Department of Anthropology

Jessica Nelson Assistant Professor

BA in Cultural Anthropology, University of Michigan, 2006
MA in Linguistic Anthropology, University of Arizona, 2011
PhD in Linguistic Anthropology with a minor in Linguistics, University of Arizona, 2018  (307) 766-6520  Anthropology 208

Jessica Fae Nelson is a linguistic anthropologist whose work focuses on community-based language revitalization, indigeneity, and language and social meaning. Her research interests also include gender and language, filmmaking, and videogames as virtual worlds and tools for language reclamation work. Some of her favorite projects have been a Pataxó Hãhãhãe community dictionary and comparative historical linguistic reconstruction, Berenstein Bears cartoons dubbed into the Lakota language, and a Patxohã mobile dictionary app (ongoing). As a Lakota language learner herself, she also enjoys teaching Beginning and Intermediate Lakota here at UW.


Courses Taught


NAIS 1001 Intro to Native American & Indigenous Studies

NAIS 2060 Beginning Indigenous Language: Lakota

ANTH 4775/5775 Gender & Language

ANTH 4024/5005 Audiovisual Methods in Linguistic Anthropology


Selected Publications


2023    “On Pataxó Hãhãhãe and Maxakalí” International Journal of American Linguistics 89, no. 4: 531-563.

2021     “Retaking Hãhãhãe: Revitalization and Reindigenization in a Context of Indigenous Erasure” In Metalinguistic Communities: Case Studies of Agency, Ideology, and Symbolic Uses of Language. Netta Avineri and Jesse Harasta (eds). Palgrave Studies in Minority Languages and Communities. Palgrave MacMullin. 161-179.

2016    "Lakota Men’s and Women’s speech: Gender, Metapragmatic Discourse, and Language Revitalization." In Gender, Language and the Periphery. Julie Abbou and Fabienne Baider (eds). Amsterdam, NL: John Benjamins. 257-284.

2011                 (coordinating producer) “Matȟó Waúƞšila Thiwáhe.” (Lakota Berenstein Bears) DVD. PBS.


                        In collaboration with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Lakota Language Consortium.


Jessica Nelson

Assistant Professor
Anthropology 208
(307) 766-6520 |

Contact Us

Anthropology Department

12th and Lewis Streets

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-5136


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