Language and the creation of racial categories in the Dominican Republic

Event Date: 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
Eva Michelle Wheeler is a sociocultural linguist whose work frames language as a lens for interdisciplinary inquiry. Her research questions have explored the role of language in the construction of ideas about race, beauty, and meaning in Spanish-speaking settings in the U.S., Latin America, Europe, and Central Africa. 
In her most recent project, Professor Wheeler examines how racial language from African American film and literature is translated into languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, and French.
Through her methodology-driven research, Professor Wheeler seeks to examine social phenomena in new ways and to give a voice in academic literature to underrepresented groups. 
To this end, she has presented her work at international conferences on linguistics, anthropology, and Latin American Studies and has published articles in journals such as Sociolinguistic Studies, The Black Scholar, and Caribe.
Professor Wheeler received her Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara in 2015, and is currently an Associate Professor of Spanish at Oakwood University.

Prof. Wheeler is a sociocultural linguist, and an Associate Professor at Oakwood University. She has a B.S. in Finance and a B.A. in English / Professional Writing from what was then called Oakwood College, a Historically Black College in Alabama. After that, Prof. Wheeler attended NYU School of Law and worked pro bono for the Hispanic Community in New York. She then worked for two years as a commercial litigation associate in Los Angeles, after which she enrolled in the M.A./Ph.D. program in Iberian Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she got her Ph.D. in 2015. She also worked at New Mexico State University for two years before returning to her alma mater. While her professional focus has changed over time, what remains consistent are the skill sets and motivation that compel her to do what she does: (1) Problem-solving, (2) Analysis, and (3) Advocacy for underrepresented voices.