Sociocultural Linguist




Hello! I received my PhD in the Department of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. My research draws on a combination of ethnography and discourse analysis to explore how language and culture shape human relationships and interactions with animals and nature.  I am particularly interested in human relations with threatened wildlife and places as ecocultural contact zones, sites where diverse languages, cultures and practices intersect and produce both healthy and damaging human-nonhuman relationships. My primary research explores the linguistic and social practices that emerge in the intersecting contexts of wildlife conservation and nature-based tourism in Hawai‘i around one charismatic ‘flagship species,’ the Hawaiian green sea turtle.  This research seeks to bridge sociocultural linguistics with emerging interdisciplinary research on human-environment relations in the social sciences and humanities. Through this research I am working to show the relevance of ethnographic language research for better understanding the intertwined social and ecological challenges posed by environmental crises, from climate change to species extinction, and the diverse cultural responses to their consequences. Currently, I am a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, in the Research Collegium for Language in Changing Society (RECLAS).

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