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Monica Heller

Monica Heller
Professor Emerita

phone: (416) 978-1987

Social Justice Education

Centre de Recherche en Education Franco-Ontarienne

Research Overview

Dr. Heller's research focusses on the role of language in the construction of social difference and social inequality in the post-nationalist, globalizing new economy. Her ethnographic, sociolinguistic research mainly examines these processes as they unfold in francophone Canada. She is also involved in work in these areas conducted in western Europe, and in their relevance for policy in the areas of language and education and training, the workplace and public space.

Academic History

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, Linguistics, 1982.
M.A., University of California, Berkeley, Linguistics, 1978.
B.A., Swarthmore College, Sociology and Anthropology (Honors), 1976.

Teaching Overview

Dr. Heller has taught the following courses:

JSA 5147 Language, Nationalism and Post-nationalism
ANT 5144 Language and Social Action: Social Theory and Ethnographic Practice
SES 1905 Qualitative Approaches to Sociological Research in Education
JTE 1952 Language, Culture and Education/Langue, culture et ducation
CTL 3803 Ethnography for the Language Disciplines
SES 1900 Introduction la sociologie de l'ducation

Representative Publications

Books and monographs

Heller, M. (2011). Paths to Postnationalism: A Critical Ethnography of Language and Identity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Duchêne, A., & Heller, M. (Eds.) (2011). Language in Late Capitalism: Pride and Profit. London: Routledge.

Heller, M. (Ed.) (2007). Bilingualism: A Social Approach. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Duchêne, A., & Heller, M. (Eds.) (2007). Discourses of Endangerment: Ideology and Interest in the Defense of Languages. London: Continuum.

Heller, M., with Campbell, M., Dalley, P., & Patrick, D. (2006). Linguistic Minorities and Modernity: A Sociolinguistic Ethnography (2nd edition).  London: Continuum (First edition 1999, London: Longman.)

Heller, M. (2002) Éléments d’une sociolinguistique critique. Paris: Didier.

Heller, M. (1994). Crosswords: Language, Ethnicity and Education in French Ontario.  Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Heller, M. (Ed.) (1988). Codeswitching: Anthropological and Sociolinguistic Perspectives,. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.


Research Grants and Contracts

2012-2015 Nuevos hablantes, nuevas identidades : practicas e ideologias linguisticas en la era post-nacional . Collaborator (Principal investigator : J. Pujolar. Co-investigators : L. Martin Rojo, B. O'Rourke, F. Ramallo, K. Woolard). Ministerio de Cincia y Tecnologa (Spain), EU 43, 000

2010-2013 Montreal on the move : an ethnographic study of language practices in a city redefined . Co-investigator (Principal investigator : P. Lamarre). Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, $100, 093

2008-2009 Mobility, identity and new political economies : a multi-sited ethnography . Principal investigator. Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, $23, 641 US

2008-2012 Mobility, Identity and the New Economy . Principal investigator (co-investigators: M. Beaudin, M. Daveluy). Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, $249, 720

2007-2010 La gestin des multilingismo en el mbito institucional . (PI : M. Moyer ; co-PIs : G. Budach, E. Codo, A. Duchne, M. Dooley, M. Heller, M.R. Garrido, D. Ruiz, S. Oliver). Ministerio de Cincia y Tecnologa (Spain), EU 25, 400

2007-2010 Escuela y multilingismo : un estudio sociolingistico critico de los programas de educacion linguistica en la Comunidad de Madrid. (PI : L. Martin Rojo ; co-PIs : M. Heller, A.M. Relao). EU 109, 600

2004-2007 La francit transnationale: pour une sociolinguistique de la mouvance . Principal investigator (co-investigators: N. Labrie, A. Boudreau, L. Dubois, M. LeBlanc; collaborators: P. Auer, W. Kallmeyer, C. Moise). Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, $ 243, 581.

2001-2004 Prise de parole II: la francophonie canadienne et la nouvelle conomie mondialise . Principal investigator (co-principal investigators: N. Labrie, A. Boudreau, L. Dubois, P. Lamarre and D. Meintel; collaborator: C. Moise). Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. $198,000

1999-2001 Alphabtisation et bilinguisme dans la nouvelle conomie . Co-principal investigator with N. Labrie. Social Sciences and Humanties Research Council of Canada. $96,000

1999-2000 L'immigration et la francophonie torontoise . Co-principal investigator with N. Labrie. Major Research Initiative, Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement, Toronto. $40,000

Honours and Awards

1998 Connaught Research Fellowship, University of Toronto
2001 Konrad Adenauer Research Award, Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung (Germany)
2001 Member, official delegation, State Visit of the Governor-General of Canada to Germany
2005-present Member, Royal Society of Canada
2011 President's Award, American Anthropological Association
2013 President's Award, American Anthropological Association

Professional Activities

2013-2015 President, American Anthropological Association
2011-2013 Vice-President and President-Elect, American Anthropological Association


2012-present Ad hoc Committee on Intervention on Matters of Public Importance, Royal Society of Canada
2011- present Comit aviseur, Centre d'tudes ethniques des universits de Montral
2009-present, Comit de suivi de la situation linguistique, Office qubcois de la langue franaise
2009-2010 Associate Dean's Advisory Committee on Teaching
2005-2008 Executive Board, American Anthropological Association

Editorial Boards:

2007-2012 Associate editor, Journal of Sociolinguistics
Current: member, editorial boards of the Journal of Sociolinguistics, Language in Society, Langage et socit, Glottopol, Cahiers internationaux de sociolinguistique, Language Policy, Discourse and Society

Keynote Addresses:

2011 "Ethnography and discourse analysis". New Zealand Discourse Conference. Auckland (New Zealand).

2011 "Between pride and profit: the changing value of linguistic resources in the globalized new economy", Conference on Language, Education and Diversity, Auckland (New Zealand).

2011 "Language, identity and nation in the globalized new economy: the case of francophone Canada". Richard Frucht Memorial Lecture Series and Student Conference, Dept. of Anthropology. University of Alberta. Edmonton

2010 "Plurilinguisme, post-nationalisme et nouvelle conomie". Colloque "Plurilinguisme, politique linguistique et ducation. Quels clairages pour Mayotte?" Mamoudzou (Mayotte).


Executive Program Chair, 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (New Orleans)