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Associate Professor of Anthropology, Western University

Karen Pennesi is a linguistic anthropologist who teaches courses about language and identity, verbal art and performance, discourse analysis and applied linguistics. Her research explores how language plays an integral part in the processes of creating and performing individual and group identities. Her current work on personal names investigates how names are treated as symbols of identity that influence self-perception and the unequal treatment of others. Names are especially important in issues related to immigration, social integration and belonging. One aim of this research is to promote understanding and respect for everyone in a linguistically and culturally diverse society. Pennesi has published several academic articles about her work on names as well as two guest blog posts.


  • –present
    Associate Professor of Anthropology, Western University


  • 2007 
    University of Arizona, PhD / Anthropology