David Divita

Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures
With Pomona Since: 2010
  • Expertise


    David Divita is a sociocultural linguist and linguistic anthropologist who specializes in Spanish- and French-speaking people and places. His interests include the linguistic and semiotic dimensions of age and aging; the experience of belonging, displacement and long-term multilingualism; and the politics of history and memory—in particular as these phenomena operate among populations with national and affective attachments to contemporary Spain and France. He has conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork among Spanish immigrants in Paris who fled Franco’s dictatorship in the 1960s and are now in later life. He is also currently investigating the relationships among queer subjectivity, patterns of consumption, and the use of English in French gay-lifestyle media; language ideologies and discursive practices that concern domestic service in the U.S.; and the role of desire in language learning. He has published articles in the Journal of Sociolinguistics, the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, the International Journal of the Sociology of Language, the International Journal of Multilingualism and Critical Discourse Studies.

    Areas of Expertise


    • Spanish and French Linguistics
    • Sociolinguistics
    • Linguistic Anthropology
    • Applied Linguistics
  • Work



    Untold Stories: Memory and Silence among Spanish Labor Migrants in Later Life. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. (In production.)

    Selected Articles and Book Chapters

    The Gendered Semiotics of Far-Right Populism on Instagram: A Case from Spain.” Discourse & Society 34.1 (2023): 22–53.

    “Memes from Confinement: Disorientation and Hindsight Projection in the Crisis of COVID-19.” Language, Culture and Society 4.2 (2022): 162-188.

    Radical-Right Populism in Spain and the Strategy of Chronopolitics.Language in Society (2022): 1-25.

    “Spanish Bonnes in 1960s Paris: Occupational Narratives from Transnational Migrants in Later Life.” (2021). In K. Gonçalves and H. Kelley-Holmes, H. (Eds.), Language, Global Mobilities, Blue-Collar Workers and Blue-Collar Workplaces (pp. 91-106). New York: Routledge.

    “Masculine Embodiment among Sexual Minorities in a Women’s Prison.” Australian Social Work, 74.2 (2021): 172-185. (Main author: A. Smoyer)

    “Domestic Spanish Handbooks: Language and Labor in the American Home.” International Journal of the Sociology of Language 262 (2020): 17-37.

    “Recalling the Bidonvilles of Paris: Historicity and Authority Among Transnational Migrants in Later Life.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 29.1 (2019): 50-68.

    “The Life of a Loanword: A Case Study of Le Coming Out in the French Magazine Têtu (1995-2015).” Ampersand 6 (2019). (Co-author: W. Curtis.)

    “Discourses of (Be)longing: Later Life and the Politics of Nostalgia.” (2019). In R. Piazza (Ed.), Discourses of Identity in Liminal Places and Spaces (pp. 64-82). New York: Routledge.

    “Talk about the Past.” Texas Linguistic Forum 61 (2018): 1-8.

    “From Paris to Pueblo and Back: (Re-)Emigration and the Modernist Chronotope in Cultural Performance.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 24.1 (2014): 1-18.

    “Multilingualism and Later Life: A Sociolinguistic Perspective on Age and Aging.” Journal of Aging Studies 30 (2014): 94-103.

    “Language Ideologies across Time: Household Spanish Handbooks from 1959 to 2012.” Critical Discourse Studies 11.2 (2014): 194-210.

    “Multilingualism and the Lifespan: Case Studies from a Language Course for Spanish Seniors in Saint-Denis, France.” International Journal of Multilingualism 11.1 (2014): 1-22.

    “Online in Later Life: Age as a Chronological Fact and a Dynamic Social Category in an Internet Class for Retirees.” Journal of Sociolinguistics 16.5 (2012): 585-612.

  • Education


    University of California, Berkeley

    Bachelor of Arts
    Columbia University

    Fluent Languages:

    • French
    • Spanish
    • English

    Recent Courses Taught

    • Multilingual Spain: Power, Identity, Politics
    • Language & Gender
    • Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
    • Spanglish in Context: Bilingualism in the U.S.
    • Spanish Phonetics and Phonology
    • Telling Stories: Form and Function of Narrative in Everyday Life
    • Language and Power in the Francophone World
  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    Hirsch Research Initiation Grant. “Manufacturing memory: Legacies of an authoritarian past in contemporary Spain.” 2022-2023.

    Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship, Council for International Exchange of Scholars, Universidad de Murcia (Spain), Fall 2018.