Christina Davis

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Christina Davis.

Research Interests

Christina Davis’s research interests concern intersections between multilingual language and media practices, education, and ethnic conflict, with a geographical focus on South Asia. Her first book,  The Struggle for a Multilingual Future: Youth and Education in Sri Lanka (Oxford University Press, 2020), examines the tension between ethnic conflict and multilingual education policy in the linguistic and social practices of Sri Lankan minority youth.

She recently co-edited a special issue of Signs and Society , "Sign and Script in South Asia," which includes her article, "Trilingual Blunders: Signboards, Social Media, and Transnational Sri Lankan Tamil Publics."

Her other recent peer-reviewed articles appear in the  International Journal of the Sociology of Language , Anthropology & Education Quarterly , Language & Communication , and the  Journal of Linguistic Anthropology .

She is currently working on a new project on the configuration of Tamil identity and place in Wellawatte, a Colombo neighborhood that is a communication hub between residential and diasporic Sri Lankan Tamil populations. She is also pursuing a collaborative research project on mother tongue and linguistic anxiety in South Asia.

Please visit for a current listing of talks, publications and courses. 

She is the Book Review Editor for the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology


  • Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of Michigan, 2011
  • Certificate Degree in South Asian Studies, University of Michigan, 2011
  • M.A. in Social Sciences, University of Chicago, 2003
  • B.A in Anthropology, University of Michigan, 2001

Teaching Areas

Linguistic Anthropology, Sociocultural Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, Anthropological Theory and Methods, Semiotics, South Asian Studies.


  • Anthropology 110: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • Anthropology 210: Medical Anthropology
  • Anthropology 305: Applied Anthropological Methods
  • Anthropology 380: Language and Culture
  • Anthropology 419: Anthropological Theory

Contact Info

Office: Morgan Hall 401

Phone: (309) 298-1369