We are delighted to announce Tony Webster as the new editor for the journal Anthropological Linguistics, which has been published by the Anthropology department at IU since 1959. Most recently Professor Emeritus Doug Parks served as Editor, but due to his ill health and then death in 2021, John Erickson has been serving as Acting Editor-in-Chief. AL is published by University of Nebraska Press and provides a forum for the full range of scholarly study of the languages and cultures of the peoples of the world, especially the native peoples of the Americas.
About Tony: "I’m a linguistic anthropologist whose work has focused on Navajo poets, poetry, and poetics and, more broadly, Navajo languages and cultures as expressed in and through verbal art. I earned my Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004 and I’m currently a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. I’m also affiliated there with the Department of Linguistics and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Program (of which I’m a member of the advisory council). I’m the author of three books, Explorations in Navajo Poetry and Poetics (UNM Press, 2009); Intimate Grammars: An Ethnography of Navajo Poetry (U of AZ Press, 2015); and The Sounds of Navajo Poetry: A Humanities of Speaking (Peter Lang, 2018) and the co-editor with Paul Kroskrity of The Legacy of Dell Hymes: Ethnopoetics, Narrative Inequality, and Voice (IU Press, 2015) and with Esther Belin, Jeff Berglund and Connie Jacobs, the award-winning edited volume, The Diné Reader: An Anthology of Navajo Literature (U of AZ Press, 2021). I’ve also published articles in numerous journals on a variety of topics (from Chiricahua Apache verbal art to Navajo English to Navajo street signs). My most recent work has been a collaborative piece with Rex Lee Jim on dialogical ethnopoetics (to appear in August of 2022). Finally, I’m originally from Indiana, I grew up in Ft. Wayne and I spent much time—especially planting trees and swimming in ponds—on the family farm around Brookville, IN. I earned my B.A. in Anthropology from Purdue University, where I was first introduced to linguistic anthropology.
"I’m very excited to be taking over as editor of Anthropological Linguistics—I have long admired the journal and when I first began publishing material from my dissertation, it was one of the journals I was excited about publishing in (I published my first article in AL in 2006; I have since published two more articles in AL, including a co-authored piece with Blackhorse Mitchell). For me, AL has always stood for careful attention to linguistic details (often linguistic details excluded or ignored in certain branches of Linguistics), a thoughtfulness about the ethnographic contexts from which those linguistic details emerge, and a kind of resolute respect for and attention to the relationship between languages and cultures. It was also a journal that welcomed work on speech play and verbal art. It has also published numerous works that were concerned with language shift, language endangerment, and language reclamation. While the focus of AL has often been on Native North American languages and cultures, there has also been an openness to publish works from beyond that focus. AL was a place for work that was situated in that space between Anthropology and Linguistics.
"These are its strengths. My vision for AL is to maintain that which has been its strength: high quality articles that focus on the relationship between languages and cultures, that attend to linguistic details, but never forgets that languages are what human beings do and they do languages in social and cultural worlds. The core will still be work on Native American languages and cultures, but it will continue to publish work from outside the Americas as well. The journal will also be attentive to recent critiques of both Anthropology and Linguistics, it will seek a more collaborative and dialogical perspective on languages and cultures and with people and communities. One goal is to create a more diverse editorial board, and this means recruiting new members. In recruiting people to join the editorial board, I’ve been impressed with how enthusiastic people have been about joining. There is excitement for the journal and for the doing of anthropological linguistics—the journal will both acknowledge its rich and impressive legacy, but it will also continue to be relevant to the present and responsible to the future."