Professor of Anthropology
Ph.D. Indiana University
I am a cultural anthropologist with major interests in language, political
economy and science. My original field research in 1976 was on ethnic
identity change in northern Cameroon. At various times over the last 30 years,
I have also lived and worked in Latin America (Venezuela, Ecuador, and Costa
Rica). I have published a book comparing the theories of the anthropological
linguist Benjamin Whorf and the Russian literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin.
More recently, I have begun to focus on challenges to traditional “four-field” North
American anthropology, writing about ways in which the concept of niche construction
might be used to reformulate connections between evolutionary biology and
ecology and cultural anthropological studies of social, cultural, and political
change. I am also the coauthor of three textbooks in anthropology. One text, Cultural
Anthropology: A Perspective on the Human Condition, is now in its seventh
edition, and has been translated in Japanese, Italian, Bulgarian, Vietnamese,
I have taught introductory general anthropology and introductory
cultural anthropology on a regular basis for most of my career. In
addition, at St. Cloud State University, I regularly teach courses on linguistic
anthropology, the anthropology of globalization, the anthropology sex and
gender, and the anthropology of food. I recently developed a new course
on the anthropology of science and technology. From time to time I have
also taught courses on Society and Culture in Latin America and Society
and Culture in Africa.
Selected Publications and Papers:
- Resolving the Anti-Anti-Evolutionism Dilemma. American Anthropologist. 111(2): 224-237..
- Anthropology: What Does It Mean to Be Human? With Robert H. Lavenda. Oxford University Press, 2008 (second edition, forthcoming)..
- Core Concepts in Cultural Anthropology. With Robert H. Lavenda.
Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Co. (2000; second edition 2003,
McGraw-Hill; third edition 2006; fourth edition 2009)
- Anthropology. With Robert H. Lavenda. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield
Publishing Co. (1995; second edition 2007; third edition 2001)
- Cultural Anthropology: A Perspective on the Human Condition.
With Robert H. Lavenda. St. Paul: West Publishing Company. (1987;
second edition 1990; third edition 1995, Mayfield Publishing Company; fourth
edition 1997; fifth edition 2001; sixth edition 2005, Oxford University
Press; seventh edition, 2009.
- Dialogue at the Margins: Whorf, Bakhtin, and Linguistic Relativity.
Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. 1990.
- “Niche Construction and the Constructing of Niches: Missed Opportunities
in the Study of Cultural Change.” Paper presented at the Fourth Annual
Conference on recent work in Biology and Philosophy: The Evolution
of Cognition: Niche Construction, Culture, and Environmental Complexity.
April 23-24, 2005. Duke University.