The Michicagoan graduate conference organized by graduate students in the Linguistic Anthropology program is an annual interdisciplinary event that fosters intellectual exchange between graduate students and faculty in anthropology, linguistics, and area studies from the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago. The event is free and open to the public.
The Michicagoan conference is part of a broader project of intellectual exchange between the University of Michigan and University of Chicago Linguistic Anthropology programs, which are widely considered to be the most influential in the field. Over the past ten years the conference has provided essential professionalization for hundreds of graduate student presenters and organizers. In addition to professional development, the conference also functions as a laboratory for the presentation and discussion of cutting-edge research in its early stage. Graduate students present papers while faculty-moderated panels and audience members participate in critical discussions of the work. These informal discussions serve as a venue for lively debates that drive scholarly innovation. Paper presentations have spanned the globe with research in Europe, Africa, Asia, North America and Latin America.
The conference focuses on the social and cultural analysis of semiotic forms centering on language, providing graduate students with an attentive forum in which to present their work and have it discussed by faculty and students. The conference promotes ongoing scholarly exchange and collaboration among students and faculty of the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago. Michicagoan is is held in Ann Arbor on alternating years and consists of two days of panel presentations, which include student papers, faculty comment and moderation, and audience discussion. Each year a keynote speaker is also invited to present work and take part in conference events. The conference organizers welcome work from graduate students at all stages and encourage participants to submit formal conference papers as well as to present their proposals and research reports. Commentators for each panel are drawn from participating faculty.