Special events

In addition to the welcome reception on Thursday night, and the Saturday night party, we are pleased to present several other exciting special events during NWAV 48!

[ Jump to: Signing Black in America film premiere | Linguistic Data Consortium’s data clinic | Undergraduate research celebration | COSWL Pop-up Mentoring | Sunday winery outing ]

Signing Black in America: The Story of Black ASL film premiere

Friday lunch break
Free lunch provided by the Language & Life Project

Join the Language & Life Project for the premiere screening of their new film Signing Black in America, along with a panel discussion.

Film description:
While African American Language is the most widely recognized ethnic variety of English in the world, the use of American Sign Language (ASL) by Black Americans has been largely ignored or dismissed as part of an assumed ASL system uniformly used by the deaf community in the United States. But ASL, like any language, may show robust diversity, including traits associated with Black Americans.

Signing Black in America, produced by the Language & Life Project of North Carolina State University (with Walt Wolfram, Executive Producer), is the first documentary to highlight the development of Black American Sign Language. Based on extensive interviews with Black signers, linguistic experts, interpreters, natural conversations, and artistic performances by Black ASL users, it documents the development and description of this unique ethnic variety of ASL. Many of the same conditions that gave rise to the development of spoken African American language affected the development of Black ASL—residential, educational, and social segregation along with the internal development of an autonomous cultural community indexing black identity. At the same time, deaf African Americans had contact with the spoken African American Language community, borrowing sign language analogs of unique spoken-language African American expressions.

Different uses of space, directional movement, and facial expression are exemplified by Black ASL users, including an expanded perimeter for hand movement, the differential placement of hands and their directional trajectory, the use of two-handed vs. one-handed signs, facial expressions, and borrowing from spoken African American Language leading to a variety of ASL that is an analog of the variety used in spoken African American Language. The Black Deaf Community is now embracing the notion of Black ASL as a symbol of solidarity and agency in constructing ethnolinguistic identity.

Following the presentation of the documentary, a panel discussion of the film will include the following participants:

Ceil Lucas, Professor Emerita, Gallaudet University
Lucas is a pioneer in research on variation in ASL, and the author of many books and articles about language variation in ASL, as well as an Associate Producer of Signing Black in America. She has led several research projects on the development and description of Black ASL and is a co-author of The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL: Its History and Structure.

Joseph Hill, Rochester Institute of Technology
Hill is a professor at Rochester Institute of Technology and an Associate Producer of Signing Black in America. He has done primary research on Black ASL and is the co-author of The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL: Its History and Structure, in addition to other research articles on the nature and development of Black ASL.

Danica Cullinan, North Carolina State University
Cullinan is an award-winning producer who serves with Neal Hutcheson as the co-producer and co-director of Talking Black in America as well as Signing Black in America. Her extensive experience with various venues of media video production has given her insight into the logistical and editing challenges of producing a documentary such as Signing Black in America.

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LDC Data Clinic

Saturday lunch break
Free lunch provided by the Linguistic Data Consortium

Join the Linguistic Data Consortium for a workshop on best practices in corpus creation.

Data clinic description:
Students, early career researchers, or anyone newly facing the challenge of corpus creation are invited to the LDC Data Clinic at a special lunch session on Saturday, October 12. Enjoy lunch provided by the Consortium while LDC staff reviews the dos and don’ts of data collection, corpus preparation and resource distribution. Immediately following a short talk, participants can bring their questions, research problems and the like for an individual consultation.

The Linguistic Data Consortium is an open consortium of universities, libraries, corporations and research laboratories hosted at the University of Pennsylvania since 1992 that creates and distributes linguistic resources for language-related education, research and technology development. The LDC Catalog contains over 800 curated holdings in more than 90 languages and is recognized as a trustworthy data repository under the CoreTrustSeal certification established by the ISCU World Data System and the Data Seal of Approval. This means that the Catalog meets a series of high standards regarding data access, rights management, curation and archival storage.

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Recognizing undergraduate student research at NWAV

With support from Reed College and the journal Lifespans & Styles: Undergraduate Papers in Sociolinguistics, we are excited to celebrate the many contributions to the study of language variation and change that are made by undergraduate students and researchers. Friday afternoon (October 11) will feature a special reception to honor the work of undergraduates.

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COSWL pop-up mentoring

NWAV48 will host a Pop-Up Mentoring event as part of the conference program sponsored by LSA’s Committee on the Status of Women in Linguistics. Pop-Up Mentoring will take place on Friday, October 11, from 10:10am – 12:10pm (link to Sched) and again on Saturday, October 12, from 1:30pm – 3:10pm (link to Sched). Registration for PUMP@NWAV will close on Sunday, October 6, to allow us time to match up mentors and mentees. Please consider signing up as a mentor or a mentee. Mentors are especially appreciated: this is a low-commitment and high reward event.

What is the Pop-Up Mentoring Project?
The Pop-Up Mentoring Program (PUMP) is a series of events that travel around from conference to conference, giving anyone who is interested a chance to have a brief meeting with a mentor outside of their official support system. Mentors and mentees are paired by a PUMP coordinator based on shared interests for a one-time, no-strings-attached mentoring session. The event is open to all, regardless of gender or career stage, and the purpose of the mentoring sessions is to help more junior colleagues with a variety of potential problems and questions that arise in a professional context, such as work/life balance, minority status, and graduate or job applications. These events have proved popular and helpful for everyone involved. PUMP events are open to all, regardless of gender or career stage.

Why participate in a PUMP event?
Mentees report that it has been extremely valuable to meet with someone outside of their department to whom they can pose questions they feel they cannot discuss with their official mentors. Mentors report how enriching it has been to become familiar with a broader context in which to examine the field and their own official mentees’ experiences.

Click here to sign up to be a mentee.
Click here to sign up to be a mentor.
For additional information about the program, click here.

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Sunday winery outing

Although the official conference ends on Saturday night, for participants who wish to remain in Eugene on Sunday, we are organizing a group trip to a local winery, Silvan Ridge, from 1:20pm-5:15pm.

The Silvan Ridge vineyard is a beautiful, informal spot for wine tasting and picnicking. You are encouraged to bring your own snacks with you! There are many covered and outdoor tables for use (no picnic blankets required).

There is an option to sign up for transportation to the winery during registration (cost: $5). If you do not sign up for transportation during registration, you will be able to sign up during the conference as long as space allows! The bus will pick up from the conference site at 1pm and return at 5pm. It is about a ~30 minute drive to the winery. (Note that the $5 only covers the bus ride, not anything purchased at the winery.)

If you are interested in attending but have different transportation needs (e.g., need to get to the airport earlier), let us know if you need assistance making alternative transportation arrangements and we may be able to help facilitate.

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