Invited Presenters

Our four invited presenters are Kendra Calhoun, Wesley Leonard, Julie Hochgesang, and Kirby Conrod. Check out their profiles below for links to their personal websites and info about their specific expertise at the intersection of linguistics, pedagogy, and inclusion.

Kendra Calhoun

Kendra Calhoun is a PhD Candidate at UC Santa Barbara. She is a Black linguist who researches sociocultural linguistics particularly in multimodal social media contexts. She has extensive experience with inclusive pedagogy. In addition to her teaching at UCSB, where she has received three award nominations for excellence in teaching, she has also taught at Virginia State University as part of the UCSB-HBCU Scholars in Linguistics Program, co-funded by the UC-HBCU Initiative and NSF. She has a forthcoming paper in Language, the premier journal of the Linguistic Society of America, called “Attracting Black Undergraduate Students to Linguistics through a Black-Centered Introduction to Linguistics Course”. She has also given conference presentations on racial inclusion such as “Using Everyday Technology as Tools for Racially Inclusive Classrooms” and “Centering Black Language and Culture in Introductory Linguistics: A Model for Improving Racial Equity in Linguistics Pedagogy”.

Wesley Leonard

Wesley Leonard is an associate professor of Ethnic Studies at UC Riverside. He is a citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. His research focuses on Native American language reclamation, decolonial approaches to linguistics, and Indigenous research methods. He is the co-chair of a project called Natives4Linguistics which aims to “improve the field of Linguistics by broadening the participation of Native American within Linguistics by 1) directly bringing Native Americans to the Linguistic Society of America annual meetings, and 2) by developing and promoting strategies to better integrate Native American needs and values about language into linguistic science” (

Julie Hochgesang

Julie Hochgesang (/ˈhoʊkˌsæŋ/) is an associate professor of Linguistics at Gallaudet University. She is a Deaf linguist who works on documentation of signed languages, ethics of working with signed language communities and making linguistics accessible to the general community (ASL teachers, interpreters, teachers of the Deaf, or anyone who’s interested in knowing about language).  She has contributed to ongoing efforts to create accessible ASL collections for Deaf communities such as the Sign Language Annotation, Archiving and Sharing project which led to the creation of ASL Signbank, a publicly accessible collection of signs to be used for annotation of ASL video datasets. She also consults with Deaf communities on advocacy work and documentation initiatives like the Philadelphia Signs project and Haitian Sign Language Documentation Project (LSHDoP).

Kirby Conrod

Kirby Conrod is a lecturer at the University of Washington. They are a trans non-binary linguist who researches syntax, singular they, and sociolinguistics. Their 2019 dissertation Pronouns Raising and Emerging explores the interaction between pronouns and social identity with regard to the English singular they pronoun. They also research transgender issues in linguistics and how cisgender essentialist bias influences linguistics. They were a member of the Linguistic Society of America Webinar on LGBTQ+ Perspectives in Linguistics. They have also done public-facing lectures, podcast interviews, and blog posts on pronouns and gender, such as a guest post on the popular linguistics blog Language Log about singular they.