• Becky L. Schulthies
  • Becky L. Schulthies
  • Associate Professor, SAS
  • Specialization: linguistic anthropology; human-plant semiotic ideologies; Arabic graphic sensibilities; national/transnational Arab media ideologies; language ideologies and identities in Morocco; education and literacies; social media discourse; history of Arabic semiotic ideologies
  • Degree and University: Ph.D. University of Arizona
  • Office: Ruth Adams Building Room 312
  • Office Hours: Spring 2023 - Wed. 12:30-2 pm in office or ZOOM (email for link), or by apptmt.
  • Phone: (848)932-4122


I am a linguistic and cultural anthropologist working on Moroccan semiotic ideologies.

My first project explores the intersection of language and media ideologies in urban Fez, Morocco. My main contribution to previous research on media reception in the Arab world has been an ethnographically grounded perspective on the role of language ideologies (expectations about what forms of language are, do, and should do) and media ideologies (understandings of what media is, does, and should do) in processes of authority construction, message delivery, social movements, and personhood.I tied transnational and local production of public culture (through interviews and observations of Moroccan and Lebanese media professionals) to urban family interpretive micro-analysis (via observations, interviews, recordings, and transcription of domestic viewing practices in Fez).  

I continue to be interested in mediation of collectives through communicative media. My current project is an exploration of semiotic ideologies  informing plant-human relationality in Morocco. I'm exploring the communicability assumptions underlying plant publics, the contested linking of specific plants (argan, cannabis, and wild herbs) with Moroccan identity and value.


IMG 2572Selected Publications:

channelling moroccanness
2020 Channeling Moroccanness: Language and the Media of Sociality.  Becky L. Schulthies. New York: Fordham University Press.


2018 Linguistic Anthropology Approaches to Arabic. In Routledge Handbook of Arabic Linguistics, edited by Reem Bassiouney

2015 "Do You Speak Arabic? Axes of Adequation and Difference in Pan-Arab Talent Programs." Language and Communication 44:59-71

2014  Everyday Life in the Muslim Middle East. Donna Lee Bowen, Evelyn Early and Becky Schulthies, eds. 3rd edition. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

2014 "Scripted Ideologies: Orthographic Heterogeneity" in Online Arabics. Al-cArabiyya, Journal of the American Association of Teachers of Arabic 47:41-56.

2013 "Reasonable Affects: Moroccan Family Responses to Mediated Violence." In The Language of War and Peace, Adam Hodges, ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 193-221.

Courses regularly taught:

Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology

Ethnographies of the Middle East

Anthropology of Islam

Language as Social Action

Language and Social Diversity

Anthropology of Media

Research Design and Methods

Botanic Socialities