Hi everyone one! This is an abstract proposal that @Siri and recently sent out. If you’re interested in the topic, please email us an abstract. Contents of the email below!
The two of us have been thinking about ways to facilitate interaction between language workers, especially during this static time when we can’t do much of our real field work. Here’s a thought: how about a session at SSILA where we focus on Distance Fieldwork, and actually package our presentations in video so as to bring more people to SSILA who wouldn’t otherwise be able to travel?
As mentioned below, the plan is to submit pre-recorded, very short “lightning” talks, just five minutes each. We realize that everyone has plenty to deal with just now, but we are hopeful that even a short session could be a positive experience for all involved, without being too much of a time burden.
An organized session needs presentations, and we are hoping you might be interested in contributing a short abstract to this session. If so, two things have to happen - everyone involved has to become a member of SSILA, which can be done here:
…and you need to write a 200-word abstract for us to put into our abstract. Which is due next Friday. Please consider this!
If this session doesn’t sound like it’s for you, you may know someone who would fit into it perfectly. Please share with these people! We are especially hoping that collaborative partnerships may be interested in sharing - people who have been doing distance field work and can help others learn how to do it.
Siri and Pat
The draft text of our abstract is here:
Distant lightning: Documentation from a distance in a lightning round
Organized session, 90 minutes
Video or video conference presentations, 5 minutes each with 5 minutes of discussion
- Siri Tuttle, University of Alaska Fairbanks
- Patrick Hall, University of California Santa Barbara
Purpose: This session will highlight the creativity and ingenuity of linguistic fieldworkers in the age of social distancing. It will include presentations on distance methods for collaboration, data collection and language proficiency development. The impact of COVID-19 on linguistic field work, as on every type of research that involves social connection, has been a powerful shock to the discipline. Many projects that depend on face-to-face contact are stalled. While distance communication methods can never fully replace face-to-face contact for the development of research relationships, there are strategies that can help us continue work that is already ongoing.
It is not only COVID-19 that should push us toward greater capacity for remote research. It is obvious that we should be thinking more about protection of elder language teachers in communities that are vulnerable to infection. However, reducing the amount of travel involved in linguistic field research would also improve its environmental impact. All kinds of variables affect our solutions: the topic of the research, cost and transportability of equipment, external constraints such as local bandwidth, and accessibility to technological practice.
The social impact of this session lies both in its content and in its mode of presentation. The content has social impact because it relates directly to ethics in documentation. Sustainability for documentary linguistics, in the pandemic and recovering world, will depend on our ability to communicate across distance without endangering each other. The video format of this session will allow us to foreground the methods and results of language workers who may not be able to travel to a conference such as SSILA, but have much to say to the field of language documentation. We hope their presentations can facilitate further networking with other SSILA members. The collected videos can be made available through the SSILA website.
We hope to hear from you! Feel free to either email us or send a message through this site.