Language Variation & Change workshop

November 18, 2022 | 3:30PM
Rosenwald Hall 301

The Workshop on Language Variation and Change will be meeting this Friday from 15:30-17:00 in Rosenwald, Rm. 301. This week, we will be hearing from Dozandri Mendoza, a student from UC Santa Barbara, regarding "Feeling language in the nightclub: Proprioception in linguistic analysis and the semio-somatic vigilance of trans life".

Drawing on ethnographic observations from a concert for trans artist Villano Antillano in San Juan, Puerto Rico, this talk develops a proprioceptive approach to linguistic analysis drawing from performance and dance ethnography (Khubchandani, 2020; Sklar, 1999). I will present a multimodal discourse analysis of the concert venue’s advertisement and reception of Villana’s concert alongside my own autoethnographic account of an interaction with a club bouncer. I use this data to argue how a felt and proprioceptive-based lens on linguistic analysis can illuminate how trans people – especially those that also navigate racialized and colonial positionalities – have to constantly contend with what I call a semio-somatic vigilance. I build on Barrett (2021)’s theory of indexical disjuncture to think through how gender non-conforming embodiment and self-fashioning become rendered incongrous within the confines of a traditionally cisheteronormative nightlife space. While indexical disjuncture can be an important form of queer resistance and cultural production, I highlight how it can also be a carceral mechanism to maintain the material heterogeneity of a space through violent means of exclusion. By attenuating to the felt or what Harkness (2017) calls the closed-circuit of semiosis, I offer recommendations on how linguists can incorporate the proprioceptive to map out and theorize interactional modes of survival for trans of color/colonial subjects.

​This talk will be both in-person and on Zoom, so follow the link below if you are unable to make it to Room 301: