A Sandrizona Retrospective: From the Desert to the Ocean and Back Again

Authors: , ,


Anthropology is a practice of learning from context, of being a student of circumstance with an eye for meaningful patterns. Linguistic anthropologists often point to how language is central to such meaning making and therefore to the anthropological enterprise—the subfield’s minoritarian status notwithstanding. The challenges involved in learning the craft of linguistic anthropology continue to expand as different schools of thought intertwine, from a well recognized grounding in semiotics to variationist and sociocultural linguistics, conversation and discourse analysis, ethnomethodology, gesture and kinesics, visual analysis, and dynamic traditions in language documentation and revitalization. These frameworks provide tools for contextualizing language use and elucidating the powerful social and political work it does in people’s everyday lives. As graduate students at the University of Arizona (Stinnett and Taha) and the University of California, San Diego (Peacock), we wanted to create a forum that would allow us to openly explore this complexity and hone skills related to fieldwork, data collection and analysis, and public presentation of results. Beginning in the spring semester of 2009, we established an event to do just that. Under the portmanteau of "Sandrizona," this workshop-conference continued through ten iterations over the course of eight years, as it alternated between the UCSD and UA campuses and drew students from a variety of language-focused disciplines. The purpose of this essay is to reflect on the founding, organization, and history of Sandrizona as a student-centered initiative. Its development over the years also offers a window onto the changing contours and priorities of linguistic anthropology itself.


How to Cite: Taha, M. C. , Stinnett, A. & Peacock, E. A. (2017) “A Sandrizona Retrospective: From the Desert to the Ocean and Back Again”, Arizona Anthropologist. 28(0).