Wenhao Diao

Assistant Professor, East Asian Studies
(520) 621-0106
Chinese Linguistics

Wenhao Diao is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of East Asian Studies and an affiliated faculty member in the interdisciplinary graduate program of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching at the University of Arizona.  She received her Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University and her B.A. and M.A. from East China Normal University.  She has previously taught at Middlebury College, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Virginia, and East China Normal University. As an applied linguist, she is particularly interested in the intersection of language and culture.  Her research involves two areas that are inter-related: 1) using sociolinguistic and ethnographic approaches to explore language socialization processes between learners overseas and various local speakers, and 2) examining how identities such as gender, nationality and place are constructed through language in contemporary China.  Some of her recent projects include peer Mandarin socialization between American students and their Chinese roommates in a college dorm, the use of Shanghainese and Mandarin in Shanghai as the city is seeing increasing global mobility and successful language standardization, and the construction of China in New Year speeches delivered by Presidents Hu Jintao of China and Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan (2009-2013).  Wenhao was born in a small town (small by China’s standard) near the city of Wenzhou in Zhejiang and raised in Shanghai.  While her research typically deals with Mandarin and occasionally Shanghainese, Wenzhounese is her true “mother” tongue.  Since she moved to the US, she has lived in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and now Arizona.