Aims


The COMELA began with motives to address a multiplicity of concerns about language and culture in and for Mediterranean regions. The specific motives for organizing the COMELA, are as follows:

  • The field of Linguistic Anthropology, that is, the study of ways in which language represents a tension between the individual and society, and the study of language to (re)describe social and cultural models and praxis, in and for Mediterranean and European regions, requires much work, and is only in its infancy, with respect to these regions.
  • Significant voids exist in the study of Linguistics and Anthropology, with respect to Mediterranean and European regions, which can be effectively addressed by facilitating the building of a network of Linguistic Anthropology, and Linguistic Anthropologists, through an overarching organization such as the COMELA.
  • Methodological practice in Linguistic Anthropology must convey to the ethical level, and ethical practice must materialize in the implementation of methodology and method.
  • Conferences and meetings which inspire progressive, methodologically ethical and sound, yet epistemologically entrepreneurial, work and thought on Linguistic Anthropology, in and for Mediterranean and European regions have not been attempted as yet.
  • Significant communicative channels need to be opened for the transfer of understandings of Linguistic Anthropology, between Mediterranean and European academics, students and institutions, and those elsewhere. Thus far, this has presented a significant impediment in the development of the scholarship of Linguistic Anthropology in and for The Mediterranean and Europe. Consequently, the significant work of a few researchers has been arduous, and this pioneering work requires greater channels for exposure and scrutiny.
  • The progress of cornerstone organizations in Linguistic Anthropology, notably those in the United States, The United Kingdom, and Australia, and both within and outside of academia, which have thus far created significant space to the study and pursuit of Mediterranean and European Linguistic Anthropology, through publications and discourse, requires recognition. Without the pioneering efforts of these institutions, departments, publications, and processes, as well as the people within these, the study of Linguistic Anthropology will not have advanced as it has.
  • Many social, cultural, and linguistic bodies in Mediterranean and European regions remain hidden, and only through increased interaction between those highly versed with these cultures and languages and those outside, with expertise, can an increasingly effective Linguistic Anthropology be undertaken.
  • Interactional spaces for those enculturated through the societies and linguistics of Mediterranean and European regions, and those who attempt ethnographies in and on these regions, must be opened.
  • Significantly, a large population within academic society in Mediterranean and European institutions requires guidance within the study of Linguistic Anthropology, and access to experts has been impeded. Similarly, experts in the field have, at times, limited access to these populations.
  • Interactions and collaborations between linguistic and cultural communities in The Mediterranean and Europe, which can provide immense ethnographic resource, and experts in other global localities, can be highly fruitful. Similarly, the same holds for researchers and theorists in the Mediterranean and Europe intending to develop work on Linguistic Anthropology elsewhere.
  • Organizations and bodies such as the American Anthropological Association, the Society for Linguistic Anthropology, the Journal for Linguistic Anthropology, the Annual Review of Anthropology, and the Journal of Anthropological Theory, have opened up very significant academic and sociolinguistic spaces, and by creating, extending, and sustaining, the scholarship of Linguistic Anthropology in and on The Mediterranean and Europe, these organizations can increasingly contribute to a larger global outreach, through their shared knowledge, while also receiving much input from a larger global network. But opportuning institutions and their affiliates through Mediterranean and European regions to engage in Linguistic Anthropology, these communities can then better access and contribute to the networks that these above bodies and organizations have solidified. The COMELA thus aims to attempt to bridge these major bodies in Linguistic Anthropology with other regions.