Although I have a joint appointment with the Department of Anthropology, I am able to act as primary advisor for MA and PhD students only in the Department of Linguistics. Prospective students interested in working with me as their primary advisor should therefore apply to the Department of Linguistics, not to the Department of Anthropology.

Applicants should submit a detailed 1-3 page “Statement of Purpose” as part of the application that describes their research interests and visions for either MA or PhD study. In your statement, you should outline previous courses you have taken and research projects you have conducted that have helped prepare you for graduate study. The strongest applications will build a statement that proposes to work with at least three faculty members in the Department of Linguistics. It is unlikely that I will be able to take you on as a new student if other faculty are not also interested in your application.

As can be seen in the topics addressed by my PhD students, I appreciate innovation and diversity in the projects my students pursue. However, I am especially interested in taking on students who want to conduct ethnography as a primary methodology in their research. This involves extended interaction with the communities and languages under study, together with the collection and analysis of discourse data involving speech, embodiment, and/or gesture. For me, this investigation necessarily involves deep engagement with critical social theory, such as postcolonial theory, media theory, feminist theory, queer theory, or other theoretical perspectives that may be relevant to research in linguistic anthropology and sociolinguistics. I am especially interested in applicants working on the relationship between language and society in areas other than the United States, although this is not required for success in the application process. As much of my own research involves Hindi speakers in India, I welcome applications from students interested in pursuing projects in South Asia.

The Department of Linguistics is unfortunately unable to offer financial support to MA students, with the exception of very occasional service or teaching positions. However, we do try to support all of our PhD students with five years of TA-ships or RA-ships. Our financial commitment to students at the PhD level makes the size of our PhD program relatively small and the application process quite competitive compared to our MA program.

I encourage students to send me an introductory email outlining their research ideas and interests before applying to the program.