Uju Anya, an assistant professor of education and research affiliate for the Center for the Study of Higher Education at Pennsylvania State University, has received the First Book Award from the American Association for Applied Linguistics. She was honored for her book, Racialized Identities in Second Language Learning: Speaking Blackness in Brazil (Routledge, 2016).
The award recognizes a scholar whose first book represents outstanding work in the field of applied linguistics. The association presents the award biennially, alternating every other year with the AAAL Book Award.
Dr. Anya’s book centers on the identities and transformation of Black college students in a study-abroad program in Brazil. According to her, it is the first single-author volume on second language learning focusing on African-Americans as the primary subject. It details the history of Black people in foreign language study in the United States and focuses on questions of identity in language learning. Additionally, the text also addresses gender, sexuality, and social class as college students work through these issues while studying abroad.
Currently, Dr. Anya teaches second language education for the department of curriculum and instruction in the College of Education at Penn State. Before coming to Penn State, she served on the faculty at the University of Southern California, Dartmouth College, and the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr. Anya is a graduate of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where she majored in romance languages. She holds a master’s degree in Brazilian studies from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and a Ph.D. in applied linguistics from the University of California, Los Angeles.