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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Linguistic Anthropologist Delivers Keynote for Conference on Linguistics

The Southeastern Conference on Linguistics, the oldest regional linguistic association in the U.S., holds its annual conference next week at the University of Mississippi.

The theme of this year’s conference, the 77th SECOL meeting, is “Language and Education.” Set for Tuesday-Thursday (April 27-29) at the Inn at Ole Miss, the regional conference is expected to attract about 125 linguists.

The conference keynote address, “Artful Science: Rethinking Language in the Learning of Today’s Young,” is to be presented by Shirley Brice Heath at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Heath is a linguistic anthropologist whose research interests include how different kinds of social and cultural learning environments support children’s early and later language development.

“Dr. Heath is a well-known and respected linguist who specializes in educational issues within sociolinguistics,” said Allison Burkette, assistant professor in the UM Department of Modern Languages. “Her talk will be a fitting capstone for the conference, and we’re truly honored to have her here.”

Heath’s lecture is slated to examine commonalities in the learning of art and science and how language plays a role in such learning, Burkette said.

The Margery Bailey Professor of English and Dramatic Literature and emeritus professor of linguistics at Stanford University, Heath comes to SECOL after returning from the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at Australian National University, where she was a visiting professor.

Besides the keynote address and regular conference panels, two additional lectures are scheduled for Wednesday evening. One examines the emergence of Standard English in the U.S., and the other looks at language and social relationships in Thailand.

The conference costs $55 for SECOL student members, $90 for regular SECOL members and $100 for nonmembers. To register, for more information or for assistance related to a disability, contact Allison Burkette at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or at 662-915-1458.