Professor John R. Rickford is a leading expert on linguistics, with a focus on Ebonics, Creole, and Guyanese language studies. His studies often focus on linguistics as the field applies to urban education, social class, and ethnic identity. Well known in his field, Rickford is the J.E. Wallace Sterling Professor of Humanities and Professor of Linguistics, as well as the President of the Society for Caribbean Linguistics.
Professor Rickford has published numerous books, including "Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English," the winner of an American Book Award in 2000. He has published articles widely within his field, and has been interviewed by a huge range of media sources including ABC, CBS, News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and US News and World Report. His scholarly opinions and research in the areas of Ebonics and education can be found in publications across the globe over the last 25 years.
Professor Rickford arrived at Stanford in 1980, following his undergraduate years at UC Santa Cruz, and his Ph.D. program at the University of Pennsylvania. Since his arrival, Professor Rickford has won several awards including the Dean's Award for distinguished teaching, and the Bing Fellowship for excellence in teaching. He also won the Distinguished Alumni award at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Professor Rickford has also been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including multiple grants from the National Science Foundation.
Professor Rickford is on the editorial board for over ten Linguistics and Language journals, while also being a member of numerous professional societies. He is the co-founder and chair of the Bay Area Sociolinguistics Association, and an Executive Committee Member of the Linguistic Society of America.
Professor Rickford teaches numerous courses at Stanford, including “Vernacular English and Reading,” “Sociolinguistics of Language Contact,” and “Sociolinguistic Theory and Analysis.”