Research

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 multi-sited 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. My more recent work examines constructions of race in popular culture. See my CV for a list of relevant conferences and publications.

  • Lanita Jacobs, Ph.D.
  • Department of Anthropology
  • University of Southern California
  • 3620 S. Vermont Avenue, KAP 356
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-2537