Thursday, June 5, 2014
The CES offers an annual competition for student and faculty travel grants. This past Spring, we awarded multiple grants of up to $1,000 to assist those avidly pursuing their research, and/or presenting work at a scholarly conference or workshop. Ana María Díaz Collazos, PhD in Hispanic Linguistics, was one of our grantees, and wrote to us on her unique experience in America's Dairyland:
Travel ReportI attended a conference called 7th International Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics, which took place in Madison, Wisconsin, on April 3-5. I arrived one day before it started and left one day after. I stayed four nights in the conference hotel. My presentation was scheduled for Saturday, april 5th, at 11:00 a.m., which was entitled “Pronouns of Courtesy between Angels and Demons in Colonial Hispanic America: Social or Spiritual Forces?” I also chaired a panel entitled “Subject Expression,” Friday, April 4th, at 9:00 to 10:30. Beyond these fixed commitments, I participated actively during the three days of schedule by attending to the panels and asking questions or making comments. This allowed me to meet many potential employees.
Among the presentations I attended, I had the opportunity to learn about the existence of many varieties of Spanish in contact with other languages. For example, there are many English-based Creole languages in Central America, as I learned from the presentation by Ashley LaBoda on the Limonese Creole in Costa Rica (April 3rd). There is also a community of Mennonites who migrated from Paraguay to Canada who blend Spanish, English and a Germanic dialect already disappeared from Germany (April 4th). In the session I chaired, there was an important professor whose name is Ana Maria Carvalho, who shared her recent research on Spanish in contact with Portuguese in the Uruguayan border with Brazil. I also attended a session on language ideologies in Spain, where the speakers highlighted the increasing prestige of traditionally marginalized languages such as Galician or Catalan (April 5th). One of the keynote speakers, Sally Tagliamonte, spoke about the most recent trends in quantitative methods for sociolinguistic research. Her presentation was very interesting and useful to plan methodologically my future research.
I was able to interact socially with Irene Moyna, who is editing a volume for which I will contribute a chapter. She introduced me to some other professors and potential employees. I presented a topic related to my contribution for the book, which has to do with the usage of terms of address in authors of Spanish descent in Hispanic America. They were three authors who wrote mystical poetry in 1561, 1650 and 1703. In their poetry, they take advantage of archaic meanings of Spanish second person pronouns to represent the speech of supernatural entities acting as characters of their books. In Spanish there three second person pronouns in the singular. Each of them signals the intrinsic power in every relationship. Thus, the attribution of certain pronouns to angels or demons implies a perception of power as a fixed, unchangeable structure. I received interesting feedback from the audience. For example, that it would be good to explore the lives of these authors to discover the literary works they had access to. In this way, I would enrich the analysis by showing the literary paths of transmission for these archaic usages of pronouns.
My talk was part of a panel related to terms of address organized by Irene Moyne. This panel took place in the morning of April 5th. I attended all other presentations of the panel and obtained an invaluable amount of information on the newest trends in research on terms of address. I had the possibility to network with these researchers, who are also contributors to the volume to be edited by Irene Moyna. This was a unique opportunity to increase my network in a sensitive period of my career as is transition from a Ph.D. student to a professor in my last year of studies. The travel grant from the Center for European Studies made it possible.
We currently have students and faculty in Budapest, Moscow, Poland, Brussels (to name a few). Keep your eyes peeled for their reports when they're writing on our stomping grounds again.
*CES travel grants are open to all UF graduate students regardless of discipline as long as the subject of the research or talk is related to contemporary Europe (i.e. it is not sufficient that the trip takes place in Europe, it must be about contemporary Europe, broadly defined). Follow the link here for more information: http://sites.clas.ufl.edu/ces/fellowships-2/student-fellowships/graduate-student-travel-grants/