Savithry Namboodiripad, Collegiate Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Linguistics, will present “A Survey of Linguists and Language Researchers: Harassment, Bias and What We Can Do About It” at 2 p.m. on Friday, December 14, in the School of Education Building, Tribute Room (1322).

Dr. Namboodiripad’s talk is based on research in which she and her collaborators conducted a survey of 1,415 linguists and language researchers, asking how individuals' social identities have affected their experiences of harassment and bias. The study was partially supported by a National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) Grant to Support Research & Scholarship for Change.

All are invited to attend. RSVP required.


RESEARCH SUMMARY
A Survey of Linguists and Language Researchers: Harassment, Bias and What We Can Do About It

Dr. Namboodiripad’s research explores how social factors shape language use, variation, and emergence, particularly in multilingual post-colonial and immigrant contexts.

Investigations of bias and harassment in the academy have largely been focused on gender (and sometimes race), and are often framed in terms of STEM participation and inclusion. However, these experiences are not restricted to STEM fields, nor are they restricted to those experiencing racism and sexism; in fact, they can include factors such as sexual orientation, perceived English language proficiency, and disability.

Motivated by discussions in the field after some recent high-profile cases of harassment, Dr. Namboodiripad and her collaborators conducted a survey of 1,415 linguists and language researchers, asking how individuals’ social identities have affected their experiences of harassment and bias. They end by sharing a living document of actions that individuals can take within their own spheres of influence to co-create a more just and inclusive future for linguistics.

As language research occurs in myriad departments — including biology, computer science, anthropology, philosophy, psychology — they believe that this survey will resonate across fields, and can serve as a model for comparison across the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities.

This work was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Corrine Occhino (Rochester Institute of Technology), Dr. Lynn Hou (UC Santa Barbara), and Dr. Hayley Heaton, Marjorie Herbert, & Dominique Canning (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor).

The research will also be presented on January 4, 2019, at the Linguistic Society of America annual meeting.