Myerhoff, Peyote Hunt (pb) F1221  H9 M9  PCL

*V. Perera and R.D. Bruce, The Last Lords of Palenque.  F1221 L2 P47 1982 PCL Reserves

*J. Nash, In The Eyes of the Ancestors (pb) F1219.3 S6 N3 UGL 

*R. Redfield & A. Villa Rojas, Chan Kom (pb)  F1435.1 C47 R3 1962 PCL

*B. Rosenbaum, With Our Heads Bowed.   HQ 1465 C52 R6 1993 PCL Stacks

*H. Selby. Zapotec Deviance. F1221 Z3 S44 LAC         

*J. Soustelle, Daily Life of the Aztecs.  (pb) F1219 S723 1970 PCL    

*D. Tedlock,  Popol Vuh.  (pb) F1465  P813 1985  UGL, LAC,    F 1465 P813 1996 PCL Stacks

*E. Vogt, The Zinacantecos of Mexico. G 97O,49274, V 868 Zin PCL, LAC

*C. Wilson, Crazy February. (pb) G 8l3, W 692 C PCL, LAC & 813, W69l8C

 

Videos at Audio Visual Library  (can be used for assignment)

El Norte  141min  DVD 4445        (Highland Mayans – Guatemalan Migrants)

Chac:  The Rain God  DVD 1950  (Tzeltal Mayans)

Letters from the other side   73 min   DVD 5427   (Migrants from Mexico)

Discovering Dominga  57  VIDCASS  10578    (Highland Mayans –  GuatemalanMigrant)

Swidden Horticulture Among the Lacandón Maya     29min   VIDCASS 6291  (Lacandón)

The Living Maya    232min   VIDCASS 4811  (Programs 1-4)  (Yucatec Mayans)

Daughters of Ixchel   29min   VIDCASS 7721   (Highland Mayans - Guatemala)

Maya Perspectives Series     (Vidcass 8245, Volumes 1-16)

Huichol Sacred Pilgrimage to Wirikuta  29 min (VIDCASS 6019 UGLAVC)

 

Videos NOT at Audio Visual Library   (can be used for assignment)

Voices of the Sierra Tarahumara   52min    (Tarahumaras)

Chenalhó, Heart of the Highlands   52 min   (Tzotzils)

De Nadie   (Migrants from Mexico)   

La Tragedia de Macario  (Migrants from Mexico)  

Haunted Land   74 minutes   (Highland Guatemalan Mayans – genocide)

Teshuinada, semana santa Tarahumara  60 min (Tarahumaras – Nicolás Echevarría)

María Sabina, mujer espíritu (1978)  80 min   (Mazatecs – Nicolás Echevarría) (on YouTube)

Hikure-Tame   (1982)  (Huichols  - Nicolás Echevarría)

Sentinels of the Earth: Conversations With the Sierra Popoluca   part 1    52 min 

Part 2       54 min (Sierra Popolucas - Judith Gleason)

The Unholy Tarahumara    60 min  (Kathryn Ferguson)

Soothsayers, Cigars, and San Simón   58 min  (urban Mayans in Guatemala)

Mother's Day in Cuetzalan: Panchita the Weaver    59 min  (  Judith Gleason -  Nahuatl Speakers)

The Lacandon Maya    47 min   (Hilary Pryor  - Lacandónes)

The Day of the Dead   30 min   (Calavera Productions – Purépecha & Mestizo)  Filmmakers Library

Chiapas: Prayers for the Weavers  35 min.  (Judith Gleason – Tzotzil, Tzeltal Mayans)

Children of Zapata  24 min (Canadian Broadcasting Corp – Tzotzil, Tzeltal Mayans)

A Place Called Chiapas      92 min

Zapatista    56 min

Nowhere Else to Live  52 min. (Alan Handel Productions – Mestizo)

Flowers for Guadalupe   57 min  (Judith Gleason & Elisa Mereghetti – Mestizo)

Barriers of Solitude   52 min  (Patricia Guzman – Mestizo)

The Walls of Taniperla  52 min  ( Dominique Bergen for KTBF)

Blood and Flowers - In Search of the Aztecs   (BBC)  youtube

Tarahumara: Pillars of the World  60m     http://papajack48.wordpress.com/2008/01/22/another-video-from-the-past/#respond

Mixe – ayuk: yikyuj ja ayuk jaaky  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbvYGDHIKqo&eurl=http://www.yinet.witsuk.com/

 

 

As an aid to study, can print out this Mexico map and locate each indigenous society

spoken of in the lectures on it, at least putting it in the correct state.   It would also be helpful to locate

some of the rivers, lakes, towns, and archaeological sites, as well as volcanoes and islands.  

Here is a list you might make use of for both the indigenous groups and the other features.

 

If you want to explore a topic in more depth, or make up for a missed class, here is a listing

of supplementary readings, arranged topically by the week.

 

ADDITIONAL BOOKS WITH USEFUL INFORMATION (not part of assignments)

  R.M. Carmack (ed.) Harvest of Violence. (pb) F1435.3  P7 H37 1988 LAC

  J. Harbury, Bridge of Courage. (pb)

  B. Tedlock, Time and the Highland Maya (pb)  F 1465.2 Q5 T43 1992 PCL Reserves

  S. Whiteford and Whiteford, Crossing Currents.

  K. Warren, Indigenous Movements and Their Critics: Pan Maya Activism in Guatemala.

 

 

There are many internet sites with information relevant to this course.

 

The complete Chilam Balam of Chumayel by R. Roys

 

The Archive of Indigenous Languages of Latin America (AILLA)

has downloadable narratives in various Mesoamerican languages,

and other Latin American Indigenous languages.

 

Streaming radio from some Indigenous Mexican stations

 

Images of Mexican Art and History   More Images

 

Mayan Calendar  (I. Van Laningham)       Maya Software  

 

Former Aztlan site      with some excellent article links

 

Ventana a mi comunidad  maiz 6  this is one of a series of you tube presentations

                        About indigenous life in Mexico.

 

Ventana a mi Comunidad / Nahuas Huasteca y Tenek El Zacahuil 

 

Ventana a mi Comunidad / Nahuas Huasteca y Tenek - Música 

 

Ventana a mi Comunidad - Nahuas de Morelos / Nahuatl

 

Ventana a mi Comunidad / Triquis - Temazcal desarmable

 

Ventana a mi Comunidad / Chocholtecos, baño en el temazcal

 

Ventana a mi Comunidad / Mazahuas, cosechando y saboreando

 

Historical timeline for Mexico    not all the links are equally

useful or accurate, but useful overall

 

Webpage for Guatemalan history    to 1970 

 

News of indigenous activities and rights are prominent

among the interests of the Mexico Solidarity Network

 

Chiapas Independent Media Center     news of indigenous and

other activities in Chiapas and elsewhere in Mexico 

 

Independent Media Network, Mexico    as its name indicates, a

network of independent media, for news that is relatively

independent of government and (other) corporate interests  

 

Chiapas 95     The list-serve (and its relatives and descendants)

documenting news and debate regarding indigenous

and other grassroots action in Mexico. 

 

 

(MORE LINKS)

 

Mexicolinks

 

 

Internet sites also host some important journals relating to

indigenous Mesoamericans:

 

 

 

 

(Audiovisual Library   495-4467)

 

 


 

 

The following information comes from official UT policies

Please, read carefully

Academic Integrity

Each student in this course is expected to abide by the University Code of Academic Integrity. No plagiarized work will be accepted. Sources consulted from books, journals, or web pages should be acknowledged. Any work submitted by a student in this course for academic credit will be the student's own work. Papers bought online or otherwise plagiarized will receive a zero.

You are encouraged to study together and to discuss concepts covered in lecture and sessions. However, this permissible cooperation should never involve one student having possession of a copy of all or part of work done by someone else, in the form of an e mail, an e-mail attachment file, a diskette, or a hard copy. 

Should copying occur, both the student who copied work from another student and the student who gave material to be copied will both automatically receive a zero for the assignment. Penalty for violation of this Code can also be extended to include failure of the course and University disciplinary action. [During examinations, you must do your own work. Talking or discussion, comparing notes, and copying from others are not permitted during examinations. Any such behavior will result in failure of the exam, and may lead to failure of the course and University disciplinary action.]

Accommodations for students with disabilities

In compliance with the UT Austin policy and equal access laws, I am available to discuss appropriate academic accommodations that may be required for student with disabilities. Requests for academic accommodations are to be made during the first three weeks of the semester, except for unusual circumstances, so arrangements can be made. Students who require special accommodations need to get a letter that documents the disability from the Services for Students with Disabilities area of the Office of the Dean of Students (471-6259- voice or 471-4641 – TTY for users who are deaf or hard of hearing).  This letter should be presented to the instructor in each course at the beginning of the semester and accommodations needed should be discussed at that time.  Five business days before an exam the student should remind the instructor of any testing accommodations that will be needed. See Web site below for more information:   http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/ssd/providing.php

University Electronic Mail Notification Policy

(Use of E-mail for Official Correspondence to Students)

All students should become familiar with the University's official e-mail student notification policy.  It is the student's responsibility to keep the University informed as to changes in e-mail address.  It is recommended that e-mail be checked daily, but at a minimum, twice per week. The complete text of this policy and instructions for updating your e-mail address are available at

http://www.utexas.edu/its/policies/emailnotify.html.

In this course e-mail will be used to communicate with students. You are responsible for checking your e-mail regularly for class announcements. 

The University of Texas Honor Code

The core values of The University of Texas at Austin are learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity, and responsibility. Each member of the University is expected to uphold these values through integrity, honesty, trust, fairness, and respect toward peers and community.

Religious Holidays

It is the policy of The University of Texas at Austin that you must notify each of your instructors at least fourteen days prior to the classes scheduled on dates you will be absent to observe a religious holy day. If you miss an examination, work assignment, or other project due to the observance of a religious holyday you will be given an opportunity to complete the work missed within a reasonable time after the absence. 

The instructor reserves the right to amend this syllabus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANT 393 • Speech Play And Verbal Art

30630 • Spring 2010
Meets W 700pm-1000pm EPS 1.128
show description

 

 

ANT 393  (30630)   LIN 393 (41280)       Stross       W 7-10    in EPS 1.128  

 

SPEECH PLAY AND VERBAL ART

 
Office EPS 2.204   office hours  TTH 11-noon & by appointment

 

Spring 2010 

 

http://www.utexas.edu/courses/stross/ant393_files/ant393d.htm

 


 

This course is a graduate seminar on speech play and verbal art within a framework of the anthropological study of language.   Speech play, associated with the ludic impulse common in humanity, and verbal art, emphasizing an association with the aesthetic, are overlapping categories of performance involving manipulations of the form component of the speech act, and both could be subsumed under the label speech play.   Speech play is generally found in more informal contexts while verbal art occurs in more formal contexts. 

 

Speech play as a manifestation of culture in discourse, sometimes trivialized in the literature, can also be seen as central to the anthropological enterprise of documenting, translating, and understanding both culture and discourse, because in use it highlights boundaries, points out limits, and illuminates competence conventions derived from patterns of performance.  It is particularly important in providing a useful methodological perspective from which to look through the window that separates one’s own culture from that of an other.

 

We will commence with Dell Hymes’ formulation of speech act components and functions, using it as a basis for investigating speech play and verbal art.  

 

No prior training in linguistics is assumed, expected, or required. 

 

 

REQUIREMENTS

  1) Class preparation and appropriate class participation (including reading articles, chapters, and or books; and being class facilitator for 1 or more class assignment discussions, depending on the size of the class)

 

  2) Three short papers based on projects assigned during the semester; deadlines to be found on the syllabus (5-10 pages each)

 

 

 

 

TEXTBOOK

            Joel Sherzer    (2002)  Speech Play and Verbal Art.   Univ of Texas Press. 

ISBN 0-292-77769-8  (pbk)  

 

 

              OUTLINE OF COURSE TOPICS AND READING ASSIGNMENTS

 

Week 1           Ethnography of Speaking – the Speech Act   [1/20]         

                        Language, discourse, performance, message, words and meanings, speech act

 

ASSIGNMENT (to be read for week 2):   Read  Hymes – the ethnography of Speaking.   Come to class prepared to discuss this article.

                        Write the first paper – your linguistic profile featuring speech play and verbal art,

                        and bring it to class

 

Week 2           Speech Play and Verbal Art  -  Definitions  & Introduction  [1/27]

                        Ludic and aesthetic impulses, meanings of play; What is speech play? 

What is verbal art?  Who engages in speech play; verbal art?  When? 

Where? Why?

                       

                        ASSIGNMENT (to be read for week 3)   Read Sherzer  Chs. 1 Introduction,

and 2  The Grammar of Play and the play of grammar;   J. Sherzer

"Talking backwards in Cuna..." 

 

Week 3           Recording, Transcription, and Translation  - notational conventions,

rules of the code  [2/3]

                        How does one infer the rules of the code?

Providing context and outlining cultural presuppositions?   

                        What is context - as distinct from setting and scene?

 

                        ASSIGNMENT (to be read for week 4)  Read Sherzer  Ch. 3  Forms of

Speech Play in Context

 

Week 4           Forms of Speech Play in Context   (Catalog of genres)  [2/10]

                        What is genre?  Categories and classification.  

 

                        ASSIGNMENT  (for week 5)   Read Sherzer  Ch. 4  From Speech Play to

Verbal Art.

 

Week 5           From Speech Play to Verbal Art   [2/17]

                        How do these classes of speech relate to one another?

 

                        ASSIGNMENT   (for week 6) Read Sherzer  Ch. 5   Contexts for Speech Play

 

Week 6           Contexts for Speech Play  [2/24]

                        Participants, Goals,  Messages, Settings.

 

                        ASSIGNMENT:  Write second paper and bring it to class for week 7.  

Also think about ways  that social segmentation (i.e. differences, such as

race, class, age)  can be seen manifested in speech play and verbal art.  

Read  Stross, Metaphor in the speech play of Tzeltal children.

 

Week 7           Social Segmentation and Speech Play (race, class, age)   [3/3]

                        What correlations can be made between forms (and functions) of speech play

and social differentiation (grouping)?

 

                        ASSIGNMENT (due week 8)  read intro chapter of one of the following books,

or some equivalent, and come prepared to discuss it in class.

            Geoffrey Miller, The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution

of Human Nature       

Geoffrey Miller, Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior

Matt Ridley, The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature  

 

Week 8           Social Segmentation and Speech Play  (gender and evolution)  [3/10]

                        How does gender figure into the evolution of speech play?  

What gender distinctions are evident with respect to different kinds or

                        genres of speech play? 

 

                        ASSIGNMENT – to be determined

 

(Spring break  3/15-20)

 

Week 9           Learning and Memory    [3/24]

                        How does speech play relate to learning and memory?  What genres of

speech play are specifically related to learning

                        (e.g. acronyms as mnemonic devices, ABC’s as sung)?

 

                        ASSIGNMENT -   read Stross, “Humor in a Tzeltal Ritual Formula”, 

                        To be determined.

 

Week 10         Humor  in Speech Play    [3/31]

                        What makes something funny, or humorous?   Are there different kinds

of  “funny”  (e.g. nb. That one may be supposed to groan at puns,

go silent when contemplating poetry, laugh at jokes, etc.).  What does humor

do for humans?  What does laughter do for humans?

 

                        ASSIGNMENT-  read Stross, “The language of Zuyua”,  Abrahams  “Playing

the dozens.”  Journal of American Folklore 75:209-220,

                        E. Ojo Arewa & A. Dundes 1964.  Proverbs and the ethnography of

speaking folklore.   American Anthropologist 77(6) 70-85)

 

Week 11         Social Control  in Speech Play   (power, rulership, solidarity,

group membership)  [4/7]

                        What is social control?   How is it accomplished?  What kinds of power are

there?  What is a pecking order?  How does speech play figure into social

control, power, solidarity, and/or group membership?

 

                        ASSIGNMENT  read P.D. Beuchat 1957 “Riddles in Bantu.”  African

Studies 16:133-149,  W. Bright  1990.  “ With one lip, with two lips.” 

Language 66:437-452.

 

Week 12         Aesthetic Pleasure in Speech Play / Verbal Art  (expressing, hearing, feeling,

                        & evaluating)  [4/14]

From Speech Play to Integral Part of the Language -  (e.g. animal names for )

 

                        ASSIGNMENT  Write third assigned paper and bring to Class on week 13,

be prepared to discuss it in class

 

Week 13         Performance (setting, performers, audience )  [4/21]

                        How does the competence - performance distinction affect speech play and

its study?  What new dimensions are added to the study of speech play by considering performance factors?

                        What performance factors are important to consider?

 

                        ASSIGNMENT -  read Stross,  “Creativity in Song”;    Levman,

“Genesis of Music and Language”. 

 

Week 14         Music & Song   (expressing, listening, feeling, & evaluating)    [4/28]

                        Song lyrics,  Whistled speech,  limits placed on these genres?

 

                        ASSIGNMENT:   watch this video, and think of ideas for other videos or

kinds of video that could be made to illustrate through speech play some of

the other institutional encounters that one might have (e.g. in court, at the

doctor’s office, at school, etc.) and come prepared to discuss this during

week 15.

 

Week 15                   Institutional Encounters     [5/5]

                        What are institutions?  Which ones generate speech play about them?  

What sorts of speech play are encouraged or permitted within the framework

of a given institution?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Background Reading

 

BOOKS

 

Mahadev Apte  1985.  Humor and laughter:   An Anthropological Approach.

 

Keith Basso.  1979.  Portraits of the Whiteman.    

 

Richard Bauman and Joel Sherzer (eds.),  Explorations In The Ethnography of  Speaking

 

Victoria Bricker  1984  Ritual Humor in Highland Chiapas

 

Christie Davies 19990.  Ethnic Humor Around the World:  A Comparative Analysis.

 

Peter Farb  Word Play 

 

Johan Huitzinga  1955.  Homo Ludens:  Study of the Play Element in Culture

 

Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara, ed.  1976.  Speech Play: Research and Resources for Studying Linguistic Creativity

 

John McDowell  1979.  Children’s Riddling.

 

Sammons, Kay and Joel Sherzer (eds.) 2000.  Translating Native Latin American Verbal Art: Ethnopoetics and Ethnography of Speaking.

 

Joel Sherzer  1990-   Verbal Art in San Blas

 

Joel Sherzer  1983   Kuna Ways of Speaking.  

 

Tedlock, Dennis  1983.  The Spoken Word and the Work of Interpretation.

 

 

ARTICLES

 

Dundes et al.  1972.  “The strategy of Turkish boys’ verbal dueling.” In Directions in Sociolinguistics: The Ethnography of communication, J. Gumperz and Dell Hymes, eds.

 

Douglas, Mary 1968.  “Jokes.”  Man 3:361-376.

 

Hockett, Charles F.  1973.  “Jokes”  in  Studies in Linguistics:  In Honor of George L. Trager,  M. Estellie Smith, ed.

 

Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara, and Joel Sherzer.  1976.  “Introduction.”  In: Speech Play: Research and Resources for Studying Linguistic Creativity, B. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, ed.,  Philadelphia : U. of Pennsylvania Press, pp. 1-16. 

 

McDowell, John  1985.  “Verbal dueling.” In Handbook of Discourse Analysis. Vol. 3, Discourse and Dialogue,  Teun A Van Dijk, ed, pp. 203-211.

 

Sanches, Mary, and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett.  1976.  “Children's traditional speech play and child language.”  In: Speech Play: Research and Resources for Studying Linguistic Creativity, B. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, ed., Philadelphia: U. of Pennsylvania Press, pp. 65-110

 

Seeger, Anthony.  1986.  “Oratory is spoken, myth is told, and song is sung.”  In  Native South American Discourse, J. Sherzer and G. Urban, eds, pp. 59-82

Sherzer, Joel   1976.  “Play languages:  Implications for (Socio) Linguistics“    In: Speech Play: Research and Resources for Studying Linguistic Creativity, B. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, ed.,  Philadelphia : U. of Pennsylvania Press, pp

 

Sherzer, Joel  1993.  “On puns, comebacks, verbal dueling, and play languages: Speech play in Balinese verbal life.   Language in Society 22:217-233.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following information comes from official UT policies

Please, read carefully

Academic Integrity

Each student in this course is expected to abide by the University Code of Academic Integrity. No plagiarized work will be accepted. Sources consulted from books, journals, or web pages should be acknowledged. Any work submitted by a student in this course for academic credit will be the student's own work. Papers bought online or otherwise plagiarized will receive a zero.

You are encouraged to study together and to discuss concepts covered in lecture and sessions. However, this permissible cooperation should never involve one student having possession of a copy of all or part of work done by someone else, in the form of an e mail, an e-mail attachment file, a diskette, or a hard copy. 

Should copying occur, both the student who copied work from another student and the student who gave material to be copied will both automatically receive a zero for the assignment. Penalty for violation of this Code can also be extended to include failure of the course and University disciplinary action. [During examinations, you must do your own work. Talking or discussion, comparing notes, and copying from others are not permitted during examinations. Any such behavior will result in failure of the exam, and may lead to failure of the course and University disciplinary action.]

Accommodations for students with disabilities

In compliance with the UT Austin policy and equal access laws, I am available to discuss appropriate academic accommodations that may be required for student with disabilities. Requests for academic accommodations are to be made during the first three weeks of the semester, except for unusual circumstances, so arrangements can be made. Students who require special accommodations need to get a letter that documents the disability from the Services for Students with Disabilities area of the Office of the Dean of Students (471-6259- voice or 471-4641 – TTY for users who are deaf or hard of hearing).  This letter should be presented to the instructor in each course at the beginning of the semester and accommodations needed should be discussed at that time.  Five business days before an exam the student should remind the instructor of any testing accommodations that will be needed. See Web site below for more information:   http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/ssd/providing.php

University Electronic Mail Notification Policy

(Use of E-mail for Official Correspondence to Students)

All students should become familiar with the University's official e-mail student notification policy.  It is the student's responsibility to keep the University informed as to changes in e-mail address.  It is recommended that e-mail be checked daily, but at a minimum, twice per week. The complete text of this policy and instructions for updating your e-mail address are available at

http://www.utexas.edu/its/policies/emailnotify.html.

In this course e-mail will be used to communicate with students. You are responsible for checking your e-mail regularly for class announcements. 

The University of Texas Honor Code

The core values of The University of Texas at Austin are learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity, and responsibility. Each member of the University is expected to uphold these values through integrity, honesty, trust, fairness, and respect toward peers and community.

Religious Holidays

It is the policy of The University of Texas at Austin that you must notify each of your instructors at least fourteen days prior to the classes scheduled on dates you will be absent to observe a religious holy day. If you miss an examination, work assignment, or other project due to the observance of a religious holyday you will be given an opportunity to complete the work missed within a reasonable time after the absence. 

The instructor reserves the right to amend this syllabus

 

 

ANT 325M • Lang In Culture And Society

30495 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 1100-1200 UTC 3.110
show description

Fall 2009
LANGUAGE IN CULTURE and SOCIETY
Introduction to the Study of Language in Culture and Society

ANT 325m  (30495),   LIN 373 (41535)
MWF  11-12   UTC  3.110

Instructor:   Brian Stross
     bstross@mail.utexas.edu
Office Hours  WF  12-1    & by appointment  in  EPS 2.204

Teaching Assistant:  Amber O’Connor
aoconnor@austin.rr.com
Office Hours TBA

Web Page:   http://www.utexas.edu/courses/stross/ant325m_files/ant325m.htm
Instead of Blackboard, this course will utilize the current webpage (above) along with e-mail for syllabus, notices and student support
FINAL EXAM  -  Wednesday, December 9, 7:00–10:00 pm.  location TBA
THIS SITE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION UNTIL 8/24/09
 
 

Description  -   This course is an upper division introduction to topics in linguistic anthropology.  Languages, like other communication systems, are adapted to new and different environments in which they are spoken, creating and maintaining social realities, reproducing cultural traditions, and conveying messages in a complex interplay of new and old information, sometimes necessary and sometimes frivolous, packaging meaning in various ways that generally conform to standards that can be articulated,  As speech is an important mode of human communication, we start by outlining basic concepts allowing for the description of linguistic form,  In the end we will focus as much on language use as on language structure, and in the process we will examine various expressive speech genres, metaphors that we live by, the power of language, gender preferences in communication, language learning, proverbs, jokes, and multilingualism, among other topics. We will examine these forms, processes, and contexts in an effort to deliver the tools necessary for describing and understanding the multiple ways in which language, culture, and society interact.

Requirements / Exams
The course grade will be based on two midterm exams (30% each) and one final exam (40%).  No penalty for one unexcused absence, but further such absences can lower one’s course grade by two and a half percentage points for each instance.  Exams include information from lectures, readings, and films. The final is comprehensive.  Students who receive a grade of ‘A’ on both midterms have the option of writing a 15 page research paper approved by the instructor in lieu of the final exam.

Texts:      Required:   Susan Blum    2009.  (ed.)  Making sense of Language.  Oxford  

Rationale for the Course Organization

WEEKS    Film info may be revised   

WEEK 1. 8/26, 8/28
    Introduction -  Culture, Language, Communication, Meaning  (notes )
            Topics:  culture, communication, language, ( semiotics and the theory of signs),
(sociolinguistics), ethnography of speaking, discourse, reality and its social construction,
the speech act and its functions,                       
Homework:  Read  Blum 1-4,  seeing the other (click on this URL)
Optional Further Background:  The Silent Language (Hall), 
Portraits of the Whiteman  (Basso)
Film on Friday  8/29   A World of Differences   (Audio-Visual library video 
30 min.),
           
WEEK 2. 8/31, 9/2, 9/4
   Message Form -  Sounds, Words, Sentences
            Topics: What are (phonemes, morphemes, lexemes, sentences; meaning),
                        Homework:   read Blum 5-8; 
revisit the phoneme;
                                    study this notes link for the midterm exam.    
            Film on Friday  9/5   Secrets of Body Language  (100 minutes  ½ shown)

WEEK 3. 9/9,  9/11
    Message Form II  -   More Sounds, Words, Sentence
Topics:   Manual language, nonverbal communication.  Documentary film.* 
IM-ing.  Tweeting
Homework: ,   Read Blum 9-12;  read online essay on documentary  film         
                Film on Friday    9/12   Do You Speak American: Up North

WEEK 4. 9/14, 9/16, 9/18
   Language and Cultural Meaning  -  The Expression of Meaning
            Topics: linguistic determinism/Sapir-Whorf, Moonhawk on Sapir-Whorf,
            lexical and semantic components, classification, recoding,
markedness/implicational universals, fuzzy sets and focal meanings,
cultural presuppositions, language as a theory of reality, metaphor and metonym,
                        Homework: read Hotchkiss, Children & Conduct (e-mailed PDF),
            Frake, How to Ask for a Drink (e-mailed PDF)
             Film on Friday  9/19     Do You Speak American:  Down South

WEEK 5.  9/21,  9/23, 9/25
    Contextual Components:  Ethnography of Speaking
            Topics:   Evolution of language (autonomous, non-autonomous;
                         rhetorical style;  (involvement vs non-involvement)
Participants: Power and solidarity, performance, respect,
            gossip
                        Homework:  Read Ervin-Tripp, Interaction of language, topic, listener
(e-mailed PDF),
        Read Youssouf et al, Greetings in the desert (e-mailed PDF),
                 First Midterm Exam on Friday  9/26 

WEEK 6. 9/28, 9/30, 10/2
    Communicative Interactions      
            Topics: interactional synchrony;  conversational structure, conversational postulates,
                        (directives and responses), routines (greetings, apologies), politeness, 
            social networks,* networking,* verbal art*
Homework: read Blum 23-25,
                Film on Friday  10/3   Do You Speak American:  Out West

WEEK 7. 10/5, 10/7, 10/9
   Societal Segmentation and Linguistic Variation: Language and Class
            Topics: social stratification (class, caste);  phonology, morphology, syntax
                        Homework: read Blum 26-29 , and  Labov (see E-mail).
            Film on Friday 10/10:  American Tongues  (dept. video, 56 min)  


WEEK 8. 10/12, 10/14, 10/16  
   Societal Segmentation: Language and Race: 
Topics:  Black English in the US, the structure of  AAVE,
             settings and contexts.
                        Homework: read  Blum 30-34
    Film on Friday 10/16    To Make the Balance  (Audio-Visual library, 33 min)


9.  10/19, 10/21, 10/23
   Societal Segmentation: Language and Gender
            Topics: :  English and English Speakers: Pronunciation, intonation,
grammatical variation, vocabulary, conversational style, gender bias
Cross-Cultural: power, complexity of form, linguistic marking of
gender, gender-exclusive vs preference patterns, linguistic and stylistic preferences, images of gender in linguistic form.
                        Homework: read Blum 35-37 
                Film on Friday 10/23    Gender Issues 

WEEK 10. 10/26, 10/28 ,  10/30
    Language Learning  and Language change
            Topics: language acquisition, LAD,  rule vs. rote, sequences in
                        sounds, grammar, vocabulary, speech socialization, change
(instructional strategies).
            feral children (1, 2), 
                        Homework: read Blum 38-40,
(Are there "bad" words)
            Second Midterm Exam on Friday 10/30:

WEEK 11. 11/2, 11/4, 11/6
    Acquisition of Communicative Competence
Topics: Learning communicative styles (functional categories,
                        politeness, expressing feelings, disputing), learning status and
                        role, learning the rules of conversation (turn taking, affirmations,
                        narration), speech play & verbal art, gossip (see week 5),
                        Homework: read:  Blum 13-15, 20, 21
Watch: learning from advertising -  think what can be learned from this?.         
Film on Friday 11/6   Teaching Sign Language to the Chimpanzee Washoe 
(48 min)
                                       
WEEK 12. 11/9, 11/11, 11/13
     Societal Multilingualism
            Topics:  linguistic diversity, language standardization, language  minorities,
                        code switching, attitudes towards other languages and speakers,
                        bilingual education, indigenous/native languages, Creole languages.     
                        Homework: read Blum 16-19, 22
           Film on Friday 11/14:  I'm British, but... (dept. video, 30 min.)  

WEEK 13.  11/16, 11/18, 11/20     
    Individual Multilingualism
            Topics:  language change (contact, innovation), language use in
                        bilingual speech communities, bilingual conversational strategies,
                        language revitalization, language shift,  interethnic miscommunication.
                        Homework:  read Blum 41-45; 
Think about an encounter you've had recently in an Educational,           
Media, Legal, or Medical institutional framework and come prepared
to discuss it in class.   Watch video at this URL, and this URL
Film on Friday  11/20:   First Contact   (dept. video 54 min.)

WEEK 14.   11/23, 11/25  (Thanksgiving holiday 11/26-28)
     Language and Institutional Encounters
            Topics:  language labels and status, institutional contexts.   Literacy
                        (education, health, law, the military).
        Homework:  Watch the video at this link (“Spin”) and come to
class prepared to discuss the language ideology that it reveals.
                        Rewrite your lecture notes as an aid to study for the final exam.  
    
WEEK 15.   11/30, 12/2, 12/4
      Language and Institutional Encounters 2
            Topics: language ideology and institutions -  the media ;  Review of semester

                      

Final Exam will be held at scheduled time (Final is Wednesday, December 9, 7:00–10:00 pm.
 Location To Be Announced).  (sample final exam)

The course grade will be based on two midterm exams (30% each) and one final exam (40%).  The exams will cover lectures, reading assignments, and films.   Participation is appreciated, attendance is expected, of course, and can affect your course grade as well.  

 

The following books will be useful to those who would like to pursue
some of the course topics in more depth.

BOOK RESOURCES

                        Keith Basso.  1979.  Portraits of the Whiteman. ISBN: 0-521-29593-9
    Deborah Tannen  1986.  That's Not What I Meant  ISBN:  0-345-34090-6
                        Deborah Tannen  1998.  The Argument Culture    
                        Nancy Bonvillain.  Language, Culture, and Communication.    
                           Joel Sherzer  2002.   Speech Play and Verbal Art. 
        Zdenek Salzmann.  2007  Language, Culture, and Society.
        Robin Lakoff  1990.   Talking Power:  The politics of Language
                                 Robert L. Young.  1999. Understanding Misunderstandings.  
                        Phil Agre     Information Studies (home page)           
S.U. Philips, S. Steele & C. Tanz.  1987.  Language, Gender & Sex
in Comparative Perspective. 
 

VIDEO RESOURCES

That's Not What I Meant   (AV library video  VIDCASS 9706 )

The Human Animal – Language of the Body (Desmond Morris) 





INTERNET RESOURCES

WEBSITES  (for the curious)


VARIOUS Modes of Communication, how to:

Teach someone something technical   

Approach Graduate School

Make contacts and network

Organize a conference

Design effective e-mail action alerts

Find your voice

Be a leader in your field

Host a speaker


The following information comes from official UT policies
Please, read carefully
Academic Integrity
Although I encourage you to work together, you are expected to do your own work and acknowledge use of anyone else’s work or ideas. Academic dishonesty includes: (a) copying another student’s work or letting another student copy your work and (b) copying passages or ideas directly from another source and passing them off as your own; that is, without properly referencing them. When scholastic dishonesty is suspected, I am required to notify you and possibly turn the matter over to the Dean of Students office. Penalties for academic dishonesty include a failing grade on the assignment or in this course and possible expulsion form the university. If you have specific questions about these issues, contact the Office of the Dean of Students in FAC 248.  [During examinations, you must do your own work. Talking or discussion, comparing notes, and copying from others are not permitted during examinations. Any such behavior will result in failure of the exam, and may lead to failure of the course and University disciplinary action.]
Accommodations for students with disabilities
In compliance with the UT Austin policy and equal access laws, I am available to discuss appropriate academic accommodations that may be required for student with disabilities. Requests for academic accommodations are to be made during the first three weeks of the semester, except for unusual circumstances, so arrangements can be made. Students who require special accommodations need to get a letter that documents the disability from the Services for Students with Disabilities area of the Office of the Dean of Students (471-6259- voice or 471-4641 – TTY for users who are deaf or hard of hearing).  This letter should be presented to the instructor in each course at the beginning of the semester and accommodations needed should be discussed at that time.  Five business days before an exam the student should remind the instructor of any testing accommodations that will be needed. See Web site below for more information:   http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/ssd/providing.php
University Electronic Mail Notification Policy
All students should become familiar with the University's official e-mail student notification policy.  It is the student's responsibility to keep the University informed as to changes in e-mail address.  It is recommended that e-mail be checked daily, but at a minimum, twice per week. The complete text of this policy and instructions for updating your e-mail address are available at
http://www.utexas.edu/its/policies/emailnotify.html.
In this course e-mail will be used to communicate with students. You are responsible for checking your e-mail regularly for class announcements. 
The University of Texas Honor Code
The core values of The University of Texas at Austin are learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity, and responsibility. Each member of the University is expected to uphold these values through integrity, honesty, trust, fairness, and respect toward peers and community.
Religious Holidays
It is the policy of The University of Texas at Austin that you must notify each of your instructors at least fourteen days prior to the classes scheduled on dates you will be absent to observe a religious holy day. If you miss an examination, work assignment, or other project due to the observance of a religious holyday you will be given an opportunity to complete the work missed within a reasonable time after the absence. 
The instructor reserves the right to amend this syllabus



ANT 392N • Intro To Grad Ling Anthropol

30715 • Fall 2009
Meets M 500pm-800pm EPS 1.128
show description

An Anthropology Core Course, this course is an introduction to the theoretical and methodological foundations of the study of language from a sociocultural perspective. Topics discussed include linguistic, philosophical, psychological, sociological and anthropological contributions to the understanding of verbal and non-verbal communication as a social activity embedded in cultural contexts. No prior training in linguistics is presupposed. Readings include both ethnographic studies and theoretical work about language.

Recent Publications

Books:
    
2013  Brian Stross (with John Staller) Lightning in Andean South America and Mesoamerica: Pre-Colombian, Colonial, and Contemporary Perspectives.   Oxford University Press.



Chapters and Articles:

n.d.  Brian Stross  “Teaching Food, Culture, and Discourse”  In Teaching Food in Anthropology, Richard Wilk and Candice Lowe Swift (eds.) (under review)

n.d.  Brian Stross “Akhenaten’s Legacy”  Toutankhamon Magazine. (In Press)

2013  *Brian Stross  “Falsetto Voice and Observational Logic: Motivated MeaningsLanguage in Society  42(2):139-162

2013  *Brian Stross (with Thomas Zumbroich) “Cutting Old Life into New': Teeth Blackening in Western Amazonia”   Anthropos 108 (1): 53-75

2012  *Brian Stross (with Andrew McDonald) “Water Lily and Cosmic Serpent: Equivalent Conduits of the Maya Realm.Journal of Ethnobiology 32:73-106.


Reviews    

n.d.  Brian Stross (Review)  Shamans, Witches, and maya Preists: Native Religion and Ritual in Highland Guatemala.  Krystina Deuss. Ethnohistory (In Press).

Current Graduate Students

Eunice Garza – Eunice is currently writing her doctoral dissertation on the social context and communicative elements of the Plan de San Diego of South Texas and its implications for archaeology and Mexican-American Studies.

Amber O'Connor – Amber is currently writing her doctoral dissertation tentatively titled: Consuming the Maya:  An Ethography of Eating and Being in the Land of the Caste Wars.  It is about food and communication in the context of a small Yucatec speaking town in Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Information for Prospective Students

All of the linguistic anthropology faculty here at UT mentor graduate students, and there are good mentoring and interaction prospects in related disciplines in which there are anthropologists and linguists, as we all get along well, including Linguistics, Latin American Studies, African and African Diaspora Studies, Mexican-American Studies, Art History, History, Sociology, American Studies, and Geography.

A strong applicant to our graduate program is likely to have most or all of the following:

  • High GRE scores
  • A high undergraduate GPA
  • Strong letters of recommendation based on personal knowledge of the applicant
  • Research interests that are complementary to those of their chosen advisor
  • A personal statement that describes a clear research agenda and professional goals
  • Some prior research experience

Students accepted for graduate study in Anthropology at UT are typically offered a minimum of five years of funding in the form of TAships.

Once students have completed their MA, been accepted into the doctoral program and hen advanced to Ph.D. candidacy, they are encouraged to complete their Ph.D. theses within 2-4 years.

For more information:

Linguistic Anthropology

Graduate Admissions

Other Linguistic Anthropology Faculty Members in the Anthropology Department:

Elizabeth Keating

Paul Kockelman

Anthony Webster

Faculty that do Linguistic Anthropology in in other Departments:

Nora England

Patricia Epps

Ian Hancock

Danny Law

David Stuart

Anthony Woodbury

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