Sharese King

Faculty Photo
Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics
Rosenwald 229C
Office Hours: By Appointment
(773) 702-6897
Ph.D., Stanford University, 2018
Teaching at UChicago since 2018
Research Interests: Sociolinguistics, Language Variation & Change, African American Language, Critical Race Theory

Dr. Sharese King is a sociolinguist interested in the relationship between race, place, and language variation. She explores how African Americans use language to construct multidimensional identities and how these constructions are perceived and evaluated across different listener populations. Drawing on both ethnographic and experimental techniques, her work explores both the linguistic construction of race and the ways in which language is racialized. To date, she has done fieldwork in both Bakersfield, California and Rochester, New York, and has recently received an NSF grant to work on The Chicagoland Project with her Co-PI, Annette D'Onofrio.

Recent Publications

Selected Articles/Chapters:

  • Farrington, C, King, S, Kohn, M. (2021). Sources of variation in the speech of African Americans: Perspectives from sociophonetics. WIREs Cogn Sci. 2021; 12:e1550
  • King, S. (2021). Rethinking race and place: The role of persona in sound change reversal. J Sociolinguistics. 2021; 25: 159– 178
  • King, S. (2020). From African American Vernacular English to African American Language: Rethinking Race and Language in the Study of African Americans’ Speech. Annual Review Linguistics: Vol. 6.
  • Calder, J. & King, S. (2020) Intersections between Race, Place, and Gender in the Production of /s/, University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics: Vol. 26: Iss. 2 , Article 5.
  • King, S., & Calder, J. (2020). 4. The Nature of BOOT Fronting Among African Americans in Bakersfield, California. Publication of the American Dialect Society, 105(1), 64-78.
  • Rickford, J. R. & King. S. (2016). "Language and linguistics on trial: Hearing Rachel Jeantel (and other vernacular speakers) in the Courtroom and Beyond." Language, 92(4), 948-988.

2020-2021 Course Offerings

Race, Ethnicity, and Language (LING 23650/LING 33650) - Autumn 2020

This course explores definitions of race and ethnicity, asking how both are socially constructed through structures and institutions, as well as interpersonally. Further, we explore what linguistics can tell us about race and how language is used to racialize to individuals.

Language in Society (LING 26002) - Spring 2021

This course is an introduction to sociolinguistics, the study of language in its social context. We will look at variation at all levels of language and how this variation constructs and is constructed by identity and culture, including relationships between language and social class, language and gender, and language and ethnicity. We will also discuss language attitudes and ideologies, as well as some of the educational, political, and social repercussions of language variation and standardization.

Seminar on Race and Place (LING 51350) - Spring 2021

In this seminar we explore the relationship between race and place, honing in on the question of how race dynamics have affected linguistic variation in the Chicago landscape. We examine sociohistorical texts on the migration of African Americans to Chicago, while also drawing data collected in the region to answer the aforementioned question.

2019-2020 Course Offerings

Language in Society (LING 26002) - Spring 2020

This course is an introduction to sociolinguistics, the study of language in its social context. We will look at variation at all levels of language and how this variation constructs and is constructed by identity and culture, including relationships between language and social class, language and gender, and language and ethnicity. We will also discuss language attitudes and ideologies, as well as some of the educational, political, and social repercussions of language variation and standardization.