About

Kendra Calhoun, Ph.D. (she/her)

University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Anthropology, UCLA

I’m an interdisciplinary sociocultural linguist with a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. I earned my B.A. in English Language & Literature and Experimental Psychology from the University of South Carolina (go Gamecocks!).

As a qualitative researcher, I critically analyze the intersections of language, identity, and power in face-to-face and mediated contexts. I examine race, gender, humor, activism, social media discourse, and institutional discourses in higher education, and I am particularly focused on the language, culture, and experiences of Black people in the U.S. I bring together theories and methods from fields including sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, discourse studies, media studies, sociology, education, and Black Studies. My postdoctoral research is a linguistic-anthropological study of the documentation of Black language and culture on TikTok.

I’m passionate about teaching, mentorship, and equity in higher education, and I’ve integrated them with my research throughout my academic career. In addition to teaching at multiple Minority Serving Institutions, I’ve contributed to multiple community-based collaborative projects.

Upcoming talks

Check back soon for talks in Fall 2022!


Recent news and highlights

I appeared on KPCC’s AirTalk to discuss content moderation and self-censorship on TikTok

My lead-author paper “Attracting Black Students to Linguistics Through a Black-Centered Introduction to Linguistics Course” received the 2021 award for Best Paper in Language

I was interviewed about my research on language, culture, and media and my experiences as a Black woman in academia on That Anthro Podcast