Jane H. Hill

Areas of Achievement: 
Higher Education

The members of The University of Arizona Departments of Anthropology and Linguistics and of the Interdisciplinary Ph. D. Program in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) wish to honor Dr. Jane H. Hill on the occasion of her retirement from the UA in 2009. After 15 years of teaching at Wayne State University upon completion of her doctorate, Dr. Hill came to the University of Arizona in 1983 as Professor of Anthropology, and in 1995 she was named Regents' Professor of Anthropology and Linguistics. She was among the founding members of the prestigious and internationally known SLAT Program and a member of the Executive Council of the SLAT program both at its inception in 1991 and more recently just before her retirement. She has won numerous awards at UA, including, most recently, the prestigious Henry and Phyllis Koffler Prize for research, scholarship and creative activity.

Dr. Hill is an internationally renowned scholar in the field of linguistic anthropology. Her interests in this area are broad and cover: indigenous languages of the Americas, especially Uto-Aztecan languages (grammar, historical linguistics, sociopolitical contexts of language use, and language endangerment); sociopolitical investigations of bilingualism, the study of language and political economy, and the field of linguistic ideologies; work on 'mock Spanish' (her own original term for frequent tokens of Spanish used by otherwise monolingual speakers of English) and the everyday language of white racism. Her publication record includes 8 books and 129 peer-reviewed articles and chapters.

A number of academic institutions and societies have publicly recognized Dr. Hill's scholarly contributions and accomplishments. She was President of the American Anthropological Association from 1997-1999, she was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1998, and she is also a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute. In 2000, she served as Senior Research fellow at the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology at La Trobe University (Australia), and in 2003-2004, she received a Residential Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, CA. She was Editor in Chief of Language in Society from 2000-2005. In 2004, she was awarded the Wenner Gren Founcation's prestigious Viking Fund Medal in Anthropology. She will receive the 2009 Franz Boas Award for Exemplary Service to Anthropology from the American Anthropological Association in November. Her research has been funded by, among others, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Science Foundation, and the American Philosophical Society.

Dr. Hill is a dedicated and gifted scholar, teacher, mentor (with over 30 students who have received Ph.D.'s under her direction), advocate, editor, and colleague who has touched many lives. Her broad scholarly expertise and insight are amplified by the personal qualities she brings to her work: enormous erudition, great energy, enthusiasm, generosity, and a commitment to blending scientific study with the goal of social justice.