Photo credit: Alex Au

Dr. Sylvia Sierra is a linguist and Associate Professor of Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University, also affiliated with the Linguistic Studies program. Her expertise is in discourse analysis, or language and social interaction. She primarily focuses on analysis of everyday conversation in North American English. She also works on social media data in Mexican Spanish as well as on media more broadly (specifically, how people quote media in everyday conversation).

Dr. Sierra recently published the book Millennials Talking Media: Creating Intertextual Identities in Everyday Conversation with Oxford University Press. In the book, she analyzes how millennial friends make intertextual media references (to film, TV shows, books, songs, video games, and internet memes) in their everyday talk for specific interactional functions. Her research has also been published in the journals Discourse & Society, Language in Society, Journal of Pragmatics, Discourse, Context & Media, and The Howard Journal of Communications. See her Publications page to download copies of her work.

Dr. Sierra completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Linguistics at Georgetown University in 2016. Previously, she received a B.A. in Linguistics and Spanish from the University of Mary Washington (UMW), worked as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at the Instituto Tecnológico de Jiquilpan in Michoacán, Mexico, and then as a Prince William County Spanish teacher in Virginia. She also holds a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Teaching English as a Second Language from UMW and an M.S. in linguistics from Georgetown.

Check out her book’s social media accounts here: