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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; linguistic anthropology; language, race, gender, and sexuality; Asian American language; language in new media; authenticity; interaction

I am a sociolinguist interested in how language relates to race, gender, and sexuality. In particular, I seek to understand the role of language in producing social facts, whether identities or ideologies, 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.

Teaching Interests

I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and general linguistics.

Undergraduate courses taught: Introduction to Language, Introduction to Language Sciences, Language & Gender, Language & Racism, Language & Whiteness, Language Conflict & Language Rights, Language in Society, Language, Race & Ethnicity in the U.S., The English Language

Graduate courses taught: Survey of Linguistics, Language Contact Phenomena, Language & Race, Introduction to Sociolinguistics, Discourse Analysis

Representative Publications

2017. Chun, Elaine. How to drop a name: Hybridity, purity, and the K-pop fanLanguage in Society, 46(1): 57-76. Special issue edited by Adrienne Lo and Joseph Park.

2016. McKinney, Julia & Chun, Elaine. Celebrations of a Satirical Song: Ideologies of Anti-Racism in the Media. Nancy Bell (ed.) Multiple Perspectives on 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 RacializationHandbook 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 YouTubeApplied Linguistics 34 (5), 592-612. Special issue edited by Anna De Fina and Sabina Perrino.

2013. Chun, Elaine. Styles of Pledging allegiance: Practicing youth citizenship in the United StatesLanguage & 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 ageLanguage & Communication 33(4B), 473-480.

2011. Chun, Elaine. Reading race beyond black and whiteDiscourse & 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 AsianPragmatics 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 EnglishJournal 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 ageLanguage & Communication 33(4B).