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DepositThe Semitic Languages

Mandaic (in the form generally described as ‘Neo-Mandaic’ or ‘Modern Mandaic’; ISO/DIS 639–3: mid) is the language of the Mandæan community, which was formerly based in Iraq and Iran (Map 26.1) but is today distributed throughout the world, principally in Europe, Australia and North America, as the result of ethnic cleansing in its homeland. Despite its long history of attestation and copious literature, it is moribund today. Even though the members of the Mandæan community, numbering perhaps 60,000 adherents, are familiar with Mandaic through their sacred literature and liturgy, only a few hundred Mandæans, located primarily in Iran, speak it as a first language. Of these, even fewer use it regularly in writing, primarily to compose the colophons that accompany manuscripts.

DepositLanguage and Labor in the Digital Humanities

This presentation addresses the opportunities and challenges of transacting digital humanities collaborative projects from the perspective of a Digital Humanities Research Designer in an academic library. While collaboration is often celebrated as a central to the success of digital humanities projects, I argue that often the language of collaboration excludes those whose work is organized by reward systems that do not include long-term projects. In this presentation, I discuss the language of digital humanities project management that, when put into practice, often replicates the academic hierarchies that DH prides itself on transcending or resisting.

DepositLanguage and the Newness of Media

How is the newness of new media constructed? Rejecting technological determinism, linguistic anthropologists understand that newness emerges when previous strategies for coordinating social interactions are challenged by a communicative channel. People experience a communicative channel as new when it enables people to circulate knowledge in new ways, to call forth new publics, to occupy new communicative roles, to engage in new forms of politics and control—in short, new social practices. Anthropologists studying media have been modifying the analytical tools that linguistic anthropologists have developed for language to uncover when and how media are understood to provide the possibilities for social change and when they are not. Taking coordination to be a vulnerable achievement, I address recent work that elaborates on the ways that linguistic anthropology segments communication to explore how a particular medium offers its own distinctive forms of authorship, circulation, storage, and audiences.

DepositApplying Theories in Language Programs

Selected Topics in Applied Linguistics: How to Choose a Theory. I offer a critical exploration of some of the conditions involved in Instructed Second Language Acquisition (ISLA), as well as of the paradoxical approaches in the theoretical questions, methods, categories, and perspectives of ISLA. The discussion proceeds with a very short overview of prevalent theories of ISLA generally. Then I add a contrastive look in more depth at only two “theories” and their possible applications in language programs. I emphasize some of the discussions in our profession concerning processing instruction, e.g. (VanPatten “Processing Instruction”) or VanPatten (“Why Explicit Knowledge Cannot Become Implicit Knowledge” ), and the multiliteracies framework, e.g. (Paesani, Allen and Dupuy). I conclude with an invitation to a set of questions we might pose to any theory, framework, or approach as we consider its efficacy and applications for our own specific contexts.

DepositPhysical Performance and the Languages of Translation

Our lack of reliable information concerning the physical and choreographic aspects of ancient tragic performance permits modern writers to construct their own imaginative re-creations of the ancient text/body relationship in a wide variety of modes. The range of ways in which texts translated or adapted from ancient tragedy are capable of suggesting performative physicalities is accordingly broad. However, we often respond to these new theatre works as if they were linguistic artefacts, as if theatre translation were merely the replacement of one counter with another in a word game played out at the level of the printed text, and relayed to an audience without the crucial corporeal intervention of breath, bone, tissue and muscle. This chapter is concerned with what physically happens in that moment when the written text of a drama is filtered and resonated and shared though the medium of an actor’s body. It is also concerned with the opportunities presented by the multiple re-versioning of Greek drama in the contemporary theatre to explore the multiple ways in which the formal qualities of dramatic text, especially poetic texts, can influence the physical life of a performance.