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Melissa Harris Perry at AAA 2016
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Talking Politics: Anthropologists and Linguists Analyze the 2020 Election

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October 9, 2020

Featuring Adam Hodges, Michael Lempert, Norma Mend

Zoom (register on eventbrite,


Graduate students at the University of Chicago and University of Colorado Boulder announce Talking Politics: Anthropologists and Linguists Analyze the 2020 Election, through December 11, 2020

Anthropologists and Linguists Analyze the 2020 Election brings together anthropology and linguistics experts to share their distinctive analytic perspectives on political communication in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. Organized by graduate students in the University of Chicago's Center for the Study of Communication and Society (CSCS) and Linguistic Anthropology Lab in the Department of Anthropology and the University of Colorado Boulder's Program in Culture, Language, and Social Practice (CLASP), this interdisciplinary forum invites the public to experience and learn how language and culture shape real-world politics.

Talking Politics will engage the public through a series of four workshops featuring scholars from Stanford University, Brandeis University, the University of California Los Angeles, the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, and the University of Colorado. Workshops will be held throughout October and November 2020, culminating in a final colloquium on December 11th.

Each workshop will feature a demonstration of the types of data and methods of analysis that anthropologists and linguists use in studying political communication. Each featured scholar will also engage in a participatory conversation with invited guest discussants and members of the public. All events are free and open to the public, and will be held via Zoom.

The final colloquium will gather all the forum speakers for a discussion moderated by Kira Hall, Professor of Anthropology and Linguistics at the University of Colorado Boulder and President of the Society for Linguistic Anthropology. Audience members will also have the opportunity to ask their questions about the role of language in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.

Speaker events:

October 9th, 6:00 pm (CST), Adam Hodges: “How Plausible is Deniability?”
October 20th, 3:00 pm (CST), Michael Lempert: “Political Gesture in Presidential Debate"
October 30th, 5:00 pm (CST), Jonathan Rosa: "Communicating Crisis: Getting Back to Whose Normal?"
November 16th, 5:00 pm (CST), Janet McIntosh and Norma Mendoza-Denton: “Race and Gender Panics in the 2020 Trump Campaign”
December 11th, 5:00 pm (CST), Final Colloquium moderated by Kira Hall, featuring all series speakers

Registration for all webinars and the final colloquium will take place through Eventbrite. Attendees can register at

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