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Brueggle city at night

Jamin R. Pelkey


Photograph of Jamin Pelkey

Office: POD 253E



Jamin Pelkey is Associate Professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures and a core member of the Ryerson-York graduate program in Communication & Culture. He joined the department in 2013 following five years of university lecturing in British Columbia and more than a decade of field experience in the eastern hemisphere--including China, Thailand, and Australia. Dr. Pelkey holds a PhD in Linguistics from La Trobe University, Melbourne--funded in full and awarded with merit in 2009. His areas of specialization include Linguistic Anthropology, Embodied Cognition, Tibeto-Burman Linguistics, Historical Linguistics and Semiotics. He is an award winning teacher and researcher with two federal grants, including “Steps to a Grammar of Embodied Symmetry” (SSHRC-IDG #430-2015-01226), two Dean's Awards—for teaching (2015) and research (2018)—the Mouton d’Or Award for best article in Semiotica (2017) and the Ryerson University Early Research Career Excellence Award (2018). He is currently editing a major reference work in four volumes entitled Bloomsbury Semiotics: a comprehensive, state-of-the-art overview of semiotic inquiry through history and across the disciplines casting a vision for ongoing research priorities.

Dr. Pelkey's first two published monographs (Dialectology as Dialectic, De Gruyter 2011; A Phula Comparative Lexicon, SIL 2011) define the Phula ethnolinguistic groups of China and Vietnam, identifying 18 new languages through mixed-methods fieldwork and analysis. His latest research focuses on language evolution and embodied cognition, leading to the publication of his third authored book, The Semiotics of X (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017). He has edited or co-edited nine collections, including Cognitive Semiotics (TAJS 2019), Applied Brand Semiotics (TAJS 2018), Sociohistorical Linguistics in Southeast Asia (Brill, 2017), Virtual Identities (PDC 2016), and The Semiotics of Paradox (Legas 2015). His recent research is published in collections such as Biosemiotic Perspectives in Language and Linguistics; Meaning, Mind and Communication; andThe Bloomsbury Companion to Contemporary Peircean Semioticsand in international journals such as Semiotica, Cognitive Semiotics, The Journal of Literary Semantics, Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, Sign Systems Studies, Reviews in Anthropology, Studies in Language, and Diachronica. In addition to other modes of international scholarship and service, Dr. Pelkey is Vice President of the International Association for Cognitive Semiotics (IACS), Executive Board Member of the International Cognitive Linguistics Association (ICLA) and the Semiotic Society of America (SSA), past Editor of the Semiotic Society of America Yearbook series Semiotics, Managing Associate Editor ofThe American Journal of Semiotics, Founding Editor of the Berghahn book series Studies in Linguistic Anthropology and Founding Director of the Ryerson University Meaning Lab.