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College of Arts & Sciences
Linguistics Program

Faculty & Staff Directory

Elaine Chun

Associate Professor (English)
University of South Carolina

Office: Humanities Office Building 210
Website: Click here
Curriculum vitae: Download PDF


Ph.D., Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin

A.B., Linguistics, Stanford University

Research Interests

Sociolinguistics; language, race, gender, and sexuality; Asian American language; language in new media; crossing, mocking, and stylization

I am a sociolinguist interested in how language relates to race, gender, and sexuality as well as how sociocultural facts—whether our stances, identities, or ideologiesemerge across discourse contexts. Drawing on methods of interactional analysis and ethnography, I have primarily investigated Asian American youth linguistic practices and stereotypical Asian linguistic representations.

Research Projects

One of my current projects focuses on language and racism in U.S. public space. I explore what makes language hearable as racist and how anti-racist strategies can reshape racial ideologies.

Another project focuses on language in transnational social media contexts. I examine how the language of social media users, such as Asian American YouTube stars and K-pop (Korean popular music) fans, becomes collaboratively interpreted by viewers across trajectories of media commentary.

In past and current projects, I have investigated language practices that appear to traverse boundaries of race or nation, such as when Asian Americans stylize Asian immigrants, mock privileged white girls, or emulate African Americans. I have explored the ideologies of race, gender, and sexuality that these practices reproduce as well as the local cultural projects they serve.

Representative Publications

Forthcoming. Chun, Elaine. How to drop a name: Hybridity, purity, and the K-pop fan. Language in Society. Special issue edited by Adrienne Lo and Joseph Park.

Forthcoming. McKinney, Julia & Chun, Elaine. Celebrations of a Satirical Song: Ideologies of Anti-Racism in the Media. Nancy Bell (ed.) Language Play. De Gruyter Mouton.

2016. Chun, Elaine. The meaning of ching-chong: Language, racism, and response in new media. In H. Samy Alim, Arnetha F. Ball & John R. Rickford (eds.). Raciolinguistics: How language shapes our ideas about race, 81-96. New York: Oxford University Press.

2015. Chun, Elaine & Lo, Adrienne. Language and Racialization. Handbook of Linguistic Anthropology, 220-232. Nancy Bonvillain (ed.). New York: Routledge.

2013. Chun, Elaine. Ironic Blackness as Masculine Cool: Asian American Language and Authenticity on YouTube. Applied Linguistics 34 (5), 592-612. Special issue edited by Anna De Fina and Sabina Perrino.

2013. Chun, Elaine. Styles of Pledging allegiance: Negotiating youth citizenships in the United States. Language & Communication 33(4B), 500–514. Special issue edited by Jennifer Reynolds & Elaine Chun.

2013. Reynolds, Jennifer & Chun, Elaine. Introduction: Figuring citizenship: Communicative practices mediating the cultural politics of citizenship and age. Language & Communication 33(4B), 473-480.

2011. Chun, Elaine. Reading race beyond black and white. Discourse & Society 22(4), 403-21. Special issue edited by H. Samy Alim & Angela Reyes.

2011. Chun, Elaine & Walters, Keith. Orienting to Arab Orientalisms: Language, race, and humor in a YouTube video. In Crispin Thurlow & Kristine Mroczek (eds.). Digital Discourse: Language in the New Media, 251-273. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2009. Chun, Elaine. Speaking like Asian immigrants: Intersections of accommodation and mocking at a U.S. high school. Pragmatics 19, 17-38. Special issue edited by Mary Bucholtz & Elena Skapoulli.

2009. Chun, Elaine. Ideologies of legitimate mockery: Margaret Cho’s revoicings of mock Asian. In Angela Reyes and Adrienne Lo (eds.). Beyond Yellow English: Towards a Linguistic Anthropology of Asian Pacific America, 261-287. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2006. Chun, Elaine. Taking the mike: Performances of everyday identities and ideologies at a U.S. high school. In Er-Xin Lee, Kris M. Markman, Vivian Newdick and Tomoko Sakuma (eds.). SALSA XIII: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Annual Symposium about Language and Society—Austin, 39-49. Austin, TX: Department of Linguistics, University of Texas.

2004. Chun, Elaine. Ideologies of legitimate mockery: Margaret Cho's revoicings of mock Asian. Pragmatics 14, 263-289, Special issue edited by Adrienne Lo & Angela Reyes.

2001. Chun, Elaine. The construction of white, black, and Korean American identities through African American Vernacular English. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 11, 52-64. Special issue edited by Mary Bucholtz & Sara Trechter.

Edited Special Issues

2013. Reynolds, Jennifer & Chun, Elaine (eds.). Special issue: Figuring citizenship: Communicative practices mediating the cultural politics of citizenship and age. Language & Communication 33(4B).