1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Grace East

B.A. Michigan State University, 2013
M.A. Wayne State University, 2016

I am currently based in Accra, Ghana working with community members of Nima, a predominantly Muslim immigrant neighborhood. My research focuses on mutually reinforcing themes of language maintenance and place-making as well as how Hausa-speaking immigrants from across West Africa have shaped the linguistic ecology of present-day Accra. In Nima, the community-wide use of Hausa and practice of Islam promote values of hospitality and unity that allow for a diversity of immigrants to feel a sense of belonging. Based on these dynamics, I am interested in how local ideologies of language and place promote the resiliency of Hausa, a non-majority immigrant language, through the disruption and reimagination of colonially imposed categories of discrete territories and languages.


Linguistic Anthropology, Language and Place, Migration, Language Shift, Multilingualism, Hausa-speaking communities in Accra, Ghana, West Africa