Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin offers an exceptionally diverse and comprehensive training program that is unique and unparalleled in the US. Our strength lies in our interdisciplinary approach to the teaching and applications of Linguistic Anthropology, whereby students benefit from a program grounded in sociocultural and sociolinguistic theory.
Graduate students select and combine from a broad range of expertise when developing a program of study, including:
- An ethnographically constituted, discourse-centered approach to language, culture and society;
- the close analysis of talk-in-interaction across a range of settings and contexts;
- the analysis of gesture, body comportment and semiotic uses of space;
- language endangerment and the role of the anthropologist in threatened communities;
- issues in language contact and language change;
- verbal art and the aesthetics of language production including humor, narrative and poetics;
- expressive culture, folklore and cultural studies;
- institutional language and its role in the reproduction of culture and the nation-state;
- Mayan languages and hieroglyphic writing;
- Visual Anthropology and the use of video in Linguistic Anthropology.
The Department of Anthropology at UT Austin has an exceptionally strong faculty in Social Anthropology and students in Linguistic Anthropology receive excellent instruction in sociocultural theory in their first semester in the program. Students may opt to take as many courses in the Department's five subfields as they wish. The Department also houses the The Américo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies with its focus on the expressive forms of public culture, folklore, performance and popular culture. Students in our program normally take the Center's core course as one of their required Anthropology cores.
UT Austin also has a top-ranked Department of Linguistics, where the field of Sociolinguistics figures prominently. Students in Linguistic Anthropology take courses with the Linguistics faculty who represent a comprehensive range of expertise, interests and language areas. The departments of Anthropology and Linguistics continuously build close relationships among faculty and students through social and professional activities, which include symposia, interest groups and coordinated course offerings in such areas as natural discourse, social meaning and social variation in language, the nature of speech communities and the social basis of language change.
Within Linguistic Anthropology, we have a strong commitment to providing our undergraduate and graduate students with state-of-the-art equipment for coursework, field research, and data analysis in our Multimedia Lab. Relevant faculty and courses can also be found across the University, especially in the departments of English, French-Italian, Speech Communication, and Rhetoric and Composition.
In addition, faculty and students in linguistic anthropology and sociolinguistics maintain a continuing interest in the linguistic and cultural diversity found in Texas and its adjacent areas, and students are encouraged to take advantage of the ample opportunities for fieldwork in the region.