Jennifer B. Delfino is Assistant Professor of Academic Literacy and Linguistics at Borough of Manhattan Community College and Distinguished CUNY Scholar at The Graduate Center, The City University of New York. She is a linguistic anthropologist whose research focuses on language and racialization. Jennifer’s book, “Speaking of Race: Language, Identity, and Schooling Among African American Students” (Lexington Books, 2020) examines how African American students use language to navigate and transform oppressive raciolinguistic ideologies. Her current research projects are: 1) a digital ethnography of white liberals’ discourses of race/racism, equity, and inclusion on social media and 2) an ethnographic study of language and identity among Filipino American college students in the greater New York City area. Her fall 2021 study on the teaching and learning of Tagalog as a heritage language in New York and New Jersey is funded by the Advanced Research Collaborative at the CUNY Graduate Center.
Racism Theory/Critical “Race” Theory, Race & Ethnicity, Marxism, Literacy, Linguistics, Language and Literacy, Discourse analysis, Children in Poverty, Applied Linguistics, Anthropology, Adolescence
Ph.D. American University, Anthropology, 2014
M.A., American University, Public Anthropology, 2012
B.A. Reed College, Anthropology,2005
- This course explores historical, cultural, and theoretical perspectives on the relationship between language, race, and ethnicity in the United States and its territories. It examines how language is understood to reflect, reproduce, and/or challenge and defy racial and ethnic boundaries, and how ideas about race and ethnicity influence the ways in which people use and construe language. It covers topics such as racialization and racism, ethnicization, notions of authenticity, repertoire, codeswitching and style shifting, linguistic mocking and linguistic racism, language ideology, and identity formation. This course will examine language varieties such as Black American English and its cross-racial uses by other groups, Chicano English and Spanglish, Hawaiian English, and American Indian English.
- This course combines Language, Race, and Ethnicity in the US and its Territories (LIN 150) and Academic & Critical Reading. As a LIN 150 course, students in this class Will explore historical, cultural, and theoretical perspectives on the between language, race, and ethnicity In the United States and its territories. This course examines how language is understood to reflect, reproduce, and/or challenge and defy racial and ethnic boundaries, and how ideas about race and ethnicity Influence the ways in which people use and construe language. It covers topics such as racialization and racism, ethnicization, notions of authenticity, repertoire, codeswitching and style shifting, linguistic mocking and linguistic racism, language ideology, and identity formation. This course will examine language varieties such as Black American English and its cross-racial uses by other groups, Chicano English and Spanglish, Asian American English, Hawaiian English, and American Indian English. As an ACR 95 course, this advanced level reading class is designed to help students master and apply a full range of college-level reading, and related skills, including critical comprehension, vocabulary, writing, flexible rates of reading, and study strategies. A variety of college-level materials are used.
This is an accelerated course that combines credit-bearing and developmental content. Students will receive an earned grade in LIN 150.5 which is equivalent to a grade earned in LIN 150. Passing LIN 150.5 meets the reading proficiency milestone requirement; students who pass LIN 150.5 are exempt from further developmental reading courses. LIN 150.5 may not be taken by students who have passed LIN 150 or ACR 95 or are exempt from Reading.
- This course will introduce the student to the study of Language and Culture. The course will introduce related topics, such as bilingual/bidialectal families and bilingual education, language and gender, literacy in a changing, technological society, child language acquisition, and different dialects and registers of English. The readings will draw on works in linguistics, literature and related fields. Students will work on critical reading and produce writing based on the readings in connections with their own experiences and backgrounds.
- This course will provide students with an understanding of the theoretical foundations and principles of language instruction and language learning. Special emphasis will be on studying pedagogical approaches to TESOL that address the learning needs of diverse language learners in multiple settings (e.g. one-on-one or small group tutoring vs. classroom). Topics will include relationships between and identities of practitioners and learners (e.g. racial, ethnic, linguistic, typical and atypical), research-based methodologies, teaching for productive and receptive language skills, and the relationship between curriculum planning, assessment, and feedback. Prerequisites: [ENG 100.5 or ENG 101] and LIN 120 or Departmental Approval
Research and Projects
2008-2011: Ethnography of language, identity, and schooling among African American students in Washington, D.C.
2017-present: Digital ethnography of white liberals’ discourses of race, racism, and equity
2020-present: Language and identity among Filipino American college students in the greater New York City Area
Delfino, Jennifer B. 2020. Speaking of Race: Language, Identity, and Schooling Among African American Children. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
2022. “English Proficiency.” In Nadal, Kevin, Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, and David E.J.R. (eds.). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Filipina/x/o American Studies. SAGE Publications, expected September 2022.
2022. With H. Samy Alim. “Language, Race, and Ethnicity/Raciolinguistics.” In Li, Wei, Zhu Hua and James Simpson (eds). The Routledge Handbook of Applied Linguistics (2nd edition). Taylor & Francis, September 2022.
2021. “White Allies and the Semiotics of Wokeness: Raciolinguistic Chronotopes of White Virtue on Facebook.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, May 2021 special issue
2020. With Maureen Kosse. “Racialization and the National Body: (Re)defining Selves and Others in Changing Contexts of Liberal Democratic Governance.” International Journal of the Sociology of Language 265: 1-7.
2020. “Talking ‘Like a Race’: Gender, Authority, and Articulate Speech in African American Children’s Marking Speech Acts.” International Journal of the Sociology of Language 265: 57-79.
2016. “Fighting Words? Joning as Conflict Talk and Identity Performance among African American Preadolescents.” Journal of Sociolinguistics 20(5): 631-653.
Honors, Awards and Affiliations
2021-2022. Distinguished CUNY Scholar, The Advanced Research Collaborative, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York
2021. Faculty Development Grant, Borough of Manhattan Community College, The City University of New York
2017-2018. CUNY Research Foundation Book Completion Award
2017. PSC-CUNY Faculty Research Award
Member, BMCC Race, Equity, and Inclusion Steering Committee
Member, The American Anthropological Association and Society for Linguistic Anthropology
Core Member, Committee on Language and Social Justice (Society for Linguistic Anthropology), http://linguisticanthropology.org/socialjustice/
Member, Philippine Academic Association Northeast Steering Committee, paane.org