English Faculty Profile: Troi Carleton

Wednesday, November 04, 2015
Photo of Troi Carleton near a mountain in Mexico

Troi Carleton, professor of English Language and Literature, is the latest subject in a series of video profiles featuring faculty discussing their passions for teaching and research. She discusses her long-term, community-based research project to document the indigenous Mexican dialect of Zapotec.

In 2004, she began working with students to compile a Zapotec dictionary, as part of a community language archive project. The archived texts are transcribed in Zapotec and translated into Spanish. “We already have several thousand words, but we’re still working on making that dictionary even stronger and bigger,” Carleton says in the video.

Carleton also discusses how SF State is an ideal campus for studying linguistics, as students already have a variety of experiences. SF State is home to “the best students in the world,” she says.

“They come into the classroom with all of this experience and all of these ideas, and when they come together, the students — in a very respectful way — can bring all these perspectives in,” says Carleton, who joined SF State in 1996. “And since language is something we all have in common, you could use the language classroom to really start these conversations about what does language do. How do we manifest our identities through language?”

Warren Haack directed the video. It is produced by Interim Dean Daniel Bernardi and the College of Liberal & Creative Arts.


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