Christina P. Davis is a Professor of Anthropology at Western Illinois University. She is a linguistic anthropologist focusing on linguistic and digital media practices, language policy, and multilingual education in Sri Lanka and India. Davis received her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Michigan under the advisement of Professors Judith T. Irvine, Thomas R. Trautmann, Webb Keane, and Barbra A. Meek. Her first book, The Struggle for a Multilingual Future: Youth and Education in Sri Lanka (Oxford Studies in the Anthropology of Language, Oxford University Press, 2020), examines the tension between ethnic conflict and multilingual education policy in the linguistic and social practices of Sri Lankan minority youth. Her second book, “Mother Tongue and English: The Politics of Language at Indian Universities” (Under contract, Cambridge University Press), which is co-authored with Chaise LaDousa, incorporates interviews with students at universities in western and northern India to examine how “mother tongue” is imagined in relation to English. Davis is also working on a research project on linguistic and media practices and Tamil identity in a Tamil-majority neighborhood in Colombo called Wellawatte. 

She recently co-edited a volume, Language, Education, and Identity: Medium in South Asia (Routledge, 2022), which examines medium of instruction in education and studies its social, economic, and political significance in the lives of people living in South Asia. She also co-edited a special issue of Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, “Essays in Honor of Judith T. Irvine” and a special issue of Signs and Society, “Sign and Script in South Asia: Media and Semiotic Mediation,” which includes her article Trilingual Blunders: Signboards, Social Media, and Transnational Sri Lankan Tamil Publics.” Davis’s other recent work appears in Journal of Education, Language, and Ideology, International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Anthropology & Education Quarterly, Language & Communication, and the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology (2021; 2022; 2012). At Western Illinois University she teaches Anthropology 110: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Anthropology 380: Language and Culture, Anthropology 419: Anthropological Theory, and Anthropology 210: Medical Anthropology. She is an editorial board member of Journal of Linguistic Anthropology and an editorial advisory board member of Journal of Education, Language, and Ideology.

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