Michele E J Koven

Associate Professor of Communication
Assoc. Professor of Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education
Associate Professor of LAS Global Studies
Associate Professor of French and Italian
European Union Center
Center for Global Studies

  • Address: Communication 244 Lincoln Hall 702 S Wright M/C 456 Urbana, IL 61801
  • Telephone: (217)333-8969

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • The role of culture in verbal interaction; how speakers perform and infer cultural identities in their own and others' talk; style shifting and code switching in discourse; bilingualism; intercultural communication; sociolinguistics; oral narrative


Research Description

  • Professor Koven researches the relationships between identity and language practices in migrant communities. She is addresses how bilingual speakers enact multiple, culturally situated identities in talk, with a particular focus on narrative discourse.


  • Ph.D., University of Chicago



  • Selves in two languages: Bilingual Verbal Enactments of Identity in French and Portuguese. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2007.

Book Contributions

  • "Narrative Socialization." Handbook on Language Socialization. 2011.

  • "Speaker Roles in Personal Narratives." Varieties of Narrative Analysis. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2011.

  • Miller, P., and H. Fung. "Narrative reverberations: How participation in narrative practices co-creates persons and cultures." Handbook of Cultural Psychology. Ed. S. Kitayama and D. Cohen. New York: Guilford Press, 2007.

  • "“Feeling in Two Languages: A Comparative Analysis of a Bilingual’s Affective Displays in French and Portuguese.”." Bilingualism, Emotions, and Selves. Ed. Aneta Pavlenko . Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 2006. 84-117.

Journal Articles

  • Koven, Michele, and Isabelle Simoes Marques. "Performing and Evaluating (Non)modernities of Portuguese Migrant Figures on YouTube: The Case of Antonio de Carglouch." Language in Society 44.2 (2015): 213-242.
  • Jaffe, Alexandra, Michele Koven, Sabina Perrino, and Cecile Vigouroux. "Heteroglossia, Performance, Power, and Participation." Language in Society 44.2 (2015): 135-139.
  • "New Thoughts on Interviews." Annual Review of Anthropology (2014):
  • "Antiracist, Modern Selves and Racist, Unmodern Others: Chronotopes of Modernity in Luso-descendants' Race Talk. ." Language and Communication (2013):
  • Koven, Michele. "Speaking French in Portugal: An analysis of contested models of emigrant personhood in narratives about return migration and language use. ." Journal of Sociolinguistics 17.3 (2013): 324-354.
  • "Comparing stories told in sociolinguistic interviews and spontaneous conversation." Language in Society 40.1 (2011): 75-89.
  • "Managing Relationships and Identities through Forms of Address: What French-Portuguese Bilinguals Call their Parents in each Language." Language and Communication 29.4 (2009): 343-365.
  • "Getting "Emotional" in Two Languages: Bilinguals' Verbal Performance of Affect in Narratives of Personal Experience. ." Text 24.4 (2004): 471-515.
  • "Transnational Perspectives on Sociolinguistic Capital among Luso-descendants in France and Portugal.." American Ethnologist 31.2 (2004): 270-290.