Lanita Jacobs

Associate Professor of Anthropology and American Studies and Ethnicity

Contact Information
E-mail: jacobshu@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-1909
Office: 3620 S. Vermont Ave

LINKS
Curriculum Vitae
Faculty Profile on Departmental Website
Personal Website
 

Education

  • B.A. [Individual Major] Issues in Urban Poverty and Public Policy (Specializations: Education, Intergroup Relations, and Conflict Resolution, University of California, Los Angeles, 6/1993
  • M.A. Linguistic Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles, 8/1996
  • Ph.D. Linguistic Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles, 6/1999

  • Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

    Tenure Track Appointments
    • Associate Professor - Departments of Anthropology and American Studies & Ethnicity (Joint Affiliation), University of Southern California, 06/2000-  
    • Assistant Professor - Department of Anthropology (joint affiliation with the Program in American Studies & Ethnicity), University of Southern California, 08/2000-05/2006  
    • Assistant Professor - Department of Anthropology, College of Charleston, 08/1999-05/2000  

    Non-Tenure Track Appointments
    • Adjunct Professor - Department of Anthropology, College of Charleston, Spring 1999   

    Description of Research

    Research Keywords
    Language, Identity, and Culture; Language and Gender; Race, Performance, and Popular Culture; Race and Humor; Race, Health, and Disability; Race, Gender, and Aesthetics
    Research Specialties
    (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1999) Associate Professor of Anthropology and ASE: African American women’s discourse; anthropology of the body; language & identity in diasporas; language & gender.
    Detailed Statement of Research Interests
    My research to date has been shaped by a scholarly interest in language as a mediator of African American culture and identity, and ethnography as a dynamic way of seeing and being in the world. As a linguistic anthropologist, I have pursued these mutual interests by conducting multisited ethnographies of African American women’s hair care, African American children coping with Acquired or Traumatic Brain Injury (ABI/TBI), and African American standup comedy. My fieldwork across sites of hair care, hospitals, and humor has focused on the complex ways in which speakers socialize and construct identity, expertise, and other stances that are essential to their everyday lives. In each of these studies, I have employed longitudinal fieldwork and discourse analysis to examine the verbal and nonverbal “work” speakers do to negotiate how they see the world and their place in it, as well as the stakes embedded in their engagements. Findings from these respective studies have been presented in several top tier journals in Anthropology and national and international conferences.

    Conferences and Other Presentations


    Conference Presentations
    • "Can You Feel Me?: Race and Empathy in Anthropological Fieldwork", American Anthropological Association Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, Montreal, QB Canada, Fall 2011   
    • "Contesting Beauty", Posing Beauty in African American Culture, Roundtable/Panel, USC Fisher Museum of Art, African American Studies Department, Department of, Invited, Fall 2011   
    • "Mentoring & Research Collaboration", Ford Foundation Fellows Conference, Roundtable/Panel, Irvine, CA, Ford Foundation, Invited, Fall 2011   
    • "Can you feel me?: Race and Authenticity in African American Standup Comedy", International Society for Humor Studies Conference, Lecture/Seminar, Boston, MA, Invited, Spring 2011   
    • "Negotiating Multiple Accountabilities & Positionalities in Boundary Crossing", 22nd Annual Occupational Science Symposium, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, Invited, 2009-2010   
    • "Race and Authenticity in African American Obama Humor", Cultural Studies Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, Berkeley, CA, Invited, 2009-2010   
    • "Black and Brown Relations in the African American Comedic Imagination", American Studies Association Annual Meeting , Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Philadelphia, PA, 2007-2008   
    • "Enacting Racial and Gendered Authenticity in Black Hair Humor", 18th Annual Conference on American Literature, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Abstract, Boston, MA, 2007-2008   
    • "Gender and Authenticity in African American Hair Humor", 13the Annual Tillie K. Lubin Symposium, "I thought it was funny": Gender, Race, Humor, Talk/Oral Presentation, Abstract, Brandeis University, Women and Gender Studies, Invited, 2007-2008   
    • "Gender and Authenticity in African American Hair Humor", 13the Annual Tillie K. Lubin Symposium, "I thought it was funny": Gender, Race, Humor, Talk/Oral Presentation, Abstract, Brandeis University, Women and Gender Studies, Invited, 2007-2008   
    • "Racial Politics: Revisiting the Politics of the N-Words post-Don Imus and Michael Richards", 106th American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Abstract, Washington, D.C., 2007-2008   
    • "Talking about (and Beyond) Hair: Negotiating Expertise and "Realness" in Black Women's Hair Care", African American Women's Language Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, Abstract, The University of Texas at San Antonio, Invited, 2007-2008   
    • ""Why we got to be refugees?": Race and Representation in Hurricane Katrina Humor", American Studies Humor Association/Mark Twain Circle of America Quadrennial Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed New Orleans, LA, 2006-2007   
    • "Discussant", Language, Interaction, and Social Organization (LISO) Symposium, Discussant, University of California, Santa Barbara, Invited, 2006-2007   
    • "Race and Representation in Hurricane Katrina Humor", American Anthropology Association 105th Annual Meeting , Talk/Oral Presentation, San Jose, CA, 2006-2007   
    • ". (In Pursuit of) `Truth’ and `Authenticity’ in African American Standup Comedy", American Anthropological Association Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Washington, D.C., 2005-2006   
    • "(In Pursuit of) `Truth’ and `Authenticity’ in African American Standup Comedy", 11th Annual Conference on Language, Interaction and Social Organization (LISO) Conference, Plenary, University of Southern California, Santa Barbara, Invited, 2004-2005   
    • "Ethnography of Performance: Methodological Insights from an African American Standup Comedy Study", 11th Annual Conference on Language, Interaction and Social Organization (LISO) Conference, Workshop, University of California, Santa Barbara, Invited, 2004-2005   
    • "Becoming Cosmetologists: Language Socialization in an African American Beauty College", American Anthropological Association Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Chicago, IL, 2003-2004   
    • "Examining the Politics of Representation in Language and Gender Research", COSWL/IGALA Perception & Realization in Language and Gender Research Conference, Workshop, Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI, Invited, 2002-2003   

    Other Presentations
    • "Becoming Cosmetologists: Language Socialization in an African American Beauty College", Invited Talk, Language, Interaction, and Social Organization (LISO) Focus Group, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2003-2004   
    • "Epistemological Deliberations: Constructing and Contesting Knowledge in Women’s Cross-Cultural Hair Testimonies ", Invited Talk, UCLA Department of Anthropology Colloquia, University of California, Los Angeles, 2000-2001   
    • "Language and Identity in African American Hair Care Settings: Reflections of a Linguistic Anthropologist", Invited Talk, Santa Monica College Anthropology Club, Santa Monica, CA, 2000-2001   
    • "Language Socialization, Identity, and Cultural Practice: A Multi-sited Ethnography of African American Hair Care Communities ", Invited Talk, University of South Carolina, Anthropology Department, Columbia, South Carolina, 1999-2000   

    Publications


    Book
    • Jacobs-Huey, L. (2006). From the Kitchen to the Parlor: Language and Becoming in African American Women's Hair Care. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Book Chapter
    • Jacobs, L. (2012). On "Making Good" in a Study of African American Children with Acquired and Traumatic Brain Injuries. Anthropology’s Changing Terms of Engagement Philadelphia, PN: University of Pennsylvania Press.
    • Jacobs-Huey, L. (2011). Into the Breach: Representing the Messy Truths of Black Women's Hair and Language Politics (IN African American Women's Language: Discourse, Education, and Identity). pp. 262-275. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    • Jacobs, L. (2011). "The Arab is the New Nigger": African American Comics Confront the Irony & Tragedy of 9/11. (IN A Decade of Dark Humor: How Comedy, Irony, and Satire Have Shaped Post-9/11 America.). A Decade of Dark Humor: How Comedy, Irony, and Sat pp. 47-56. Jackson, MI: University of Mississippi Press.
    • Jacobs, L. (2011). Learning through the Breach: Language Socialization among African American Cosmetologists. Ethnographic Methods in Education (Vol. 4). London: Sage.
    • Jacobs-Huey, L. (2009). Moralizing Whiteness in "Joan of Arcadia" (IN Small Screen, Big Picture: Television and Lived Religion). pp. 233-258. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press.
    • Jacobs-Huey, L. (2002). BTW, How do YOU Wear Your Hair?: Establishing Racial Identity, Consciousness, and Community in an African American Listserv Group. In Computer-Mediated Conversation. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
    • Jacobs-Huey, L. (2001). Epistemological Deliberations: Constructing and Contesting Knowledge in Women's Cross-Cultural Hair Testimonies. In EnGendering Rationalities. pp. 335-359. Albany: SUNY Press.

    Book Review
    • Jacobs-Huey, L. (2006). Review of John L. Jackson, Harlemworld: Doing Race and Class in Black America. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. pp. 709-711.

    Journal Article
    • Jacobs, L., Lawlor, M., Mattingly, C. (2010). I/We Narratives among African American Families Raising Children with Special Needs. Culture, Medicine, & Psychiatry. Vol. 35 (1), pp. 3-25.
    • Jacobs-Huey, L. (2007). Learning through the Breach: Language Socialization among African American Cosmetologists. Ethnography. Vol. 8 (2), pp. 171-203.
    • Jacobs-Huey, L. (2006). "The Arab is the New Nigger": African American Comics Confront the Irony & Tragedy of 9/11. Transforming Anthropology. Vol. 14 (1), pp. 60-64.
    • Jacobs-Huey, L. (2004). Remembering Crissy: enGendering Knowledge, Difference, and Power in Women's Hair Care Narratives. Transforming Anthropology. Vol. 11 (2), pp. 30-42.
    • Jacobs-Huey, L. (2003). "Ladies are Seen, Not Heard": Language Socialization in a Southern African American Cosmetology School. Anthropology and Education Quarterly. Vol. 34 (3), pp. 277-299.
    • Jacobs-Huey, L. (2002). The Natives are Gazing and Talking Back: Reviewing the Problematics of Positionality, Voice, and Accountability among "Native" Anthropologists. American Anthropologist. Vol. 104 (3), pp. 791-804.
    • Mattingly, C., Lawlor, M., Lanita, J. (2002). Narrating September 11: Race, Gender, and the Play of Cultural Identities. American Anthropologist. Vol. 104 (3), pp. 743-753.

    Magazine/Trade Publication
    • Jacobs-Huey, L. The Stylist Beauty Guide. Vol. March

    Other
    • Jacobs-Huey, L. (2003). Black/"Urban" Standup Comedy: A Performance by Brandon Bowlin. Theatre Journal.

    Proceedings
    • Jacobs-Huey, L. (1998). We Are Just Like Doctors, We Heal Sick Hair: Cultural and Professional Discourses of Hair and Identity in a Black Hair Care Seminar. SALSA V: Proceedings of the 5th Annual Symposium about Language and Society-Austin, TLF 39. In Chalasani, Mani C., Jennifer Grocer, and Peter Haney (Ed.), pp. 213-223. Austin, TX. Texas Linguistics Forum.
    • Jacobs-Huey, L. (1997). Is There An Authentic African American Speech Community: Carla Revisited. 1. pp. 331-370. Penn Working Paper Series in Linguistics.
    • Jacobs-Huey, L. (1996). Negotiating Social Identity in an African American Beauty Salon. In Gender and Belief Systems: Proceedings of the Fourth Berkeley Women and Language Conference. In N. Warner et al. (Ed.), pp. 331-343. Berkeley. University of California, Berkeley Women and Language Group.
    • Jacobs-Huey, L. (1996). Negotiating Price in an African American Beauty Salon. 1. pp. 45-59. Issues in Applied Linguistics.

    Advisement

    Other Advisement or Time Devoted to Students
    • Guest Coach, Student-Athlete Academic Services, 2007-2008   

    Honors and Awards

    • Nominee, USC Parents Association Teaching and Mentoring Award, 2012-2013   
    • Outstanding Professor Recognition, Induction Ceremony, The Gamma Sigma Alpha Executive Board, Fall 2012   
    • Nominee, USC Parents Association Teaching & Mentoring Award, Fall 2011   
    • Nominee, Steven B. Sample Teaching & Mentoring Award, Spring 2011   
    • Nominee, USC Mellon Award for Excellence in "Faculty Mentoring Undergraduates", Spring 2010   
    • "Fight On" Faculty Award, African American Cultural Celebration, 5/12/2010  
    • USC Mellon Award for Excellence in "Faculty Mentoring Undergraduates", 2007-2008   
    • USC or School/Dept Award for Teaching, The "Fight On" Faculty Award, African American Cultural Celebration Ceremony, 5/15/2008  
    • General Education Teaching Award, 2006-2007   
    • NICHD Minority Supplement, PI w/ Mary Lawlor, 2001-2003  
    • Ford Dissertation Fellowship for Minorities, 1998-1999  
    • National Science Foundation Dissertation Grant, co-submitted with Marcyliena Morgan, 1998-1999  
    • Wenner-Gren Foundation Pre-Doctoral Grant, 1998-1999  

    Service to the University

    Administrative Appointments
    • Dornsife Faculty Fellow, 08/16/2012-05/15/2013  
    • Dornsife Faculty Fellow, 08/16/2011-05/15/2012  
    Committees
    • Director of Graduate Studies, American Studies & Ethnicity, 2011-2012   
    • Chair, Diversity Caucus, Faculty Council, 2010-2011   
    Other Service to the University
    • Faculty Moderator, Social Issues Speaker Series (featuring Alex Kotlowitz), Spring 2011   


  • Department of American Studies & Ethnicity
  • University of Southern California
  • 3620 South Vermont Avenue
  • Kaprielian Hall 462
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-2534