Duane A. and Virginia S. Dittman Professor of American Studies and Anthropology
Areas of Specialization
Expressive culture, visual anthropology, education, learning and literacies, African American, Euro-American; United States, Anglophone Caribbean
I want to learn how people keep the world stable and recognizable despite the transitory, contingent, and often dangerous conditions in which so many of us live. I also want to probe the interrelations of possibilities and constraints in these processes -- for example how names, classifications, and representations "make" knowledge but also limit what and how we know. To get at these issues over the years I have studied writing and graphic systems, psychological/cultural classifications such as "intelligence," "creativity," and "literacy;" and arenas of action such as schooling, landscape, artistic and material production, and religious practice. My areal foci are the African Diaspora (especially the U.S., Caribbean, and central Africa) and the contemporary U.S.