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Jacqueline Hettel Tidwell

Jacqueline Hettel Tidwell

Dean, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Chatham Hall

Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Chatham Hall
Chatham, VA 24531


  • Senior Sustainability Fellow, Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation
  • Dean, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Chatham Hall


Jacqueline Tidwell is the Dean of Innovation and Entreprenuership at Chatham Hall. A linguist by training, her research primarily focuses on investigating language as a social construct that can provide insights into differences in behavior, language use, meaning construction between different groups, and roles in society. Recently, her interests have begun shifting to better understanding how language can be used as a way of better understanding emerging patterns in the narratives of human experience at planetary scale. This being said, while the kind of language she often investigates may vary, or the groups of people that may be producing it, she is always striving to uncover the underlying, implicit themes and issues being communicated through the spoken or written language of real people.

A majority of her work has been focused on investigating communications within the energy sector. Her current work focuses on applying methods of linguistics and digital humanities to understanding the motivations of people adopting emerging technologies within the energy sector: specifically, her current project is looking at the motivations of solar technology adoption in LMI communities. She also works with utilities in the nuclear power industry to develop methods for analyzing various types of communications (emails, letters, memos, and even operational documents) as a means of understanding culture-based issues like safety, environmentalism, regulation, and oversight. Additional projects in progress include investigating rhetorical and communicative strategies employed by both the industry (e.g. the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and licensed corporations), policymakers, and the public regarding nuclear power to better understand the dynamics surrounding nuclear energy activism, as well as exploring how social factors may be correlated with differences in narratives of sustainability by Americans historically--especially with regard to innovations in technology.

Hettel also serves as the Assistant Editor of the Linguistic Atlas Projects, the longest-standing archive in North America of language data collected through field surveys. Her work with the Linguistic Atlas Projects has largely centered on exploring legacy field linguistic survey recordings to enable discovery of unique narratives and histories of environmentalism in America—particularly in the transition from rural to urban communities in the south and west—and how those stories vary across different dimensions like time, age, race, and socioeconomic status.


  • Graduate Certificate, Business Innovation, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 2014
  • PhD, English, University of Georgia, 2013
  • Graduate Certificate, Interdisciplinary University Teaching, University of Georgia, 2013
  • BA, English Language and Literature, Grand Valley State University, 2008


Journal Articles


Hettel Tidwell, J. and A. S. Tidwell. 2018. Energy ideals, visions, narratives, and rhetoric: Examining sociotechnical imaginaries theory and methodology in energy research. Energy Research & Social Science 39(May):103-107. DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2017.11.005. (link )


Kretzschmar Jr., W. A., P. Bounds, J. Hettel Tidwell, L. Pederson, L. L. Opas-Hanninen and I. Juuso. 2013. The digital archive of southern speech (DASS). Journal of Southern Linguistics 37(2):17-38.



Burkette, A., J. Hettel Tidwell and W. A. Kretzschmar Jr. 2017. Complex systems and text analysis. Presentation at the Linguistic Society of American Annual Meeting Mini Course, January 2017, Austin, Texas.

Hettel Tidwell, J. 2017. The LInguistic Atlas Project Commons: Sustaining impact and innovation for dialect research legacies. Presentation at the American Dialect Society Annual Meeting, January 2017, Austin, Texas.


Burkette, A., J. Hettel Tidwell and W. A. Kretzschmar Jr. 2016. Complex systems and variationist analysis. Presentation at the New Ways of Analyzing Variation 45 Workshop, November 2016, Vancouver, British Columbina, Canada. (link )

Kretzschmar Jr., W. A. and J. Hettel Tidwell. 2016. Big data: Complex systems and text analysis. Presentation at the Digital Humanities 2016, 11-16 July 2016, Krakow, Poland. (link )


Hettel Tidwell, J. and P. Bounds. 2015. Signal-to-noise ratio in the creation of perceptual maps. Presentation at the American Dialect Society Annual Meeting, January 2015, Portland, Oregon.


Hettel Tidwell, J. and P. Bounds. 2014. Assessing the influence of features on informant responses to perceptual maps. Presentation at the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics 2014, 2014, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Hettel Tidwell, J. and C. Bourg. 2014. Digital humanities in the library, for the library: Two case studies illustrating the usefulness of text mining for library assessment. Presentation at the Data Driven: Digital Humanities in the Library Conference, 20-22 June 2014, Charleston, South Carolina. (link )


Hettel Tidwell, J. and C. Bourg. 2013. Measuring "thanks": Data-mining acknowledgments to assess library impact. Presentation at the 2013 Digital Library Federation Forum, 4-6 November 2013, Austin, Texas. (link )


Opas-Hanninen, L. L., J. Hettel Tidwell, T. Toljamo and T. Seppanen. 2012. "Eric you don't do humble well": The image of the modern vampire in text and on screen. Presentation at the Digital Humanities 2012, 16-22 July 2012, Hamburg, Germany. (link )