Adam Harr (Ph.D. University of Virginia) As a linguistic anthropologist, I am interested in how people use language to produce the sense that contingent social 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. Some of my work appears in the journals Language and Communication and Reviews in Anthropology.
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.
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