Bio


As a sociocultural and linguistic anthropologist, Jonathan Rosa's research theorizes the co-naturalization of language and race as a key feature of modern governance. Specifically, he analyzes the interplay between youth socialization, raciolinguistic formations, and structural inequity in urban contexts. Dr. Rosa collaborates with local communities to track these phenomena and develop tools for understanding and eradicating the forms of disparity to which they correspond. This community-based approach to research, teaching, and service reflects a vision of scholarship as a platform for imagining and enacting more just societies. Dr. Rosa's research has been published in scholarly journals such as Harvard Educational Review, American Ethnologist, American Anthropologist, Language in Society, and the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology. In addition to his formal scholarly research, Dr. Rosa is an ongoing participant in public intellectual projects focused on race, education, language, (im)migration, and U.S. Latinxs, and his work has been featured in media outlets such as MSNBC, NPR, CNN, and Univision.

Academic Appointments


Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Education, Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and, by courtesy, Departments of Anthropology and Linguistics, Stanford University (2015 - Present)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Latina/o Studies Program, Northwestern University (2015 - 2016)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts Amherst (2011 - 2015)
  • Faculty Fellow, Latina/o Studies Program, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University (2010 - 2011)

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., University of Chicago, Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology (2010)
  • M.A., University of Chicago, Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology (2006)
  • B.A., Swarthmore College, Linguistics and Educational Studies (2003)

Research Interests


  • Diversity and Identity
  • Immigrants and Immigration
  • Literacy and Language
  • Sociology
  • Teachers and Teaching

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Dr. Rosa’s book, Looking like a Language, Sounding like a Race: Raciolingusitic Ideologies and the Learning of Latinidad (2019, Oxford University Press), presents an ethnographic analysis of how administrators in a Chicago public high school whose student body is more than 90% Mexican and Puerto Rican seek to transform “at risk” Latinx youth into “young Latino professionals.” This intersectional mobility project paradoxically positions Latinx identity as the cause of and solution to educational underachievement. As a result, students must learn to be – and sound – “Latino” in highly studied ways. Students respond to anxieties surrounding their ascribed identities by symbolically remapping borders between nations, languages, ethnoracial categories, and institutional contexts. This reimagining of political, linguistic, cultural, and educational borders reflects the complex interplay between racialization and socialization for Latinx youth. The manuscript argues that this local scene is a key site in which to track broader structures of educational inequity by denaturalizing categories, differences, and modes of recognition through which raciolinguistic exclusion is systematically reproduced across contexts.

2019-20 Courses


Stanford Advisees


  • Doctoral Dissertation Reader (AC)
    Emma Gargroetzi, Courtney Pena, Indira Phukan, Marva Shalev Marom, Karoline Trepper
  • Doctoral Dissertation Co-Advisor (AC)
    Abiya Ahmed
  • Doctoral (Program)
    Neida Ahmad, AJ Alvero, Brian Cabral, Chance Carpenter, CoCo Massengale, Victoria Melgarejo Vieyra, Alé Romero, Sunny Trivedi

All Publications


  • Looking like a language, sounding like a race: Raciolinguistic ideologies and the learning of Latinidad Rosa, J. Oxford University Press, USA. 2019
  • Language and Social Justice in Practice Avineri, N., Graham, L. R., Johnson, E. J., Riner, R. C., Rosa, J. Routledge. 2018
  • Unsettling race and language: Toward a raciolinguistic perspective LANGUAGE IN SOCIETY Rosa, J., Flores, N. 2017; 46 (5): 621–47
  • Deprovincializing Trump, decolonizing diversity, and unsettling anthropology AMERICAN ETHNOLOGIST Rosa, J., Bonilla, Y. 2017; 44 (2): 201–8

    View details for DOI 10.1111/amet.12468

    View details for Web of Science ID 000404546100002

  • Do you hear what I hear? Raciolinguistic ideologies and culturally sustaining pedagogies Culturally sustaining pedagogies: Teaching and learning for justice in a changing world Rosa, J., Flores, N. 2017: 175-190
  • Diaspora and language ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF MIGRATION AND LANGUAGE Rosa, J., Trivedi, S., Canagarajah, S. 2017: 330–46
  • Standardization, Racialization, Languagelessness: Raciolinguistic Ideologies across Communicative Contexts JOURNAL OF LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY Rosa, J. D. 2016; 26 (2): 162-183

    View details for DOI 10.1111/jola.12116

    View details for Web of Science ID 000383263500003

  • Racializing language, regimenting Latinas/os: Chronotope, social tense, and American raciolinguistic futures LANGUAGE & COMMUNICATION Rosa, J. 2016; 46: 106-117
  • Undoing Appropriateness: Raciolinguistic Ideologies and Language Diversity in Education HARVARD EDUCATIONAL REVIEW Flores, N., Rosa, J. 2015; 85 (2): 7–29
  • Invited Forum: Bridging the "Language Gap" JOURNAL OF LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY Avineri, N., Johnson, E., Brice-Heath, S., McCarty, T., Ochs, E., Kremer-Sadlik, T., Blum, S., Zentella, A. C., Rosa, J., Flores, N., Alim, H. S., Paris, D. 2015; 25 (1): 66-86

    View details for DOI 10.1111/jola.12071

    View details for Web of Science ID 000354725800004

  • Digital protest, hashtag ethnography, and the racial politics of social media in the United States AMERICAN ETHNOLOGIST Bonilla, Y., Rosa, J. 2015; 42 (1): 4–17

    View details for DOI 10.1111/amet.12112

    View details for Web of Science ID 000349898500002

  • Rethinking Gaps Literacies and Languages in Participatory Cultures JOURNAL OF ADOLESCENT & ADULT LITERACY Jocson, K., Rosa, J., Curwood, J. 2015; 58 (5): 372–74

    View details for DOI 10.1002/jaal.368

    View details for Web of Science ID 000348862600004

  • On Latin@s and the Immigration Debate AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST Davila, A., Mullings, L., Rosaldo, R., Plascencia, L. B., Chavez, L. R., Magana, R., Rosas, G., Aparicio, A., Najera, L., Zavella, P., Galvez, A., Rosa, J. D. 2014; 116 (1): 146–59

    View details for DOI 10.1111/aman.12069

    View details for Web of Science ID 000333215100019