The Digital Sociolinguistics of the Southwest (DSS) Initiative is lead by Dr. Luis F. Avilés González. In this collective, we seek to document spoken language (videos, audio, social media, podcast) and engage with the communities in the Southwest. The initiative integrates Digital Studies methodologies through a Social Justice lens to provide an insight to language use.

The projects listed in this website are culminating projects from students enrolled in Dr. Avilés González courses in the 2023-2024 Academic year.

Podcasting Gender

Students enrolled in AN 260: Language and Gender analyzed a podcast of their choice. They analyzed how topics of gender and sexuality were communicated in the podcasts.

Mapping Latinx COS

As a response to the Gazette’s 2021 titled: Colorado Springs’ diversity grows across city, Hispanic population rapidly expanding students enrolled in AN 308 headed to the city to document the Latinx presence in COS.

¡That’s the Attitude!

This project will examine the linguistic attitudes in Colorado Springs. This project will be carried out by the students enrolled in AN 105: Language and Culture. Results of the project will be available in January.

Participating Courses

Students enrolled in the following courses during the 2023-2024 academic year engaged in a series of projects that documented or analyze a particular speech community in the Southwest.

AN 105


(BLOCKS 4 & 7)

Course Description: Emphasis on Sociolinguistics. Examines the interconnectedness of language and culture from ethnographic and sociolinguistic perspectives. Comparative study of speaking in cultural context aimed at understanding the ways in which people use talk to cooperate, manipulate, structure events, and negotiate identities. Cross-cultural focus, with examples from such languages and language varieties as Japanese, Navajo, Apache, French, African-American English, and Chicano English.

May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. 1 unit. Meets the Critical Learning: CP requirement.


  • Students will understand linguistic relativity and its relevance to the study of culture.
  • Students will analyze how different cultural contexts affect language.
  • Students will synthesize their knowledge acquired in the course and connect it to real life situations.
  • Students will justify the knowledge acquired in the class by creating a site that documents linguistic attitudes in Pueblo and San Luis Valley.
AN 258



Course Description: Explores the structures and functions of languages throughout the world, seeking to uncover both shared and variable patterns across languages. Introduces the tools of modern linguistics for recording and analyzing sound systems, words, syntactic and semantic structures, and the communicative uses of language. Provides background for understanding contemporary issues relating to language.

Meets the Critical Learning: FRL requirement.


  • Students will become familiar with the cognitive processes of human communication.
  • Students will understand the differences between the four main realms of linguistic inquiry: Sounds, word & Sentence structure, literal meaning, and discourse meaning.
  • Students will apply linguistic inquiry to situation of languages other than English.
  • Students will analyze and synthesize their findings in writing
  • Students will evaluate the knowledge acquired in the class by analyzing the speech of a celebrity of their choosing in the Southwest.
AN 260


(BLOCKS 1 & 5)

Course Description: This course will introduce students to the anthropological and cross-disciplinary study of gender and language. It will explore new directions for gender and language studies through the critique of past approaches and the discussion of contemporary research and theory contributing to our understanding of language, society, and the sociocultural construction of gender identities. Gender is conceptualized in terms of sliding scales of sex, sexuality, and gender socialization, with an emphasis on language’s role in gender performativity. Students will collect and analyze samples of gendered language use in a specific sociocultural community.

Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: AIM requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: SHB requirement


  • Students will gain an understanding of the relationship between gender and language.
  • Students will analyze how gendered language manifest in their day to day.
  • Students will evaluate the concepts gained in the course on a cultural artifact (i.e. Podcast)
  • Students will analyze, process, and document the relationship between langauge and gender through computational humanities methods. 
AN 308



Course Description: 

The presence of Latinxs has heavily influenced U.S. Southwest language and culture. This can be seen in our day to day through food, music, buildings, and street names. Additionally, language has been in the forefront of identity, cultural pride, and empowerment. This course will survey an array of cultural productions to evaluate how have Latinxs engage and overcome linguistic adversities. The course culminates with a digital humanities project centered on Latinxs in Colorado.


  • Students will gain a panoramic perspective on the linguistic encounters and resistance that led to the current linguistic layout of the Southwest.
  • Students will engage with the State of Colorado as a case study to understand the current contestation between the local Spanish and the fast-growing migrant varieties of Spanish in Metropolitan districts.
  • Students will engage in a Community Praxis Project
  • Students will engage in a holistic model of learning that will revolve around knowledge acquisition, knowledge sharing, and reflection.
What do we consider the Southwest

The American southwest comprehend the occupied lands of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. Although the exact the extension of the region is contended, for this group we look at the Southwest as the extension of territories that were once under Spanish and Mexican Control. Thus, this region contains a rich linguistic and cultural legacy worth exploring.