I defended my dissertation in linguistic and cultural anthropology at Indiana University in August 2011. I am interested in how people use language to craft identities and relationships in interaction. My dissertation is entitled "Speaking shami: Syrian Jewish Mexican language practices as strategies of integration and legitimation." It examines how young Mexicans of Syrian Jewish descent use language to navigate shifting parameters of ethnic, religious and class belonging. I focus on practices like conversational narrative, humor, and use of "heritage words" from ancestral languages.