The LSA handbook ad caper

This is, again, supremely, a Mary, Queen of Scots Not Dead Yet posting, coming after several days of wildly painful and deeply unpleasant afflictions (I had some yogurt for breakfast, a few crackers with hummus for lunch, and will probably do the same for dinner tonight; I have hopes for better tomorrow); the details involve a stomach ulcer, body-wracking chills, industrial-strength narcolepsy, severe dyspnea on exertion, and flaming-sword osteoarthritis, all at once, and you really don’t want to hear about them. In the midst of all this, the LSA handbook ad caper.

It’s about this ad:

The story. The University of Kentucky’s Linguistics Department bought a half-page ad in the handbook for the Linguistic Society of America’s annual meeting, recently concluded in Denver. The ad was to celebrate Rusty Barrett for his recognition with the Arnold Zwicky Award, to be given to him at the LSA’s 1/7 Special Awards Ceremony. Somehow the ad did not appear — a fact the Society staff didn’t discover until 1/6.

The distressed and massively apologetic staff then started placing an ad sheet — full-page! — in the printed handbooks at the meeting and distributed the document at registration for those participants who hadn’t already registered. I believe they have also committed to posting the ad on the LSA website for the rest of the month.

So UKy Linguistics (a really fine department) and Rusty (whose praises I have extolled on this blog several times) and I (who am, astonishingly, not dead yet) are all getting a fair amount of public visibility that we might not otherwise have gotten. Yay us!

Oh yes, the award:

The Zwicky Award recognizes LGBTQ+ linguists who have made significant contributions to the discipline, the society, or the wider LGBTQ+ community through scholarship, outreach, service, and/or teaching. … The prize is intended to recognize distinguished accomplishments by LGBTQ+ scholars, whether working directly on LGBTQ+ issues in language or not.

So the award also gives visibility to LGBTQ+-folk who have made distinguished accomplishments. Rusty’s scholarly accomplishments are in highly sensitive fieldwork — in a Mayan-language community in Guatemala and in gay male subcultures. And his wider achievements extend through outreach, service, and teaching.

Meanwhile. I have a bit of anemia, which is probably contributing to my exhaustion, on top of everything else. An indication of my improving physical state is that I’m plagued with fantasies of iron-rich foods: visions of mussels, Chinese beef and broccoli, dark chocolate, sardines, and spanakopita dance in my head.

2 Responses to “The LSA handbook ad caper”

  1. Stephen R. Anderson Says:

    Cut them some slack, Arnold. The permanent LSA staff resigned in the course of planning for the Denver meeting, leaving its organization (including things like this) to interim, replacement, and absolutely brand new people. IMHO they did a pretty good job, considering, but obviously there are things that might have been better handled.
    Still, as someone who has been involved in organizing LSA meetings before, you will appreciate how many things have to be kept track of in putting even just the handbook together. I was annoyed, myself, that they din’t include the rules for running the business meeting (given recent upheavals, they might have anticipated a lot of action — which didn’t in the end materialize — from the floor at that meeting), but as new staff learn how to manage this stuff, I’m sure (from having met the new key players) that they will get things right.
    Sorry they didn’t get this one in as planned, but I think they did their best.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      I certainly didn’t intend to be slamming the staff — whose labors over the ad I got moment-to-moment bulletins on, as an Interested Party in the ad. People did what they could to right the wrong, with considerable speed; I hoped I was making that clear, and not pointing fingers.

Leave a Reply