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  • African American History Month Lecture - John R. Rickford - "Justice for Jeantel (and Trayvon): Fighting Dialect Prejudice in Courtrooms and Beyond"

    February 1, 2018 | 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
    Edmon Low Library, 216 Athletic Avenue, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA


    Justice for Jeantel (and Trayvon):
    Fighting Dialect Prejudice in Courtrooms and Beyond

    Professor John R. Rickford
    J.E. Wallace Sterling Professor of Linguistics and Humanities
    Stanford University

    February 1, 2018 AT 5:30 PM Peggy V. Helmerich Browsing Room, Edmon Low Library
    A reception will follow the presentation.

    Professor Rickford’s presentation will be based in part on his 2016 Presidential Lecture to the Linguistic Society of America, subsequently published with Sharese King and recognized as the “Best Paper in Language 2016.” Rachel Jeantel was one of Trayvon Martin’s best friends; his killing, and Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict sparked the now influential Black Lives Matter movement. This talk will also include topics of fairness and linguistic diversity in a wide range of social settings, including university campuses.

    John R. Rickford is the J.E. Wallace Sterling Professor of Linguistics and the Humanities at Stanford University. He is also Professor by Courtesy in Education, and Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. He has been at Stanford since 1980.
    He received his BA with highest honors in Sociolinguistics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1971, and his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979. He won a Dean’s Award for distinguished teaching in 1984 and a Bing Fellowship for excellence in teaching in 1992. He is a Past-President of the Linguistic Society of America and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
    The primary focus of his research and teaching is sociolinguistics, linguistic variation and change and social structure. He is especially interested in language and ethnicity, social class and style, language variation and change, pidgin and creole languages, African American Vernacular English, and the applications of linguistics to educational problems.

    He is the author of numerous scholarly articles, and author or editor of several books, including, among others, Dimensions of a Creole Continuum (1987), Sociolinguistics and Pidgin-Creole Studies (ed., 1988), African American English: Structure, History and Use (co-ed., 1998), African American Vernacular English: Features, Evolution, Educational Implications (1999), Creole Genesis, Attitudes and Discourse (co-ed., 2000), Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English (co-authored, 2000, winner of an American Book Award), Style and Sociolinguistic Variation (co-ed., 2001), Language in the USA: Themes for the Twenty-First Century (co-ed., 2004), Language, Culture and Caribbean Identity (co-ed, 2012) and African American, Creole and Other Vernacular Englishes: A Bibliographic Resource (co-authored, 2012). He has a new book forthcoming from Cambridge University Press, Variation and Change in Sociolinguistics and Creole Studies: Theory and Analysis.

    Professor Rickford’s visit is supported and organized by the Division of Institutional Diversity, the Linguistics Program of the English Department, and The Center for Oklahoma Studies; it is also supported by the English Department and the American Studies Program and sponsored by Africana Studies.

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