Hi, I'm Dr. Rachel Elizabeth Weissler, and I am a postdoctoral scholar in Psychology, Linguistics, and Black Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oregon. I earned my Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (GO BLUE! View my dissertation here). My foray into linguistics started at my undergraduate-liberal arts-historically women's institution, Bryn Mawr College (ANASSA KATA!).
I am an African American English scholar. In my research, I use theories and methodologies from sociolinguistics, neurolinguistics, and psycholinguistics to investigate how American English-speaking listeners cognitively interact with the voices of Black people. You can check out my Google Scholar page here.
At the University of Oregon, I work in both the Developmental Social Neuroscience Lab (P.I. Dr. Jenn Pfeifer) and the Speech Perception & Production Lab (P.I. Dr. Melissa Baese-Berk). I also teach courses that count toward the Black Studies minor, and am a part of the steering committee revamping what Black Studies looks like on UO's campus.
I love talking with people about language. I've done interviews for Vice, Teach Better, Huffington Post, Nerdist, and more. I'm also a production Assistant for A Way With Words Radio Show, which focuses on language examined through family, history, and culture. Additionally, I am passionate about teaching, and work to create spaces that are conducive to learning through an equity and justice approach. Mentoring is of great importance to me, as I find community support essential for understanding the unwritten rules of navigating academia. Travel is one of my greatest joys in life, and has been one of my greatest teachers.
Please get in touch with me if you'd like to connect:
rweissle [AT] uoregon [DOT] edu
Be sure to check out the episode below of the PBS Digital Series Otherwords, where I demystify some common misconceptions about African American English alongside the Otherwords' host (and my friend!), Dr. Erica Brozovsky.