May 18, 2016
I came to University of Michigan to study Southern dialects in the media. That's right. I left the South after spending the first 25 years of my life split between South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina in order to do research on Southern dialects.
The usual response I get when I tell people this is "Why?! Why leave the comfort and warmth of the South to come north and study dialects from the place you were before?"
The main reason I came here is pretty straightforward. One of the major researchers on language in the media is here. The more interesting reason I came here is that portrayals of media in the South aren't just shown in the South. After all, media is everywhere, so it's important to see what its effects are in multiple places.