Mary E. Brown Zeigler, PhD

Dr. Mary E. Brown Zeigler, Associate Professor, English Language and Linguistics within the English Department at Georgia State University, earned an MA at Atlanta University and her Ph.D. with an English Linguistics focus at The University of Georgia. Her studies examine the lexical and morpho-syntactic patterning within American language communities. Her on-going research encompasses the sociocultural implications of the Geechee-Gullah Creole in Georgia. Since 2008, she has coordinated Student-Inspired Language/Literature Conference on Sapelo Island Lexical Connections (SILC on SILC). Some related publications include “Sankofa in Ptahhotep and Nelson Mandela for the Gullah Bible: The Head and Heart of African Wisdom,365 Days a Year,” International Journal of Liberal Arts and Social Science. 3.1 (2015); “Migration and Motivation in the Development of African American Vernacular English,” in A Companion to the History of the English Language. eds.Momma and Matto (2008); “Something to Shout about: AAVE as a Linguistic and Cultural Treasure” Sociocultural and Historical Contexts of African American Vernacular English, ed. Sonja Lanehart (2001); Postcolonial Contexts of African American English, Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies. 4.1 (Fall 1996).







Student-Inspired Language/Literature Conversations on Sapelo Island Linguistic Connections
SILC on SILC Conference Series
A Study-Abroad-in-Georgia Learning Experience


The Salt-Water Geechee Lexical Heritage Student Mini-Conference

How did this SILC conference series get started? What kept it going on from 2009 through 2014?SIHH
During the 2009 Spring Semester, ss a product of our studies in ENGL 8245, African American Language, my students revised, edited and added entries for a Gullah/Geechee dictionary based on a study of the memoir by Cornelia Walker Bailey, God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man (2000).   As a result of this lexical study, the students presented our first student mini-conference on Sapelo Island at the Hogg Hummock Library with Michele Nicole Johnson, Library Director as introductory speaker and Cornelia Bailey as Keynote Speaker. Several students gave presentations from their work and presented a copy of their dictionary to Mrs. Bailey.

Sapelo Island at New Voices Conference. Students also put together a session based upon their studies and their Sapelo Island mini-conference and presented them at the Graduate English Association Conference.

Sapelo Island Geneology. The students also produced an internet site for our studies,

This series of learning-beyond-the-classroom experiences provided a means of learning about the life, culture,
language, and mechanistic artistic components of llife in the American South. It inspired our urban students to understand and learn more about communities that they had heard about, that they had read about, and that many of their families came from. It also supplemented



Visiting a Source of American Heritage in Georgia
March 6-7, 2009
Sapelo Island, Georgia
Sponsored by: The Department of English, Graduate English Association, and WAC Program
Director: Dr. Mary B. Zeigler
Associate Director: Dr. Kameelah Martin Samuel

The Salt-Water Geechee Lexical Heritage Student Mini-Conference on Sapelo Island, Georgia

2011 Itinerary

2012 Itinerary A

2012 Itinerary B

October 18-20, 2013
Coastal Georgia Cultural Heritage: Geechee Kunda; Sapelo Island Cultural Day Festival
SILC Theme: Children and Family, Cultivating the Tree of Life from the Roots to the Fruit A Signature Experience



African American Studies Association

College Language Association

A Professional Organization of College Teachers of English and Foreign Languages

The College Language Association, founded in 1937 by a group of Black scholars and educators, is an organization of college teachers of English and foreign languages which serves the academic, scholarly and professional interests of its members and the collegiate communities they represent.  Since 1957, the Association has published the peer-reviewed CLA Journal, a quarterly featuring scholarly research and reviews of books in the areas of language, literature, linguistics and pedagogy

  • Fosters high professional standards for teachers of language and literature and promotes productive scholarship among its members;
  • Publishes scholarly books of critical essays and bibliographical references;
  • Encourages interest in creative writing;

Holds an annual convention for presentation of scholarly papers, exchange of ideas with other colleagues, and dialogue with specialists brought in by the Association;

4/20/91 "Myth and Persona: The Evolution of a Metaphor in the Poetry of Langston

Hughes," College Language Association CLA Convention, Columbia, SC

Linguistic Society of America

South Atlantic Modern Language Association

South-Eastern Conference on Linguistics

Georgia Southern University International Conference Information Literacy