Photo caption: West Hall, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Art Credit A. Lagman 2022)

The Michicagoan Graduate Student Conference, which focuses on linguistic anthropology and related disciplines, is now a well-established tradition held in alternate years at the University of Michigan and University of Chicago. Over the past 23 years, the Michicagoan has provided an exciting and lively forum for interdisciplinary intellectual exchange. The event is free and open to the public.

The Michicagoan provides graduate students at all stages in their careers with an informed, attentive venue in which to present their work and have it discussed by faculty and students from both sponsoring universities. Since 2006, the conference has also included graduate students and faculty from other regional universities such as Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Iowa, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Indiana University. Participants are encouraged to submit formal conference papers, whether drafts of articles, abbreviated dissertation proposals, or reports on research-in-progress. Commentators for each panel are drawn from participating faculty, who receive the materials in advance and prepare a response paper thematizing a cluster of presentations. In addition to providing a venue for professionalization and interchange between graduate students and faculty from major Midwestern programs, the Michicagoan thus facilitates the long-term collaboration of regional scholars on innovative research into key topics in the social sciences.

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, the University of Chicago, and beyond. (Text Credit: Michicagoan 2021 “About” Webpage)

Past Conferences:

2021 “Making Authority, Multimodally” / University of Chicago
Keynote: Lilly Irani

2019 “Intangibilities” / University of Michigan
Keynote: Liz Gunner

2018 “Significations of Modality and Value” / University of Chicago
Keynote: Hirokazu Miyazaki

2017 “The Writing’s on the Wall” / University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Keynote: Friederike Lüpke

2016 “Technologies of Semiosis” / University of Chicago
Keynote: John Durham Peters

2015 “Bad Habits” / University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Keynote: Winfried Nöth

2014 “Coordinating Continuities: Language and Sameness Across Time and Space” / University of Chicago
Keynote: Penelope Eckert

2013 “Nice Form: Aesthetics, Poetics, Techniques” / University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Keynote: Annelise Riles

2012 “Defaults and Difference” / University of Chicago
Keynote: Elizabeth Povinelli

2011  “The Trouble With Doubles” / University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

2010  “Linguistic Terrains: Landscapes & Socioscapes” / University of Chicago

2009  “Ambiguity – Confusion – Creativity – Play” / University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

2008 “Linguistic Worlds in Collision” / University of Chicago

2007  “Documents and Inscriptions” / University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

2006  “Language Trust” / University of Chicago
Keynote: Theodore Porter

2005  “Voice and Inequality” / University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

2004  “Evidence, Authority, Legitimation” / University of Chicago
Keynote: Amanda Anderson

2003  “Politics, Performance, and the Sign” / University of Michigan Ann-Arbor

2002  “New Medias, New Publics” / University of Chicago
Keynote: Vicente Rafael

2001  “Politics and Poetics” / University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

2000 “Anthropologies and Histories of Language” / University of Chicago
Keynote: Michael Warner

1999 Inaugural Conference / University of Michigan-Ann Arbor