1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Wagner

Since the completion of my field research in New Ireland I have been interested in the objective basis of subjective phenomena like thought, imagery, representation, and symbolism. It is the difference between the objectivity of the event or encounter and the way it gets to be represented later in thought, reflection, and writing that turns real or pragmatic happening into an empirical copy of itself, into an "experience" of self and other.

Turner

I am an anthropologist engaged in the study of ritual, religion and consciousness. I have been researching the field of symbol and ritual for 58 years, formerly in collaboration with Victor Turner. My theoretical interests have developed from Turner's "anthropology of experience," a field that has been spreading in anthropology to narratology, humanistic anthropology, and the anthropology of consciousness.

Shepherd

My research applies my interest in historical dynamics, political economy, and conflict theories of society to issues in Chinese society at both the macro level of empire and region and at the micro level of marriage, gender, and domestic groups. I am concerned with research design, and the critical examination and testing of competing hypotheses, even those labeled as "interpretations." 

Seneviratne

My early research interests were fashioned by three factors in the context of my growing up in Sri Lanka. First, Buddhist rituals were all around me, and I was stimulated to explore the meaning of these rituals. Second, Sri Lanka was going through radical social change. Third, Sri Lanka was groping for an identity and economic security after its recent emergence from British colonial domination. My published work reflects these contextual factors as well as my belief that the utility of traditional sociological theory is by no means exhausted.

Sapir

West African languages, folklore and culture. My initial field work was with the language and folklore of the Kujamaat Jóola of Southern Sénégal. Subsequent field work investigated their social organization and social symbolism. Language, folklore and social symbolism center on symbolism in general and inform my broader theoretical interests, the central place of symbolism in human thought.

Ross

I consider teaching, advising and mentoring students in anthropology and linguistics to be central to my life. I particularly enjoy introducing students to new ideas and concepts and showing them the relevance of anthropological and linguistic ideas and approaches to other aspects of their lives. Perhaps this is a result of my own experience and training. Starting out as an archeology student at the University of Nebraska, I was quickly immersed in a four-fields approach to anthropology by an exciting teaching staff.

Plog

My research focuses on culture change in the prehistoric American Southwest, particularly the changing nature of ritual and social organization from approximately A.D. 800 to the present. My recent focus has been on the Chaco Canyon region of northwestern New Mexico, perhaps the most important center of the Pueblo world in the 11th and 12th centuries. I address what I believe are key aspects of organization, ritual and cosmology during the Chacoan era.

Metcalf

Before coming to the United States, I worked at the Universities of Singapore and Papua New Guinea, and conducted research in both of those countries. But most of what I now write and teach is motivated by the experience of living in longhouse communities in Borneo in the 1970's. It was the beginning of a period of rapid change; most obviously, the integrity of traditional world views were challenged by conversion to Christianity. Thinking about that led me into a century-old tradition of comparative religion in anthropology, which places emphasis on ritual.

Mentore

The disciplinary effects of anthropology have over the years gradually framed and reframed my current research interests.  They have done so as the hard-won legitimacies to speak and to write about the cultural forces contributing to the presence of human socialities in the Antilles and Amazonia.

McKinnon

As a cultural anthropologist, my research and writing have long been focused on issues relating to kinship, marriage, and gender. I am fascinated by their cross-cultural and historical diversity, by their centrality in the structures and dynamics of hierarchy and equality, and by the way scientific texts have transformed their culturally specific manifestations into universal facts of nature.

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