Limerick, Nicholas (nl2539)

Nicholas Limerick

Associate Professor of Anthropology and Education

Office Location:

375C GDodge

Scholarly Interests

My research studies how educational movements plan for and promote bilingual education and speak and write in Indigenous languages, as well as how government and non-governmental technologies—large-scale exams, standardized writing, curriculum design—may force Indigenous languages and their speakers to change in the process.

As a scholar of Latin America, my research has focused on Ecuador, which includes one of the most remarkable cases in the world for Indigenous education. Activists there have directed a national bilingual school system for Indigenous students for more than 30 years. 

My ongoing research and writing examines the intersections of colonial linguistics and policies, multilingual education, and current efforts to change institutions like policy offices and schools. My work aims to better understand the politics of state-sponsored institutions and how they shape education. I apply the results of my research to support alternative forms of schooling in Kichwa, seeking to bridge analysis with on-the-ground efforts to better life in Ecuador, where I have spent much of my adult life.  

My research spans disciplines and fields like: linguistic and cultural anthropology, anthropology of education, political anthropology, international & comparative education, multilingualism, language revitalization, urban inequality and migration, culturally and linguistically relevant pedagogies. 


Check out my personal website for more information and what I'm now up to. 


Educational Background

Ph.D., Anthropology, Educational Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, 2015

BA, Anthropology, Emory University

Selected Publications

Select Publications:

**You can get PDFs of most published articles from my page.**



Limerick, N. (In Press, 2023). Recognizing Indigenous Languages: Double Binds of State Policy and Teaching Kichwa in Ecuador. Oxford University Press.



Limerick, N. (2018). Attaining Multicultural Citizenship Through Indigenous Language Instruction: Successful Kichwa Misfires and the Modeling of Modernist Language Ideologies in Ecuador. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 28(3), 313-331.


Limerick, N. (2018). Kichwa or Quichua? Competing Alphabets, Political Histories, and Complicated Reading in Indigenous Languages. Comparative Education Review, 62(1), 103–124.

*Received the George Bereday Award from the Comparative and International Education Society for the best Comparative Education Review article published in 2018.

*Received the James E. Alatis Prize for Research on Language Planning and Policy in Educational Contexts from The International Research Foundation in 2020.


Limerick, N. (2019). Three Multilingual Dynamics of Indigenous Language Use that Challenge Standardized Linguistic Assessment. Language Assessment Quarterly, 16(4-5), 379-392.


Limerick, N. (2020). Speaking for a State: Standardized Kichwa Greetings and Conundrums of Commensuration in Intercultural Ecuador. Signs and Society, 8(2), 185-219.


Limerick, N. (2020). Indigenous Movements in Ecuador: The Struggle for Teaching Kichwa in Schools. ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America, XIX(1), 1-6.


Limerick, N. (2020). What’s the Linguistic Variety of Audit Culture? Administering an Indigenous Language Proficiency Exam in Ecuador’s Intercultural Bilingual EducationAnthropology & Education Quarterly, 51(3), 282-303.  Anthropology and Education Quarterly.


Limerick, N. & Hornberger, N. (2021). Teachers, Textbooks, and Orthographic Choices in Quechua: Comparing Bilingual Intercultural Education in Peru and Ecuador Across Decades. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 51(3), 319-336.


Limerick, N. (2023). Linguistic Registers and Citizenship Education: Divergent  Approaches to Content, Instruction, Kichwa Use, and State Relationships in Ecuador’s Intercultural Bilingual Education. American Educational Research Journal, 60(2), 219-256.


Limerick, N. (2023). Commentary: Can Schools Revitalize Indigenous Languages? Some Updates. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 280, 167-170.


En español:


Limerick, N. (2019). ¿Kichwa o quichua? Historia política de alfabetos y aplicación de los procesos de lectura y escritura de las lenguas indígenas en América Latina. In Lenguas en contacto: Desafíos en la diversidad, edited by Marleen Haboud. Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador: Quito.


Limerick, N. (2020). Los movimientos indígenas en Ecuador: La lucha por enseñar Kichwa en las escuelas. ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America, XIX(1), 1-6.


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