Jill Jepson




Jill Jepson is a anthropological linguist, editor, blogger, animal rights activist, and writer of fiction and nonfiction. She has a Ph.D. in Anthropological Linguistics with distinction from The University of Chicago, an M.F.A. in Writing, an M.A. in Asian Languages and Civilizations, and a B.A. in Psychology and Anthropology. She edits two online literary journals and blogs at JillJepson.com. Her research focuses on language as a fluid, flexible, adaptive, and creative sociocultural phenomenon. She writes nonfiction about the joys and struggles of the writing life, and fantasy fiction for young adults.

Master of Fine Arts, Writing
Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, Vermont, 2006

Ph.D., Linguistics
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, with distinction, 1985

Master of Arts, Asian Languages and Civilizations
University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, 1976

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology and Social Sciences
San Jose State University, San Jose, California, 1971

College of St. Catherine Denny Award for Writing, 2006.

College of St. Catherine, Abigail Award for Writing, 2006.

National Institute on Aging Research Service Award, 1989–91.

Senior Fulbright Fellowship (declined), 1987.

American Institute of Indian Studies Senior Fellowship, 1987.

National Institute of Mental Health Research Service Award, 1986.

New York Academy of Sciences Sapir Award runner-up, 1985.

University of Chicago/Beijing University Faculty Exchange Fellowship, 1983–84.

Veterans Administration Clinical Traineeship, 1982–83.

American Institute of Indian Studies Language Fellowship, 1980–81.

Professor St. Catherine University 2015–present

Assoc. Professor St. Catherine University 2008–2015

Asst. Professor St. Catherine University 2001–2007

Freelance Writer, Editor, and Workshop Facilitator 1991–2000

Research Fellow, University of California, San Francisco, 1987–1989

Senior Fellow, American Institute of Indian Studies 1986–1987


Writing as a Sacred Path: A Practical Guide to Writing with Passion and Purpose (Ten Speed Press/Random House, 2008).

Women’s Concerns: Twelve Women Entrepreneurs of the 18th and 19th Centuries (Peter Lang Press, 2009).

No Walls of Stone: An Anthology of Literature by Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Writers (Gallaudet University Press, 1992) – as editor.

Scholarly Articles

“A Linguistic Analysis of Discourse in the Killing of Nonhuman Animals,” Society and Animals 16, 2008.

“Dimensions of Home and Homing in Louise Erdrich’s Tracks,” The American Indian Culture and Research Journal 31.2, 2007.

“Trends in Poetry by Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Writers,” In The Disability Perspective: Variations on a Theme, ed. D. Pfieffer, S. Hey, and G. Kiger. Salem, eds. OR:Society of Disability Studies/Willamette University, 1993.

“Two Sign Languages in a North Indian Village,” Sign Languages Studies 50.2, 1992.

“Urban and Rural Sign Languages in India,” Language in Society 20.1, 1991.

“Typological Models and Diachronic Change in Chinese,” Linguistics 29.1, 1991.

“Holistic Models of Word Order Typology,” Word 40.3: 297-314, 1989.

“The Ontogenesis of Basic Word Order,” General Linguistics 29.2, 1989.

“The Acquisition of Categories in Chinese,” Lingua 78:193-216, 1989.

Creative and Journalistic Writing (abridged)

“The Drowning Time” (fiction) The Writing Disorder Mar. 2016.

“Stop Worrying and Fall Back in Love with Your Writing.” Write to Done. Mar. 17, 2014.

“Finding the Where: The Right Setting Sharpens a Scene,” Writers Digest, January 2008.

“An Infamous Soldier of Fortune Exposed,” Renaissance Magazine 57. 7 Oct. 2007.

“Cave Temple of the Goddess,” A Woman’s Path: Women’s Best Spiritual Travel Writing, Lucy McCauley, Amy G. Carlson, and Jennifer Leo, eds. San Francisco: Travelers’ Tales Press, 2000.

“The Evils of Our Day,” The Modesto Bee, June 9, 1999.

“There are Definitely Two Ways to Look at Dogbane,” Arizona Highways, July, 1997.

“Searching in the Night,” Sky and Telescope, December, 1996.

“Searching The Nighttime Sky,” The San Francisco Chronicle, August, 1996.

“The Last Sermon of Hudson Stuck,” Alaska Magazine, August, 1996.

“Fighting it Out in the Daily News,” Old West Magazine, Spring, 1995.

“In Other News: New Mexico’s Native American Press,” New Mexico Magazine, June, 1995.

“Flexible Flax: Food, Fiber, Flowers, Even Floors,” Herb Companion, June/July, 1995.

“Medicine Woman,” Montana Magazine, January, 1995.

“Ladies’ Business: Women Entrepreneurs on the Alaska Frontier,” The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, January, 1995.

“Sourdough News: Alaska’s Pioneer Press,” The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, July, 1994.

“Voices in the Wind: The Beauty, Power, and Mystery of the Hawaiian Chant,” Aloha Magazine, June, 1994.

“Medicine of Earth and Sky: Healing Traditions of the Pacific Coast,” Canadian West, Spring, 1994.

Review of Listening by Hannah Merker, North Shore Women’s Newspaper, February, 1994.

“Temples of Amusement: Frontier Theater in Gold Rush Alaska,” The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, October, 1993.

“Goldenrod: A Paradoxical Native Weed’s Colorful History,” Herb Companion, August/September, 1993.

“Healing Peppers,” Herb Quarterly, Autumn, 1993.