Dr. Barbara LeMaster

Dr. Barbara LeMaster

Photograph Information
Barbara LeMaster

Title: Professor of Anthropology and Linguistics & Director of ASLD Program
Office Location: FO3-322
Phone Number: (562) 985-5037
E-mail Address: Barbara.LeMaster@csulb.edu


BA double major in Linguistics & Anthropology, U.C. Berkeley, 1979
MA  in Department of Anthropology, UCLA, 1983
PhD in Department of Anthropology, UCLA, 1990
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Medical Anthropology, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA, 1994

Teaching/Research Interests:

My teaching and research interests are in issues of emergence and maintenance of ethnic, cultural, and gender identities in historical and ethnographic contexts, specifically examining the use of resistance and power in unequal social relationships. This includes an interest in general practices and discourses of social control, the dynamic interaction of disadvantaged people in situations of unequal social relationships. It also includes an interest in the effects of educational language policies on group structure and language use; and, an interest in the expression of gender, ethnicity, and cultural identity through language variation. My work involves descriptive linguistic and sociolinguistic analyses of Deaf sign languages, ethnographies of Deaf communities, and issues of gender socialization in schools. The contexts of my research are primarily in educational and community settings.

Courses Taught:

LING 325: Models of Grammar
LING/ANTH 170: An Introduction to Linguistics
LING 425/ANTH 421: Education Across Cultures
LING/EDEL/EDP 431: Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Schooling
LING 428: Applied Linguistics
LING 470/ANTH & WST 475: Language and Gender
LING 533/ANTH 530: Seminar in Ethnography of Communication
LING 540: Seminar in Sociolinguistics
ANTH 120: Cultural Anthropology
ANTH/LING 170: An Introduction to Linguistics
ANTH 412IC: Culture and Communication
ANTH 436: Medical Anthropology
ANTH 501: The History of Anthropology Theory (and Contemporary Theory)
ANTH 530/LING 533: Seminar in Ethnography of Communication
ANTH 630: Seminar in Anthropological Linguistics
ANTH 675: Internship in Applied Anthropology

Publications and Professional Presentations:

LeMaster, B., R. Moges, C. Trueblood. 2007. Gendered Phonology, Morphology, and Animacy in American Sign Language. Presented at the International Gender and Language Association (IGALA) meetings in Valencia, Spain in November, 2006; and to be published in the IGALA4 proceedings in 2007.

LeMaster, B. 2006. Language Contraction, Revitalization and Irish Women. In Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 16:2:211-228

LeMaster, B. and L. Monaghan. 2004. “Variation in Sign Languages.” In Alessandro Duranti (Ed.) A Companion to Linguistic Anthropology. Blackwell Press. Pp. 141-166. Reprinted in Monaghan, Leila (editor), Cultural Approach to Interpersonal Communication. 2006: 426-430.

LeMaster, B. 2003. “School Language and Shifts in Irish Deaf Identity.” In Leila Monaghan, Constance Schmaling, Karen Nakamura, and Graham Turner (Eds.), Many Ways to be Deaf: International Variation in Deaf Communities. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press. Pp. 153-172.

LeMaster, B. and M. Hernandez-Katapodis. 2002. Learning to Play School: The Role of Topic in Gendered Discourse Roles among Preschoolers. In Benor, S., Rose, M., Sharma, D., Sweetland, J, and Q. Zhang (eds.). Gendered Practices in Language. Stanford, California: CSLI Publications. Pp. 213-236.

Professional Activities, Awards, & Affiliations:

Awards and Honors

  • Elected to the American Anthropological Association Committee on the Status of Women
  • Recipient of the CSULB Wang Nomination for Social and Behavioral Sciences 2004
  • Recipient of the CSULB Wang Nomination for Social and Behavioral Sciences 2003
  • Distinguished Teaching Faculty Award (University level) 2001-2002


  • CSULB Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award 2006 (for release time 2007/2008) “International Research on Sign Language and Deaf Communities”
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) 2003-2005 (extended to 2006 with supplement)
  • CSULB Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award 2005 (for release time 2006/2007) for work on preschool paper presented at IGALA4.
  • CSULB Mini Grant (for work in Spring 2005)
  • CSULB Mini-Grant 2004 (for ISL project)
  • CSULB Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award 2003 (for release time)
  • CSULB Scholarly and Creative Achievement Mini-Grant 2002 (for ISL project)
  • CSULB Scholarly and Creative Achievement Mini-Grant 2001 (for preschool project)
  • Spencer Foundation Small Grant Award (~$35,000), August 1, 2000-July 31, 2001.

Department Committees/Service

  1. Curriculum Committee Member and Chair;
  2. Chair’s Advisory Board;
  3. FMI Committee Member,
  4. Graduate Advisor,
  5. Student Advisory Committee;
  6. Lab Committee;
  7. Comprehensive Exam Committee;
  8. member of full-time lecturer search committees;
  9. Coordinator of the Ling 425/Anthro 421 course;
  10. Advisor to comprehensive papers;
  11. Chair or member of M.A. thesis committees.

Anthropology Department — committees I have served on:

  1. Graduate Committee;
  2. Applied Graduate Committee;
  3. Chair and member of the Awards Committee;
  4. FMI Committee Member (along with everyone else on the faculty);
  5. Chair of Applied Anthropology Search Committees
  6. Coordinator for the Anthro/Ling 170 Course, and the Anthro 421/Ling 425 Course;
  7. Chair or member of M.A. thesis committees;
  8. former Graduate Advisor;
  9. Undergraduate Committee;
  10. Chair and member of thesis and project student committees.

College, University, Systemwide Committees / Service

  1. Co-coordinator with John Attinasi of the new streamlined course called “Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Schooling.”
  2. Joint Appointee CLA Committee member,
  3. Faculty Council Alternate for Linguistics,
  4. Member of the Human Development Search Committee (for two positions)
  5. CLAD Academy;
  6. ITEP Social Science Committee;
  7. GE Revitalization Theme Committee;
  8. university awards committee.

Professional Service Activities

  1. International Gender and Language Association (IGALA) Advisory Board member
  2. Program Chair of the Society for Linguistic Anthropology in the American Anthropological Association, 1998 and 1999 national meetings.