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Department of Anthropology


Sherina Feliciano-Santos

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Anthropology
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-5760
Office: Gambrell Hall, 423
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]

Sherina Feliciana-Santos


Dr. Feliciano-Santos is an Associate Professor in Anthropology at the University of South Carolina. She has affiliations with the Linguistics Program, the Rule of Law Collaborative, and the Latin American Studies Program. She earned her PhD from the University of Michigan in 2011, with a focus in Linguistic Anthropology. Before arriving to the University of South Carolina in 2012, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Vassar College between 2011-2012.


ANTH 291/LING 205:   Popular Culture and Communication

ANTH 314:   Caribbean Cultures

ANTH 340/RELG 360:    Anthropology of Magic and Religion

ANTH 355/LING 340:    Language, Culture, and Society

ANTH 371:    Ethnography of Communication

ANTH 556/LING 556:    Language and Globalization

ANTH J701:    Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology for Teachers

ANTH 747:    Language as Social Action

Research Interests

Linguistic anthropology, activism, language & cultural revitalization, racial & ethnic formations, narrative, face-to-face interaction


Dr. Feliciano-Santos' research interests include linguistic anthropology, the politics of language use, social activism, legal and court systems, language and race, language and cultural revitalization, racial and ethnic formations, religion, narrative, and face-to-face interaction. Her areas of interests are the United States, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, Caribbean, Latin America, and the U.S. Her current project, in collaboration with Dr. Sonia Das of NYU, studies the role of verbal and non-verbal communication and ideologies in shaping processes and outcomes in criminal justice. Feliciano-Santos' first project focused on Taíno cultural revitalization and identitarian movements in Puerto Rico. Specifically, she examined face-to-face interactions, and the culturally situated communicative ideologies that influence and emerge from such movements. She is also interested in how historical revisions affect the task of reconstruction (religious, linguistic, institutional, etc.) and indigenous ethnic identification. She has studied the language ideologies and practices of Puerto Ricans in St. Croix, with attention to the ways in which they narratively and linguistically construct their relationships to multiple Caribbean islands.Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and the University of South Carolina

Representative Publications 

Feliciano-Santos, S. (2021). A contested Caribbean indigeneity: Language, social practice, and identity within Puerto Rico Taíno activism. Rutgers University Press.

Feliciano-Santos, S. (2019). Negotiating ethnoracial configurations among Puerto Rican Taíno activists. Ethnic and Racial Studies. 42(7): 1149-1167.

Feliciano-Santos, S. (2017). How do you speak Taíno? Indigenous activism and linguistic practices in Puerto Rico. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology. 27(1), 4-21.

Feliciano-Santos, S. (2017). Prophetic repairs: Narrative and social action among Puerto Rican Taíno. Language & Communication. 56, 19-32.

Feliciano-Santos, S. & Meek, B. (2012). Interactional surveillance and self-censorship in encounters of dominion. Journal of Anthropological Research. 68(3), 373-397.

Recent Accomplishments

Peter and Bonnie McCausland Faculty Fellowship, 2021-2022

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