Vaidehi Ramanathan

Vaidehi Ramanathan Portrait

Position Title

276 Kerr Hall


  • Ph.D., Linguistics, University of Southern California, 1994
  • M.A., Linguistics, California State University, Northridge, 1989
  • M.A. English Literature: University of Baroda, India, 1987
  • B.A., St. Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad, India 1985


Vaidehi Ramanathan is a qualitative sociolinguist interested in all aspects of language policies and literacies, especially as they concern dominant and minority languages. She is also interested in all issues regarding language, health and disabilities, with a special interest in concerns regarding dementia and memory loss.

Research Focus

Professor Ramanathan’s research interests include:

Language policies and language rights--how public, official, non-formal policies regulate language use; how the language of specific policies impact human behaviour.

Second Language Acquisition and Development – Sociopolitical aspects of language learning and teaching; teacher education, pedagogies, and literacy practices.

Language and health: Society – first-hand spoken and written accounts of body conditions by both people with a condition and their caregivers, doctor-patient interactions (especially regarding opiod usage), discourses of medical institutions (pharmacies, hospitals), care and support for caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease, health policies in general.

Language and citizenship: refugee resettlement, linguistic and legal issues around naturalization, community-based literacies for recent immigrants.


Ramanathan, V. (2018). Language, memory and remembering: explorations in historical sociolinguistics, UK: Routledge.

Ramanathan, V., & Loring, A. (Eds.) (2016) Language, Immigration and Naturalization: Legal and Linguistic Issues, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Ramanathan, V., & Fuerherm, E. (Eds.) (2015) Refugee Resettlement in the United States: Language, Policy, Pedagogy, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Ramanathan, V. (Ed.) (2013), Language Policies and (Dis)Citizenship: Who Belongs? Who is a Guest? Who is Made to Leave? Special issue of Language, Identity and Education

Ramanathan, V. (Ed.) (2013) Language Policy and (Dis)Citizenship: Rights, Access, Pedagogies, Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Ramanathan, V. (2012) Rethinking discourses around the "English-cosmopolitan" correlation: Scenes from formal and informal educational contexts. In Marilyn Martin-Jones, Adrian Blackledge, and Angela Creese (Eds.), Handbook on multilingualism. London: Routledge.

Ramanathan, V., & McPherron, P. (Eds.) (2011) Language, Body, Health, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter

Ramanathan, V., & McPherron, P. (Eds.) (2011). Reading "intentions": communication challenges for parents of children with autism and partial hearing. In Language, Body and Health (p. 55-72), Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Ramanathan, V. (2011) Researching-texting tensions in qualitative research: Ethics in and around textual fidelity, selectivity, and translations. In Teresa McCarty (Ed.) Ethnography and language policy, p. 255-270. New York: Routledge.

Ramanathan, V. (2010) Bodies and Language: Health, Ailments, Disabilities, Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Ramanathan, V. (1997). Alzheimer’s discourse: some sociolinguistic dimensions. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.


LIN 280: Theories of Second Language Development

LIN 263: Discourse Analysis

LIN 283: The politics of Multilingual Literacies

LIN 165: Introduction to Applied Linguistics

LIN 3: Language and the Body