Sherina Feliciano-Santos

Dr. Sherina Feliciano-Santos is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Carolina. She also has affiliations with the Linguistics Program and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program. Her research interests include the politics of language use, social activism, language and cultural revitalization, racial and ethnic formations, narrative, and face-to-face interaction. Her regional specializations are the Caribbean and the Southern United States. Specifically, she examines face-to-face interactions, and the culturally and historically situated communicative ideologies that influence and emerge from everyday life. She currently has two research projects in progress. The first, in collaboration with Dr. Sonia Das from NYU, is a study of language use in police-subject interactions in the U.S. South. In this National Science Foundation, Wenner-Gren, and University of South Carolina funded project, she considers how subjects apprehended during traffic stops manage police interactions and how subjects’ actions are interpreted by law enforcement officers. Through ethnographic observation of courts and legal offices, interviews with lawyers, subjects, and police, and analysis of body- and dash-cam video, Das and Feliciano-Santos aim to understand the processes involved in the production of evidence, the dynamics involved in the escalation of force, and the cultural and language ideologies that undergird the U.S. judicial system. Feliciano-Santos also has a long-term project that has centered on indigenous Taino cultural revitalization in Puerto Rico. She is completing a book on the debates surrounding the Taíno indigenous movement in Puerto Rico as well as the historical and interactional challenges involved in claiming membership in, what for many Puerto Ricans, is an impossible affiliation. Her work has been published in various journals such as the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Racial and Ethnic Studies, and Language and Communication, among others. She earned her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Michigan in 2011.