I woke up this morning to receive the following notice in my inbox:
Last Friday our distinguished colleague Dell Hymes passed away peacefully in his sleep.
It hasn’t yet been reported in the newspapers, but Jason Baird Jackson has a post speaking to Hymes’ contribution in the fields of anthropology and folklore:
Dell Hymes was a amazingly influential folklorist, anthropologist, and linguist who revolutionized the study of language in (/and) culture in general, and of Native American narrative traditions in particular. He made important contributions to the history of anthropology, to descriptive and theoretical linguistics, to sociolinguistics, to folkloristics, and to Native American studies. He essentially created the areas on inquiry known as (1) the ethnography of speaking and (2) ethnopoetics and he played a key role reshaping linguistic anthropology from the 1960s onward.
For those at the AAA in Philadelphia, there will be a memorial Saturday December 5, 2009 from 7:30-9:30 in Grand Ballroom III at the courtyard Marriott.