Diversity and Variation in Language Conference (DiVar1)

February 10 & 11, 2017

Emory University Conference Center, Atlanta GA

Divar conference image

The first Diversity and Variation in Language (DiVar 1) will be held February 10th and 11th at the Emory University Conference Center in Atlanta. The DiVar conference was conceptualized as a forum to promote diversity within sociolinguistic inquiry - topic, approach, and method – and for the promotion of diversity within the discipline. Organized chiefly as a regional conference, DiVar will gather together scholars and students from the east coast and mid-South in order to encourage networking, conversation, and collaboration. To that end, we welcome conference paper proposals that discuss fundamental issues in language variation, working both to re-examine our present understanding of variation and also to present research that pushes the bounds of theory within the discipline.

The impetus for the DiVar conference is a keen desire to expand the breadth and depth of diversity in language study while we explore the breadth and depth of linguistic variation. To that end, our inaugural meeting will have DIVERSITY as its theme. Diversity here is loosely conceptualized to include special interest in the following areas:

  • Diversity in language study with attention paid to a range of groups within society (from big data to small groups to individual speakers)
  • Diversity in theoretical approaches to the study of language variation
  • Diversity in terms of theories and approaches that can inform the field of linguistics - here we especially encourage multi- and interdisciplinary proposals
  • Diversity of data analysis and visualization
  • Diversity of presenters: we will have special sessions for undergraduate and graduate students in addition to presentations drawn from a general pool

Special sessions

For students
Stemming from its emphasis on mentoring and encouraging student linguists, DiVar will offer a special session led by Becky Childs and Anne Curzan on “Getting into Grad School”. This session will cover basic information on applying to graduate school in linguistics, including what not to say in your statement of purpose. This session will also include advice from current graduate students. We will also have a session on “Using Linguistics Beyond Academia” that addresses ways to use your degree in linguistics outside of academia.

For new faculty: Early career advice
DiVar will offer a panel discussion focusing on early-career challenges. Our panelists will be senior faculty in instructor-track and tenure-track positions at universities in our region. The purpose of the panel is to answer questions posed by early career linguists about topics such as how to promote diversity, how to balance research and teaching, what it’s like to be an ‘academic mom/dad’, and how to negotiate being a linguist in an English/Languages department. We will be asking early-career conference goers to submit some questions beforehand and we hope that all of our senior faculty attendees will come join the discussion!

For all faculty: Student mentoring
DiVar will also offer a special session, led by Anne Curzan, on best practices for mentoring students in our linguistics programs/departments. Questions to be addressed include: How do we, as members of the discipline, best mentor our students, both undergraduate and graduate? How do we promote the kinds of diversity mentioned above within our field? We invite all faculty to come be a part of the discussion!

Plenary speakers

Walt Wolfram (North Carolina State University)
Bill Kretzschmar (University of Georgia)


We invite proposal for the following categories: individual papers, posters, and colloquia.
  1. Individual papers: Individual papers constitute formal presentations of original research by one or more authors, lasting a total of 30 minutes (20 minutes for the presentation and 10 minutes for Q & A). Paper abstracts should be no longer than 350 words (excluding references).
  2. Posters: poster sessions are for the display of ongoing research, works-in-progress, and for results that lend themselves to data visualization. A specific block of time will be designated during which presenters will be available to discuss their posters informally. Poster abstracts should be no longer than 350 words (excluding references).
  3. Colloquia: Colloquia offer presenters the opportunity to give a series of related papers on a particular topic. Colloquia are generally designed to last 1-2 hours and to include independent papers as well as a joint discussion. Colloquium organizer(s) should decide upon the allocation of time, incorporating an introduction, individual papers, and discussion within the proposed timeframe.
Submission of a colloquium proposal should be (max) 550 words and should include: information about colloquium organizer(s), invited presenters, and invited discussant. Submissions should also specify the length of proposed colloquium. After acceptance, colloquium organizer(s) will be asked to submit all individual abstracts (max 350 words) to be included in the conference program.


The deadline for proposals for papers, posters, and colloquia is September 11, 2016. The proposals will be submitted via an online via EasyAbs: http://linguistlist.org/easyabs/DiVar2017. Submissions will be evaluated by the DiVar Organizing Committee in terms of quality of content, significance, originality, thematic relevance and quality of abstract presentation. Notifications will be sent out early November.


  • Individuals may submit only one abstract as the first author of a paper, a poster, or a presentation in a colloquium. In addition, an individual may have a role as a colloquium organizer, discussant, or co-author/co-presenter of other papers or posters.
  • It is assumed that all proposals represent original and unpublished work that is not yet available to the research community.
  • Paper and poster presenters as well as colloquium organizers need to be registered attending participants of the conference.
  • The conference policy is that the author will present the paper on the day and time assigned by the conference program committee.


DiVar 1 will be held at the beautiful Emory University Conference Center on the Emory campus in Atlanta, Georgia.

Emory Conference Center Hotel
1615 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30329

Conference amenities include coffee breaks, lunch on Friday and Saturday, and a closing night of bowling on Saturday. Oh yeah, we said bowling!

The DiVar1 Conference is organized with the generous support of the Program in Linguistics, the Provost Office,
the Emory College Language Center, the Center for Mind, Brain, & Culture, and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.