Shonna Trinch
Phone number
Room number
9.63.15 NB

1999 PhD   University of Pittsburgh, Spanish Linguistics
1996 Graduate Certificate in Latin American Studies - University of Pittsburgh
1995 MA   University of Pittsburgh
1990 BA    Pennsylvania State University


Shonna Trinch is Professor in the Department of Anthropology with teaching and research in sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology and Spanish. A native of Pennsylvania and trained in Spanish Linguistics (PhD, University of Pittsburgh, 1999), she began her academic career at Florida State University. Her current research focuses on gentrificaiton in Brooklyn and the ways in which shop signs act as technologies of place-making in the pre-gentrication and gentrifying contexts. She has also studied and written about redvelopment in Brooklyn with Professor Edward Snajdr. This work can be found in journals such as Political and Legal Anthroplogy Review (PoLAR), Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding (IJSW) and Linguistic Landscapes.

Additionally, with expertise in understanding the reporting and representation of gender-related violence in social and legal institutions, Professor Trinch has writings that deal with Latina/Latinx women's narratives of domestic violence as told to sociolegal authorities in the U.S. Southwest where she spent 13 months collecting data in 10 different institutional settings. Her findings show how people collaborate and conflict in the creation of narratives of domestic abuse. Professor Trinch has also published about the way people talk about rape and sexualized violence in sociolegal and internet settings and her work can be found in journals such Language in Society, Journal of Sociolingusitics,  
Feminist Anthropology, Journal of Law, Culture and the Humanities among others.

Professor Trinch is also the co-founder (with Barbara Cassidy) of a student-led theater program called, Seeing Rape which brings undergraduates' plays to the stage with professional actors with the aim of eradicating rape on campus. Seeing Rape is in its ninth year and has brought more than 75 plays written by more than 100 students to audiences now totaling more than 20,000 people. For more on Seeing Rape, please visit the website at

JJC Affiliations
Interdisciplinary Studies Department
Courses Taught

(1) ISP 334: Gender, Sex and Justice: Seeing Rape with Professor Barbara Cassidy

(2) ANT/PSY/SOC 210: Sex and Culture with strong research component

(3) ANT 327: Writing for a Multicultural World

(4) Ant 220: Language and Culture

(5) ANT 328 Forensic Linguistics

(6) ISP 334: Moral and Legal Dilemmas, with Professor Barbara Cassidy

(7) ISP: The Letter of the Law, Interdisciplinary,with Professors Valerie Allen and Shirley Sarna

(8) ISP: The Production of Truth, Interdisciplinary, with Professors Valerie Allen and Shirley Sarna

(9) Linguistic Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, CUNY Graduate Center

Professional Memberships

American Antrhopological Association

English and Spanish
Scholarly Work



What the Signs Say: Langauge, Gentrification and Place-Making in Brooklyn, (2020), with Edward Snajdr. Vanderbilt University Press.

This book suggests that storefront signs are technologies of place-making in Brooklyn, New York. Through a sustained ethnographic and sociolinguistic study of storefronts before and during gentrification, we show how people can see themselves and others like themselves in the landscape. 

Latinas’ narratives of domestic abuse: Discrepant versions of violence. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Corporation, November 2003.

This book examines the discourse of Latina survivors of domestic violence in the U.S.
Legal System in order to understand how stories evolve and change as victims of crime must narrate past events to institutional authorities.

Selected articles

1. Engaging F-words to create change: Rape, representation, and performance," 2020: 1(1):1-19, Feminist Anthropology, with Barbara Cassidy.

2. Mothering Brooklyn: Signs, sexuality and gentrification under cover, 2018: 4(3):214-237, Linguistic Landscape, with Edward Snajdr.

3. When the street disappears: Eminent domain: redevelopment and the dissociative state, 2018: 41(1):21-43, Journal of Political and Legal Anthropology Review (PoLAR), with Edward Snajdr.

4. What the signs say: Gentrificaiton and the disappearance of capitalism without distinction in Brooklyn, Journal of Sociolinguistics, 2017; 64-89, with Edward Snajdr.

5. Bilingualism and representation: Locating Spanish-English contact in legal institutional memory. Language in Society, 2006, 35(4):559-593.

6. Narrating in protective order interviews: A source of interactional trouble. Language in Society, 2002, 





Honors and Awards

Selected Awards and Honors

2021 New York City Council, Funding for Seeing rape, $10,000

2021 Office of Student Council, John Jay College, CUNY, Funding for Seeing Rape, $17,000

2019 Office of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, Funding for Seeing rape, $6,000

2019 Office of Student Council, John Jay College, CUNY, Funding for Seeing Rape, $10,000

2018  Office of U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, Funding for Seeing Rape, $5500

2017 CUNY Fine and Performing Arts, Course Design Award (FPA), for Seeing Rape, $2500

2017 Diversity Projects Development Fund, Funding for Seeing Rape,

2010-2012 National Science Foundation (NSF) Cultural Anthropology with Edward Snajdr. The Dynamics of Place Making in Contested Cities, $254, 298