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AnthropologyCurrently on leave
Office: ART 368C
Graduate student supervisor
Linguistic anthropology; First Nations language and culture; land claims and Aboriginal Title; ethnolinguistics, ethnohistory, social memory, oral history, landscape, and traditional land use studies; works with First Nations communities on language issues such as language maintenance and revitalization of endangered languages
Courses & Teaching
Linguistic anthropology; language documentation and revitalization
I am an associate professor of anthropology at UBC Okanagan, where I teach courses in linguistic anthropology. My research focuses on language revitalization in Canada, and, more recently in Papua New Guinea, as well as the relationship between endangered language communities and created language communities. I have done research on the Na’vi speech community (from the movie Avatar) and am the creator of the Kryptonian language from Man of Steel (2013), the Eltarian language from Power Rangers (2017), and the Beama (also known as Cro-Magnon) language from Alpha (2018).
PhD, University of Alberta
MA, University of Western Ontario
Research Interests & Projects
Generally, my research program examines the role that language ideologies have in the language planning of indigenous and minority speech communities. I have participated in community-based research projects with indigenous communities in Canada, as well as in Papua New Guinea (PNG). My ongoing project with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation examines how a participatory online mapping site, which encourages Tlingit language use, allows the community to further promote their ideologies of stewardship using genres of place, such as place names, to promote stewardship via “performatives of stewardship”. My work with Kala speakers in PNG examines the impacts new literacy can have on language maintenance and language acquisition. I have also conducted research with newly created language communities, such as Na’vi speakers, in order to discover what indigenous and minority communities can learn from created language communities in terms of language learning and revitalization, but also identity strengthening and community-building.
Selected Publications & Presentations