Bowling Green State University
423 East Hall
Bowling Green, Ohio 43403
But email is better!
swellsj AT bgsu.edu
Teaching and research interests (alphabetically, for lack of a better order): applied phonology, astrobiology, braille, disability studies, language creation, language preservation, phonetics, psycholinguistics, speech production (especially slips of the tongue), and xenolinguistics.
2018 teaching schedule
- Summer: ENG 6150 Introduction to linguistics (online)
- Fall: ENG 6150 Introduction to linguistics (online); ENG 5180 Applied Phonology (main campus)
Selected presentations and publications
- "An Ordinary Stranger" in Rejoinder, published by the Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers University.
- May 2018. International Space Development Conference
Los Angeles, CA
- Co-chair of SETI/METI Panel on Communication, Semiotics and Linguistics
- Presentation: "Created Languages, Braille, Lincos, and Message Construction: what Kind of Puzzle is a Good Puzzle?"
- Presentation with Josh Miele: "Maximizing the chances for survival: The case for including disabled people among initial colonists"
- April 2018. "How would blind scientists discover the stars? Reimagining basic scientific progress". Multiple Perspectives on Access, Inclusion and Disability conference, Columbus, OH.
- April 2018. "Things you didn't see because you were looking: Blind aliens, science and interspecies miscommunication". Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology conference. Reno, Nevada.
- March, 2018. ICS Fellows Lecture. "Imagining life on other planets; reimagining life on Earth". Institute for the Study of Culture and Society, Bowling Green State University. My thanks to Dr. Dale Smith of the BGSU Planetarium for awesome help with this.
- March, 2018. Discussant, International Symposium on Braille Research, Rice University.
- January, 2018. Xenolinguistics blog entries for METI International.
- October, 2017. "The Brailliens: Rethinking science from the perspective of the 'blind alien'." Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco, CA.
- September, 2017. "That Tenured Man". Speculative Grammarian, VOL CLXXX #2. This particular publication pleases me very much.
- July, 2017. "Smart, capable, attractive and powerful: Blind alien species in science fiction". The International Conference on Educational, Cultural and and Disability Studies, Liverpool Hope University.
- May, 2017. "Earth linguistics, xenolinguistics, and the possibility of communication." NASA Astrobiology Institute, University of Washington.
- 2016. Science Goes To The Movies: Arrival ("Science Friday" interview). Ira Flatow is a gracious and attentive host, and his support staff is incredible.
- 2016. YouTube video addressing the Foundation Fighting Blindness's ableist #HowEyeSeeIt funding campaign. My thanks to JoBeth Gonzalez and Kimberly Spallinger for getting it exactly right, to Jason Wells-Jensen for expert filming and editing, and to Rebecca Conklin for many other considerations. This is a pretty good video for quickly showing a whole bunch of nasty stereotypes about blindness; my colleagues played their roles so well that I was genuinely furious by the time I slammed that door.
- 2016. "Anthony don't: On blindness and the portrayal of Marie-Laure in All the Light We Cannot See". San Francisco Lighthouse Interpoint Series. My thanks to Jason
Wells-Jensen and Will Butler for fantastic editing and advice.
- 2015. I created Ragayo, the language spoken by bears in Scholastic's Bearhaven children's book series. The four books were published starting in 2016. Yes, that was as much fun as you think it was! And the folks at Scholastic are fun, smart and fabulous hosts.
- 2014. "Extraterrestial linguistics". Communicating Across the Cosmos workshop. The SETI Institute. Yes,12-year-old nerd me ... this happened.
I am on the board of METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) International. This used to be called 'active SETI', and the questions it generates are complex and important.
The Slips Pages: My accessible (and hopefully at least moderately amusing) introduction to slips of the tongue. Mostly safe for work ... but not always.
A growing resource of Language Analysis Problems, some with answers posted and some without. The editing varies on these pages, but they range from classroom activities to problems in morphology and syntax, some with constructed languages and some with natural language. Feel free to use them with attribution, and I'd enjoy hearing what you think.
Oroha is an endangered language spoken in a small village on the Solomon Islands. The site shows the current grammatical sketch of the language and the growing dictionary.
The Grande Royale Ükulelists of the Black Swamp
Just for musical fun: The Braille Song, performed by Innocuous Mustard, featuring Perkins Brailler percussion.
Xenolinguistics, a BGSU class taught in 2001.
Updated: June, 2018