Mercedes Niño-Murcia, Professor in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at the University of Iowa, is a sociocultural linguist. Her work focuses on the consequences of linguistic contact and nationalist language ideologies upon bilingual communities in Latin America and the United States. She has done research on inequalities of language policy and how sociolinguistic inequalities affect indigenous and/or immigrant groups in both rural and urban settings. She has also written about vernacular literacies. Her current research contributes to forensic linguistics (the study of interactions between language and legal institutions) and focuses especially on contexts that shape class and race hierarchies around Latino immigrants in the USA.