Alumni Profile: Kirby Conrod

Submitted by Vipasha Bansal on
Kirby Conrod

Dr. Kirby Conrod started their linguistics journey via a double major in Linguistics and Literature for their BA at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where they discovered a deep love of syntax. After spending time teaching English in Taiwan, they then moved to Seattle, Washington to pursue their PhD in Linguistics at the University of Washington, where they specialized in syntax and sociolinguistics, advised by Professors Citko and Wassink. Their 2019 dissertation, Pronouns Raising and Emerging, is a sociosyntactic analysis of the specific use of singular they.

Since graduating with their PhD from UW, Dr. Conrod has worked as a lecturer in UW Linguistics, and as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. In 2023 they were converted from Visiting Assistant Professor to Assistant Professor in the Linguistics Department at Swarthmore, and they currently teach syntax, sociolinguistics, language and gender, and other linguistics courses there. Their most recent publications include a chapter in the Routledge Handbook of Pronouns, coauthored with Lex Konnelly and Evan Bradley, and an article in the Canadian Journal of Linguistics on the morphosyntax of singular they.

In 2021 they were the inaugural recipient of the Linguistic Society of America’s Arnold Zwicky Award for excellence in LGBTQ+ research in linguistics, and in 2023 they served as chair of the Committee on LGBTQ+ Issues in Linguistics for the LSA. They are also a founding member of the Philadelphia-area research consortium SEPTA (Scientific Explorations of Pronouns and Trans Acceptance), which includes PIs from five colleges and universities in the region. 

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