The Working Group in Urban Sociolinguistics, founded in 1994, serves to promote and develop research at the intersection of linguistic anthropology and sociolinguistics.
The most visible component of the interaction has been the Group’s bringing scholars from the two areas to speak at NYU. By design, the Group invites both established leaders in the two areas and promising junior scholars.
Speakers who are invited by the Working Group give two presentations. The first event following a luncheon is a workshop, informal by design, on a topic that the speaker is working on. The workshop talk/discussion can be on some aspect of current theoretical developments more generally, it can be on some aspect of methodology, or indeed on anything the speaker chooses to talk about. Later in the afternoon, the speaker gives a colloquium-style talk. This combination of two presentations, one informal and the other more formal, gives graduate students a broader look at the speaker’s scholarship, more of an opportunity to talk with the speaker, and a window into professional life in the subdisciplines.
The Group is vital for those who are trained at NYU in the two subdisciplines. The expanded exposure to the “other” field has figured significantly in the dissertations and job prospects of students on both areas.