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Some stuff about me

Like most Cape Verdeans who live in the diaspora, I am a language and culture juggler. I was raised in France with Cape Verdean Creole as my home language and French as my school language. My parents are from the island of Brava in Cape Verde, my mother was born in Nova Cintra and my father in Cachaço. They immigrated to France when I was six years old. I carried on the family tradition and 'immigrated' myself as an exchange student to the United-States (Massachusetts) upon graduating from the University of Bordeaux. I speak English with a French accent, Spanish with a Portuguese accent and Italian with all of the above. I was doomed to become a linguist.

There are about 400.000 Cape Verdeans living in Cape Verde but there are more than one million of us worldwide. The majority of the population lives in the diaspora, many of us having been pushed away from the islands by dire economic conditions and regular cycles of drought. Large communities of Cape Verdeans have settled in Portugal, Senegal, the Netherlands, France, Italy and the New England area in the United-States. Our long tradition of exodus makes us a nation of immigrants but in spite of the geographic diversity, the Cape Verdean language, our common ancestry, food and music unite us and allow us to connect with each other across oceans and continents.

A number of my relatives still live in Cape Verde, primarily on the islands of Brava, Fogo and Santiago. Other family members in the diaspora have mostly congregated in Portugal and France for Europe and in Massachussetts for the United-States.

After I completed a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Harvard University and spent one year at MIT as a visiting scholar, I left Massachussetts in 1998 and moved to Athens, Georgia where I held my first academic position at the University of Georgia. In 2007, I accepted a new position at the University of Michigan.

Some stuff not about me

My husband Roger is a biologist who looks at life almost exclusively through a scientific and logical lense. In the course of his career, he has worked at the Harvard Medical School, the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, the Centers of Disease Control in Atlanta and he now works in the Pathology Department at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Almost 8 years ago, Roger and I decided to give up our leisurely lives and collaborate instead on two long-term non-academic projects called Zolan Callisto and Anton Hamilcar. Our boys love to swim, ride their bikes, read, eat macaroni and cheese and wrestle on the living-room carpet.