Adam Harr (Ph.D. University of Virginia) As a linguistic anthropologist, I am interested in how people use language to produce the sense that socially dependent realities are natural and inevitable.
Much of my research explores contemporary intersections of ancestral ritual and electoral politics in eastern Indonesia. My manuscript, Marginal Centers: The Culture of Local Politics in Eastern Indonesia, examines the constitution of local political voices as the Indonesian state enacts democratizing and decentralizing reforms. By focusing an ethnographic lens on a local election on Flores island, this project traces the concrete events—the stump speeches, party rallies, and spectacular feasts—that translate national policies into lived reality. I have also conducted over two years of participant-observation in village councils in the highlands of central Flores, exploring the interplay among language ideologies, theory of mind, and processes of building consensus.
At St. Lawrence University, I feel privileged to teach a variety of courses in linguistic and cultural anthropology, including Language and Human Experience; Myth, Magic, and Ritual; The Global Pacific; and Writing Culture. In each of my courses, I aim to collaborate with students in hopes that we all come away with a renewed sense of wonder (rigorous, critical wonder) at the strange/beautiful/terrible worlds we humans create and inhabit.
2016 Recentering the Margins? The Politics of Local Language in a Decentralizing Indonesia. In Margins, Hubs, and Peripheries in a Decentralizing Indonesia, Tilburg Papers in Culture Studies (Special Issue 162).
2015 Moving Words: Christian Language in the Modern World. In Reviews in Anthropology 44: 1-17.
2013 Suspicious Minds: Problems of Cooperation in a Lio Ceremonial Council. In Language & Communication 33(3): 317-326.
2016 "Sociolinguistic Scale and Ethnographic Rapport" presented at Conceptualizing Rapport Symposium, La Trobe University, Melbourn Australia, July 19-22
2016 "All Politics is Local: Spatial Deixis as Rhetoric in an Eastern Indonesian Polity" presented at Symposium on Language, Indexicality, and Belonging, Oxford University, April 7-8
2015 “Words and Pigs: Accountability and Sacrifice in Post-Suharto Indonesia” presented at the American Anthropological Society Annual Meetings, Denver CO, November 20
Regularly Taught Courses:
- Language and Human Experience
- Talking Politics
- The Global Pacific: Power and Politics in Oceanic Worlds
- Language and Social Identity
- Myth, Magic, and Ritual
- Ethnographic Methods
- Ethnography of Communication, Descriptive Linguistics, Anthropology of Religion, Ritual, Rhetoric, Exchange, Ethnographic Methods, Ethnographic Writing, Indonesia, Oceania