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Food-and-Language Methodologies: New Article in the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology

“Food and language have frequently been served up together on the same plate at the anthropological research table.” From this starting point, authors Jillian R. Cavanaugh and Kathleen Riley authored an article with collaborators Alexandra Jaffe, Christine Jourdan, Martha Karrebaek, Amy Paugh to provide a fascinating look at emerging food-and-language studies in, “What Words Bring to the Table: The Linguistic Anthropological Toolkit as Applied to the Study of Food.” This article is the second in a series on methods in linguistic anthropology that appears in the new issue of the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology available now on AnthroSource.

The article emerged from a roundtable at the 2013 AAA Annual Meeting entitled, “Food Talk as Semiotic Substance: Steps toward an Integrated Anthropology of Foodways and Discourse.” The authors identify “intriguing parallels” that link food and language and describe methods they have used in studying food and language simultaneously. Anthropologists interested in methods will particularly appreciate the discussion of “(e)merging food-and-language methodologies.” Punctuated by author reflections and contextualizing narrative, the authors provide unique insights into their use of anthropological methods in studying food and language, including participant-observation, ethnolinguistic analysis, food-oriented interviews, language socialization, collaborative transcription, and semiotic analysis of documents and media. In concluding the authors note their hopes for introducing this line of discussion:

First, broadly speaking, we hope to promote the value of looking across cultural modalities, not only language and food, but also language and a range of other expressive media. Secondly, and more specifically, we are seeking to encourage the application of linguistic anthropological and linguistic ethnographic methods and analytical tools to the study of food in order to open up new and productive terrains and topics (94).

To read the article, login to AnthroSource or click here.

Interested in more research, reviews and commentaries in the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology? Check out the new issue on AnthroSource!

AN Call for Proposals on Methods

Even with anthropology’s great diversity of fields and specializations, methods anthropologists use to plan and conduct research usually end up being identified as qualitative, quantitative or a hybrid of both. Anthropology News seeks to visit the relationship between these two methods for an upcoming thematic series on Qualitative and Quantitative Methods. Topics may include—but are not limited to—how these approaches currently are manifested in anthropological research; how they may be combined to get the most out of anthropological work; and how anthropologists use these methods to make their own contributions in interdisciplinary collaborations. AN seeks proposals that address these and other issues surrounding how anthropological research is conducted.


To participate, email a 300-word abstract and 50–100-word biosketch to AN Managing Editor Amy Goldenberg. We welcome proposals from current AAA members for In Focus commentaries, Teaching Strategies articles, Field Notes pieces, photo essays, photo features, news stories, interviews and more. Proposals for photo essays should also include up to five high resolution photographs (tiff or jpg), each with a caption and credit. Multimedia submissions are especially welcome for www.anthropology-news.org. All accepted contributions will be published online at www.anthropology-news.org for up to 1,600 words, with flexible space for supplemental artwork and other supporting files. Thematic contributions for print AN will be determined based on when completed In Focus contributions of 1,100–1,300 words in length are submitted.

Selected authors will be notified of their status in early February and full articles will be due March 1.

Proposal deadline: January 13
Early submissions are encouraged.


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