Jackie Urla

Professor and Department Chair
Machmer 208 
Curriculum Vitae


B.A., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1978; M.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1980; Ph.D.,University of California, Berkeley, 1987

Area(s) of Specialization:

cultural and linguistic anthropology

Research Description:

I'm a cultural anthropologist interested in the ethnography of resistance, gender and sexual politics, cultural activism, critical post-structuralism, technologies of knowledge and power, and minority languages. My research has been centered in Spain where I’ve done long term ethnographic research with Basque language advocates examining such issues as language standardization, youth community media projects, music and the political uses of statistics. I’m interested in theorizing the intersecting logics of nationalism, governmentality, and late capitalism. I continue to collaborate with Basque sociolinguists exploring the evolving politics of language revitalization and have begun new fieldwork on memories of violence of the Spanish civil war.

Key Publications:


2012 Reclaiming Basque: Language, Nation and Cultural Activism. University of Nevada Press.

1995 Deviant Bodies: Critical Perspectives on Difference in Science and Popular Culture. J. Terry and J. Urla, eds. Race, Gender and Science Series. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.


In Press Urla, J. and C. Burdick. "Counting Matters: Measuring the Vitality of Basque." To appear in The Int. Jo. of the Sociology of Language, special issue: Lost in Counting: Language and Census. A. Duchene and P. Hubert, eds.

2018 Urla, J. et al. "Basque Standardization and the New Speaker: Political Praxis and the Shifting Dynamics of Authority and Value." P. Lane and J. Costa, eds. Standardizing Minority Languages: Competing Ideologies of Authority and Authenticity in the Global Periphery. Routledge Critical Studies in Multilingualism.

2016 Urla, J., E. Amorrortu, A. Ortega, and J. Goirigolzarri. "Authenticity and Linguistic Variety among New Speakers of Basque. Language Documentation and Conservation." Special Publication No. 9, Language Documentation and Conservation in Europe. Open access

2015 Ortega, A. J. Urla, E. Amorrortu, J. Goirigolzarri, and B. Uranga. “Linguistic Identity Among New Speakers of Basque.” Int. Jo. of the Sociology of Language 231:85-105

2014 Jacqueline Urla and Justin Helepololei. "The Ethnography of Resistance Then and Now: On Activist Engagements in the 21st Century." History and Anthropology 25 (4): 431-451.

2013 Altuna, Olatz and Jacqueline Urla. "The Basque Street Survey : Two decades of assessing the public use of Basque." Int. Jo. of the Sociology of Language 224: 209 – 227.

2012 Jacqueline Urla. "Total Quality Language Revival." Monica Heller and Alexandre Duchene, eds. Language in Late Capitalism: Pride and Profit. Routledge. Pp. 73-92.

2001 Jacqueline Urla. "'We are all Malcolm X!' Negu Gorriak, Hip Hop and the Basque Political Imaginary." Global Noise: Hip Hop Outside the USA. Tony Mitchell, ed. Wesleyan University Press. Pp. 171-193.