I got my PhD in linguistics, which is the scientific study of how languages go together and how humans use them.
Much of my work focuses on pronouns. Pronouns are words that replace names so we don’t have to say the same thing over and over. Most of my previous research has been about the English pronouns he, she, and they. Below I have a section that explains my thesis, as well as sections for public talks, blogs, podcasts, and other stuff that I’ve done.
Blogs and writing
I use my medium blog for two purposes: one is a public-facing blog for writing about pronouns as well as other issues in my life. The other is as a way for “debriefing” after I go to academic conferences; I’ll exclude those links here, but they’re included in my research page.
Posts about pronouns:
- How to do the absolute minimum (with pronouns)
- The problem with pronoun practices
- If you can’t say something nice… is a guest post I wrote for Language Log.
- Pronouns 101: introduction to your loved one’s new pronouns
- Pronouns 102: how to stop messing up pronouns
- Intermediate Pronoun Studies: how to get better at pronouns when the appearance doesn’t seem to match
- Intermediate Pronoun Studies: multiple pronouns
- Intermediate Pronoun Studies: how do I make people stop misgendering me?
- Ask a linguist about pronouns! is a summary of an event I did at UW for International Pronouns Day 2020.
- Guest lecture in Pronouns: Vagrant is a guest post by Vagrant Gautam about xyr use of xe/xem pronouns!
- Intermediate Pronoun Studies: themselves and themself
- the president of pronouns gives you permission to just kind of try stuff out
- Implicit misgendering is about whether it’s okay to call someone ‘they’ when that person uses other pronouns
- Put a coin in the pronoun jar is about how microaggressions cause a specific type of linguistic hypervigilance.
- Pronouns aren’t gender, please get better at looking at birds is about linguistic awareness of functional categories
- Pronoun espionage is about times when it’s strategically useful not to correct someone who misgenders me
- The right doesn’t care what a pronoun is is about how to be politically strategic when you’re trying to have conversations about linguistics.
You can keep up with my other blog posts on my medium, which will usually be a mix of pronouns, thoughts on nonbinary issues, and musings about being a neurodivergent academic and pedagogy and methodology and stuff.
Posts about other things:
I’ve written a couple blog posts about the process of writing - they’re mostly informal, kind of personal, and focused on academic writing, but I’ve heard that they’re helpful for people, so I’m happy to share them.
- so you’re abd and also you’re beginning to suspect you have undiagnosed adhd is a post about executive dysfunction in the late stages of grad school.
- Revision Sensitive Dysphoria is a post about how to do the difficult emotional regulation while revising your dissertation, or any other big piece of writing.
- so they forgot to tell you how to write a paper is a post about the writing process. It’s slightly geared for people with brains like mine (executive function not my strong suit).
- so your adhd coping strategies keep suddenly failing is about how Sisyphus is having a hard time with his to-do list, as are we all.
- how to ask gender in a linguistics study is a methodology post and the answer boils down to “it depends”
- how to abolish deadlines is a post about how as an instructor I’ve stopped penalizing late work, and how that’s been going and why I am going to keep doing it.
- New Ways of Encouraging and Assessing Participation is about how as an instructor I tried to operationalize participation grades during the early part of the pandemic in 2020 (and have kept doing since then)
In the news
I’m available for interviews - if your outlet is writing about pronouns, non-binary identities, and language, contact me!
- Amelia Abraham from Vogue International talked to me about gender neutral pronouns: Gender neutral pronouns are important: Not everyone identifies with ‘he’ or ‘she’
- Katy Steinmetz from TIME talked to me about singular they: This Is Why Singular ‘They’ Is Such a Controversial Subject
- Iseabel Nance from UW Daily interviewed me about singular they: The issue of singular they is not grammatical, but social
- Olivia Doyle from the PLD Lamplighter interviewed me about singular they: They/Them/Their: Why Language Matters
Podcast guest spots
For some reason people love to have me as a guest on podcasts. I also love it! If you want me to be a guest on your podcast to talk about trans stuff, pronoun stuff, or academia stuff, please do contact me!
- They/Them/Theirs is episode 14 of The Vocal Fries, a podcast about linguistic discrimination.
- I was a guest on Episode 13 of Gender Reveal, a podcast about transgender and nonbinary issues.
- I was a guest on Pronoun Power of Call Your Girlfriend, a podcast about pop culture, politics, and friendship.
- I was a guest on Episode 43 of Lingthusiasm, a podcast about being enthusiastic about linguistics!
- I was a guest on episode 13 of Gender Reveal, a podcast about transgender stuff! I then had a reprise in episode 94.
Included here are public lectures and webinars and such. If you’d like me to speak at your organization, please contact me.
- I was a member on the panel for the LSA Webinar on LGBTQ+ Perspectives in Linguistics, a video recording of which is available here. Tyler says he mostly forgives me for going SO long over time.
- I gave public lecture about how pronouns are used for social goals, called Formalizing Pronouns at the Calgary Public Library. The event was open to the public; slides are here.
- I gave a talk in the Inspirational Speakers series for the University of Kent, called How to do things with gender