James Collins is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology Arts & Science, University at Albany/SUNY. He is an anthropologist and linguist by training. His main theoretical commitments lie in engaging discourse analysis with debates in social theory. His work tends to combine fine-grained analysis of linguistic practices with ethnographic research-oriented to current theoretical debates about power, identity and inequality. He regularly teaches courses on linguistics, language and society, and discourse analysis as well as more specialized methodological and topical offerings. For over twenty-five years, he has studied issues of language diversity, ethnic identity, and the politics of literacy. Some of this has been done in Native American communities in Northern California, much, however, has taken the form of ethnographic and sociolinguistic studies of schools and communities in various urban settings in the U.S. More recently, he has investigated the social conditions of multilingualism in an era of globalization, working with colleagues in Belgium on migration and language contact in Flanders and with U Albany colleagues on migration, language learning, and health care in Upstate New York.
James Collins has spent one month in summer 2013 at MPI-MMG pre-planning his research project "After Apartheid and Jim Crow: A comparative frame for examining language diversity, civil rights, and social inequality in South Africa and the United States," with the goal of aligning his research with the International Consortium on Language and Super-diversity (InCoLaS). His field research occurred January-June 2014 in the Western Cape, South Africa, as part of a Fulbright teaching/research grant.
Stay at MPI-MMG:
June - July 2013