Interview with John Baugh

Tracy Conner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The following interview was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer of 2021. By that time, I had known John Baugh for about eighteen years after having taken my first class on Black English with him at Stanford. I have always been fascinated by John’s ability to merge innovative and culturally relevant, justice-focused research with liberatory outcomes for Black people and Black language. It was a rare treat for me to talk with my long-time mentor now as a faculty member. In the wake of finally having a critical mass of Black scholars in linguistics and after George Floyd’s murder and a new push to decolonize linguistics, it only seemed fitting to hear the experiences that shaped John’s life, the life of a Black man in linguistics, and how that life has given rise to his groundbreaking scholarship. There is nothing linear about his path. And as the field pushes to admit more Black graduate students and hire more Black faculty, it dawned on me that many in the field might not recognize the exceptional journey of navigating academia as a Black person. Please enjoy this candid snapshot of the life that birthed such a storied career from the upcoming president of the Linguistic Society of America: a unique opportunity to learn how to do better. Consider this a one-time invitation to the cookout.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-474
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of English Linguistics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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