The open letter: Responses and recommendations

Itamar Kastner, Hadas Kotek, Rikker Dockum, Michael Dow, Maria Esipova, Caitlin M. Green, Elise Stickles, Todd Snider

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Since its publication in July 2020, the Open Letter to the LSA regarding Steven Pinker has evoked many passionate reactions. The letter argued that Pinker’s public statements are inconsistent with the LSA’s anti-racist values, asking to revoke Pinker’s status as LSA Fellow and to remove him from the LSA’s list of Media Experts. Signed by 600+ linguists, the letter has generated vigorous debate within and outside linguistics. This talk pushes the discussion forward by analyzing the responses to the letter using the tools of our profession – pragmatics and discourse analysis – and further suggesting an approach for examining the power of all individuals in the field.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Linguistic Society of America
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jan 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • discipline of linguistics
  • linguistics in the media
  • power structures
  • pragmatics


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