The displacement of race in language and gender studies


  • Mary Bucholtz University of California
  • deandre miles-hercules University of California



history of the discipline, inequality, intersectionality, race


As a collaboration between the two authors, this essay first addresses each author’s individual perspective on language and gender studies, particularly as it has taken shape in the US context, and then offers a jointly developed argument regarding the field’s history and trajectory. We write from the respective standpoints of our lived experiences within and beyond the academy. Mary is a white cis female-identified linguistics professor who was deeply involved in the Berkeley Women and Language Group in the 1990s and has conducted research on language and gender throughout her career, especially with respect to its intersection with race. deandre’s Black and gender-creative subjectivity substantially colours the lens through which they experience and interpret the social life of language.

Author Biographies

Mary Bucholtz, University of California

Mary Bucholtz is Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she is also affiliated with the departments of Anthropology, Education, Feminist Studies and Spanish and Portuguese as well as the Programs in Comparative Literature and in Latin American and Iberian Studies. She specialises in language, race, gender, power and agency, including the critical examination of racism in the academy and other institutions.

deandre miles-hercules, University of California

deandre miles-hercules studies the ways in which language organises culture and power, particularly vis-à-vis (anti)Blackness and gendering. Originally from Prince George’s County, Maryland, they are pursuing a PhD in linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and occasionally serve as an expert consultant to news media. deandre’s research topics have included virtue signalling, intersectionality and phonetic analysis of nonbinary voices. Their work is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.


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How to Cite

Bucholtz, M., & miles-hercules, deandre. (2021). The displacement of race in language and gender studies. Gender and Language, 15(3), 414–422.



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