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Potentialities of Semiotic Landscapes: Language Practices, Materialities and Agency [EASA network on Linguistic Anthropology] III 
Tatsuma Padoan (University College Cork)
Lijing Peng (Trinity College Dublin)
Julia Sonnleitner (University of Vienna)
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Tatsuma Padoan (University College Cork)
Peter Froggatt Centre (PFC), 02/026
Thursday 28 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

This panel explores the reciprocal production of place and language: How do places create specific subjectivities and temporalities through linguistic practice and material agency? And how do discourse and language ideology constitute space and endow subjectivities with differing degrees of agency?

Long Abstract:

In their recent work The Anthropology of the Future, Bryant and Knight (2019) have strongly connected Aristotle's notion of "potentiality"—described as the possibility of the future inscribed into the materiality of the present, as an immanent anticipation of what might or might not be—to Ernst Bloch's definition of hope centred on the "not-yet" (Noch-Nicht). In this panel, we would like to stimulate discussion on the potentialities of semiotic landscapes, not only by ethnographically exploring the prospective temporalities inherent in places—using notions like chronotope, semiosphere, affect, etc. to investigate spaces of hope—but also by pushing the concept of semiotic landscape itself further, exploring its "not-yet-realised" theoretical potentials. The concept of semiotic landscape, dealing with the textual and discursive construction of places and the use of space as a semiotic resource (Jaworski and Thurlow 2010), has cast light on the interplay between language, visual discourse, spatial practices, and the spatial dimension of culture.

In this panel, we wish to extend such interplay by looking more closely at the role of language practices, language ideologies and material agency generated along spatial transformations. We welcome papers from linguistic and social anthropology (and related fields) to present ethnographic and theoretical discussions that enrich the study of semiotic landscapes. By connecting language practices, material agency, and language ideologies to the study of semiotic landscapes, we wish to draw attention to the potentialities of places to produce specific subjectivities and temporalities, but also to orient our potential actions, plans, future expectations and hopes.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -