Future Directions

The results we present here are only a first step towards a data-based approach to understanding bias in Linguistics. Ultimately, we would like to use such results to come up with meaningful solutions for the issue.

We have been busy growing the network of people working on this project. In the early stages of the project, the work was presented at Michigan State University’s Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum 2017 and at the Michigan State Undergraduate Linguistics Conference 2017.

In the past several years, we presented and lead workshops at UMD’s Winter Storm 2018 and formed a working group made up of graduate students and faculty involved in UMD’s Language Science Center. We have presented at the LSC’s lunch talk series, and are working to connect with other like-minded groups addressing gender and other biases in the field of linguistics. Much of this work culminated in a presentation at the LSA 2019 Annual Meeting in the Sociology of Linguistics session.

Broadly, these are the goals of this project:

  1. Conduct further descriptive work to identify where and why the bias exists, including looking at things like race, native language, sexual orientation, etc..
  2. Collectively come up with solutions to such problems of bias. We are particularly interested in working with departments and institutions to think about the policy implications of our data.

Here are some specific goals we are currently addressing:

  • Creating a survey for graduate students to investigate how factors known to affect advancement at the faculty level—such as gender differences in the amount and type of mentorship, teaching, and service experiences—may arise even earlier, before students enter the job market. – Paulina Lyskawa and Laurel Perkins

  • Expanding, visualizing, and further analyzing the publication dataset, including pursuing submission data. – Hanna Muller and Phoebe Gaston

  • Designing, building, and maintaining technological infrastructure for data storage, analysis, and presentation. This includes the Bias in Linguistics website and repositories of code for data analysis. – Adam Liter, Jackie Nelligan, Karthik Durvasula

  • Updating and expanding our current dataset of conference invitees. – Bethany Dickerson, Maggie Kandel, Karthik Durvasula, Max Papillon

  • Updating and expanding our current dataset of graduate students. – Bethany Dickerson and group

We invite you to help contribute to these efforts. If you’d like to know more or get involved, please contact us or sign up for our listserv!