Christina HigginsProfessor & Department Chair
PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Christina Higgins

Moore Hall 556

Dr. Higgins is a sociolinguist who researches multilingualism from a social perspective. She has primarily focused on multilingual practices outside of educational settings in East Africa and Hawaiʻi. She has used discourse analytic, ethnographic, and qualitative approaches to investigate identities, intercultural communication, ideologies, and the relationship between language and place. Dr. Higgins strives to be a sociolinguist for the "real world" and to engage in scholarship that will effect positive change in society. Her current projects include a crowd-sourced, citizen science linguistic landscape study, a collaborative redesign of the linguistic and semiotic landscape of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa's campus, with attention to Hawaiian history, language, culture, and geography, and a collaboration with UHM film students to produce short films that feature Pidgin, the creole language of Hawaiʻi. Dr. Higgins is the Director of the Charlene Junko Sato Center for Pidgin, Creole, and Dialect Studies.

Areas of expertise:

  • sociolinguistics
  • ethnographic discourse analysis
  • multilingualism
  • language and identity
  • family language policy
  • language and globalization
  • community-based, participatory research

Selected Publications:

Higgins, C. (2023). East Africa. In M. Ball, R. Mesthrie & C. Meluzzi (Eds.) Sociolinguistics around the world (2nd Ed.) London: Routledge. 

Wright, L. & Higgins C. (Eds.) (2022). Diversifying family language policy. London: Bloomsbury.

Higgins, C. 2021. Promoting Pidgin at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. In G. Clements and M. J. Petray (eds.) Linguistic discrimination in US higher education: Power, prejudice, impacts and remedies (pp. 174-188). New York: Routledge.

Higgins, C. & Ikeda, M. (2021). The materialization of language in tourism networks. Applied Linguistics Review, 12 (1), 123-152.

Higgins, C. (2019). The dynamics of Hawaiian speakerhood in the family.  International Journal of the Sociology of Language 255, 45-72.

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