Marcyliena Morgan, PhD

Member, CAL Board of Trustees 2012-2014

Professor of African & African American Studies, Harvard University

Professor Morgan earned both her B.A. and her M.A. degrees at the University of Illinois in Chicago. She obtained an additional M.A. at the University of Essex, England and her PhD through the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. She teaches classes on hip hop, the ethnography of communications, representation in the media, language and identity, race, class, and gender and founded the Hiphop Archive at the W.E.B. Dubois Institute for Afro-American Research at Harvard University in 2002.

Dr. Morgan is the author of many publications that focus on youth, gender, language, culture, identity, sociolinguistics, discourse and interaction including Language, Discourse and Power in African American Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2002) and The Real Hiphop—Battling for Knowledge, Power, and Respect in the Underground (Duke University Press, 2008).

Dr. Morgan has conducted field research on the African Diaspora, identity and language in the United States, England, and the Caribbean. She has received major grants from the Ford Foundation and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Her research interests include:

  • Urban speech communities: identity, migration, interaction, language use, discourse styles, urban youth language, verbal performance, hip-hop culture
  • The African Diaspora: continuity and innovation in language and communication styles of peoples of African descent residing in the Americas and throughout the African Diaspora
  • Language, culture and identity: how language both constitutes and works in the construction of gender, national and other group identities, especially in urban areas
  • Discourse strategies: intentionality and responsibility in discourse: construction of gender in discourse and narrative style and language socialization
  • Verbal performance in urban African Diaspora speech communities with special emphasis on African American English in the U.S., literacy instruction, language education policy and programs for bilingual creole language speakers

Learn more about Dr. Morgan.