Staff Letter: Sarah Robinson

Dear LINGUIST List readers,

My name is Sarah, and I’m on the Pubs Team–I manage journals, journal calls for papers, TOCs, summer schools, academic papers, and dissertations. We may have met through email, or you may have read some of my blog posts about nerd stuff on the LL blog. You may even recognize that introduction from my letter last year (sorry, I still have the same job.) I’m also cross-trained in jobs and conferences and can jump on those editorial areas if other editors are out for the day.

This is my (joyless as usual) face. Guest-starring: Lir the cat!

I’ve worked at the LINGUIST List (henceforth: LL) for a couple years now, and it’s been an awesome opportunity. LL has been instrumental to my academic career in the form of funding–I came to my graduate program unfunded and tripled my student debt in less than a year. I got a graduate assistantship from LL in my second year and it basically saved me from having to drop out because of sheer financial pressure. What I mean to say is that LL is providing opportunities to graduate students like me who might otherwise have no way to participate in academia, and has been doing so for years.

I earned my MA last year in General Linguistics from Indiana University, Bloomington, LL’s host institution, and am now a member of the PhD program in the Linguistics Department at IU, as well as doubling in the Germanic Studies Department. Since starting my graduate program, I’ve been able to study Old Norse, Icelandic, Old High German, Old English, German, Gothic, ancient Germanic literature and philology, (can you tell I have a bit of a thing for historical linguistics and dead Germanic languages?), as well as branching out into Cognitive Science, in particular the intersections between cognitive linguistics, discourse analysis, and sociolinguistics. It’s a pretty broad range of topics, but the overlaps in subjects have made it possible for me to specialize in a really particular niche as well as building a strong background in a range of linguistic studies.

It is pronounced /li:ɹ/. He enjoys sleeping in unusual places.

LL provides a specific and indispensable opportunity to its editors–since we interact with scholars all over the world in a huge range of specializations, and since our job involves functionally acting as a middle man for the fire-hose of academic literature and publications, we get a birds-eye-view of the trends in current linguistics in a wide range of specializations and subfields.

LL handles thousands of submissions and a gigantic amount of data day-to-day, and there’s only a handful of graduate students working diligently to keep our 30,000 subscribers up-to-date on linguistic publications, job opportunities, conferences where they can submit their research, and much more, as well as doing the hairy work of filtering predatory publishers and conferences that are likely to hurt academic careers more than help them. And it’s not just editors who work so hard to support the global linguistics community around here–keep an eye out for our WebDev team’s “fun facts” series on Tuesdays to learn more about all the services LL provides.

You might be wondering: “is she trying to solicit support for an awesome non-profit? Or just looking for an opportunity to show us her cat?” but he is a very good cat, okay? Please donate.

When you support the LINGUIST List, you support the mission the LINGUIST List stands for–the cause of creating a global linguistics community, a place to share knowledge and find resources–but you also support students like me, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to be part of it.

Thanks for donating!
Best regards,
Sarah

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