Welcome message from the President

On behalf of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Forensic Linguists, as soon-to-be outgoing president of the IAFL, I am happy to announce a number of initiatives as our biennial meeting approaches this September. This newsletter by our Publicity Officer Rui Sousa-silva is part of our ongoing developing initiatives to keep you abreast of activities of our organization and in the world of forensic linguistics at large. If you have ideas for the newsletter, we welcome them. If you’d like to volunteer to write something for the newsletter, we’d welcome that, too!

You hopefully have seen recent email messages from our Secretary regarding upcoming IAFL votes, including membership votes for the next Executive Committee, voting for a modernized constitution, and voting regarding a proposed name change for our organization. Voting is limited to current paid-up members of the IAFL, so if you want to vote, be sure to update your membership. If you’ve inadvertently let your membership lapse this year—along with all the other things we used to routinely do that somehow lapsed in 2020—this would be a good time to renew. For the first time, we are going to have online voting so that all of our worldwide membership will have a voice in the future direction of our organization.

I also want to reach out to you and encourage you to consider running for one of the positions on the Executive Committee. You’ll find descriptions of the officer positions and their roles in the IAFL on our website. I have found being on the Executive Committee both professionally and personally fulfilling. So, check it out! We’ll be posting short bios of the candidates for each position on the IAFL website as a ‘voter’s guide.’ Voting online will help us become a more democratic organization, so watch your email for instructions on how and when to vote.

And, finally, as we count down the weeks till our September biennial conference hosted by Aston University, I am thrilled to see the variety and quality of the paper topics scheduled to be presented. Even in the face of a worldwide pandemic, our membership has continued to produce imaginative and insightful scholarship, shared with our community at the biennial conference. While of course I wish we could meet in person, the silver lining of the online format is that, no matter where in the world you are, our conference will be accessible to you. It’s going to be a memorable conference, so be there or be square!

I’m truly honored to have had the opportunity to serve as president of the IAFL. I look forward to what comes next for us, as an organization and as individuals committed to making a more just and humane world through bringing language issues to the fore in our worldwide legal systems. See you online soon at the biennial!

Janet Ainsworth, IAFL President