Dominique Canning

Graduate student Dominique Canning spent their formative years in Traverse City, Michigan. Growing up in this picturesque town in northern Michigan with her family, Dominique decided to go to Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) as a music major. During their time at NMC Dominique switched her major to English, it was here that her biology teacher suggested linguistics might be a better fit. Dominique finished their associates degree in English at NMC and transferred to Eastern Michigan University in the winter of 2014 and declared as a Linguistics major. While writing her honors thesis, Dominique found her interest in research, leading her to U-M. 

Dominique's research interest lies in queer language. When she came to visit she knew Professor Robin Queen had similar interests. They were impressed with how welcoming everyone was and felt like they could be comfortable and happy in the department. Robin Queen is now Dominique’s primary advisor, along with Jelena Krivokapić.

The research that Dominique is currently conducting looks at how Black queer people use language to navigate the world and their identities. When asked about her research she said, “I’ve always thought a lot about my own language and identity, so it’s been really exciting and cathartic to get to learn more about how others think about their own language. I’m also excited to contribute to some more representation of Black queer people in linguistics, since I know that it can be discouraging to participate in a field where your experiences/identities aren’t very well represented”. She has done work with language and media as well, looking at Titus Andromedon’s language in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Dominique has also done work in her undergrad on online discussions of asexuality as a queer identity.

From here they plan to stay in southeast Michigan, pursuing alternative academic jobs as well as some jobs outside of academia in the hopes to be able to interact with linguistics in whatever capacity is available. Outside of the classroom Dominique will continue on her journey of learning Korean. They love listening to music and in 2020 their new interest in K-pop encouraged them to start learning a new language.