Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Society for Linguistic Anthropology
Primary Theme: The Visual, Truth and reconciliation
Secondary Theme: Technology
Linguistic anthropology and visual culture scholarship are both deeply concerned with questions of meaning-making, signification, performativity, and representation. In recent years, linguistic anthropologists have been working to highlight the importance of studying visual culture as a crucial element in semiotic ideologies, while also arguing for the unique perspective our methods and theories can bring to media objects and processes of mediation. This panel hopes to build on burgeoning discussions in linguistic anthropology on visual culture, looking across media and modalities. This perspective foregrounds visual culture as a locus for the interplays between ideologies, materialities, aesthetics, and semiotics, focusing on the emergent, contextualized, and performative qualities of the relationships between the linguistic and the visual. Additionally, we seek to imagine new methodological contributions linguistic anthropology can make to the study of visual culture.
The papers in this panel ask how voice, register, and performance intersect with and impact the circulation and consumption of media texts. It examines how gendered and racialized identities inhere and emerge in media such as film and radio, and how production processes reveal processes of making subjects and intersubjective relations. How can our particular theoretical orientations towards topics such as subjectivity, reflexivity, remediation, and indexicality inform new understandings of multimodal and multimedia semiotics, and vice versa? How might we use the affordances and limitations of particular media to consider multimodality in new ways, so that images can be heard or so that tactile qualities can be seen? Given the explosive circulation of media objects within the twinned contexts of global capitalism and linguistic superdiversity, we believe that greater attention to these intersections is more necessary than ever. Our two discussants will each approach the papers as invitations to consider, on the one hand, what semiotic anthropology can offer analyses of visual culture and how, in turn, linguistic anthropology might benefit from greater engagement with theoretical insight from scholars of visual culture.