Dr. Krystal A. Smalls

Dr. Krystal Smalls

Contact Information

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Davenport Hall - Rm 385
607 S. Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Assistant Professor
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Additional Campus Affiliations

Research Interests

  • Linguistic Anthropology, Sociolinguistics, African Diaspora Studies
  • Race, Semiotics, Personhood, Language Ideology, Digital Sociality

Research Description

My research revolves around semiotics of race in young people's lives.  I conduct ethnographic research in different locations of the "African diaspora" (mostly digital or urban) to better understand discourses and practices of blackness and antiblackness.I've worked with young urbanites in Liberia, Kenya, and the US (Philadelphia), and I've recently begun work in Johannesburg, South Africa and with my own cultural community, the Gullah/Geechee of coastal and insular South Carolina.

Education

  • PhD, University of Pennsylvania (2015)
  • BS, Cornell University (2000)

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Smalls, Krystal A 'We Had Lighter Tongues': Making and Mediating Gullah/Geechee personhood in the South Carolina Lowcountry Language & Communication 32 20 2012.

Book Contributions

Smalls, Krystal A The Proverbial Monkey on Our Backs: Exploring the Politics of Belonging among Transnational African High School Students in the US US Education in a World of Migration edited by Jill Koyama, edited by Mathangi Subramanian. The Proverbial Monkey on Our Backs: Exploring the Politics of Belonging among Transnational African High School Students in the US Edited by Jill Koyama, Edited by Mathangi Subramanian, Routledge 2014.