Nancy Smith-Hefner

Associate Professor
Nancy Smith-Hefner
Office phone: 617-353-2198
Office number: ASC 415
Office address: African Studies Center, 232 Bay State Road,
Boston, MA 02215

BA, Comparative Literatures, University of Michigan
MA, PhD, Linguistics, University of Michigan

Nancy J. Smith-Hefner has written extensively on issues of language, gender, youth and sexuality in Southeast Asia. Her recent publications include:

  • "Language Shift, Gender, and Ideologies of Modernity in Central Java, Indonesia" (Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 2009)
  • "Youth Language, Gaul Sociability, and the New Indonesian Middle Class" (Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 2007)
  • "Javanese Women and the Veil in Post-Suharto Indonesia" (Journal of Asian Studies, 2007)
  • "Reproducing Respectability: Sex and Sexuality among Muslim Javanese Youth" (RIMA, 2006)
  • "The New Muslim Romance: Changing Patterns of Courtship and Marriage Among Educated Javanese Youth" (Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 2006)

Earlier linguistics articles include:

  • “Language and Identity in the Education of Boston-Area Khmer.” (Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 1990)
  • “A Social History of Language Change in Highland East Java.” (Journal of Asian Studies. 1989)
  • “The Linguistic Socialization of Javanese Children in Two Communities” (Anthropological Linguistics, 1988)
  • “Women and Politeness: The Javanese Example” (Language in Society, 1988)


Fall 2017

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS AN 351

Language, Culture, and Society

A1 Smith-Hefner MWF 11:15-12:05 CAS 216
Introduction to basic concepts, problems, and methods used by anthropologists in the investigation of relationships among language, culture, and society. Topics include language and conceptual systems, language and role, language and social context, and language and thought.