User:James M. Wilce
I am a linguistic anthropologist, and Professor of Anthropology at Northern Arizona University. I am the founder and editor of Blackwell Studies in Discourse and Culture, a book series in linguistic anthropology. My PhD in Anthropology (1994) is from UCLA, where I wrote a dissertation on the poetics and politics of complaint in rural Bangladesh, which (after much editing) became my first book (Oxford University Press, 1998). My interests include the ethnography of communication, language and gender, semiotics, power and domination, globalization, medicine and particularly psychiatry and its history, various forms of madness (as they are culturally conceived and not only medically understood) and particularly schizophrenia, psychoneuroimmunology, verbal art, and the nexus of language and affect/emotion. My second book—an edited volume—is called Social and Cultural Lives of Immune Systems. I am currently finishing two book projects, both monographs. The first, which has been in process for quite some time, is a global look at lament (tuneful texted weeping, or spontaneous improvised crying songs), its importance in so many societies around the world and across millennia of human history, its suppression and near-complete elimination from so many corners of the world under conditions of high modernity, and its revival in a few pockets under something like postmodern conditions. Its title is Crying Shame: Metaculture, Modernity, and the Exaggerated Death of Lament (to appear, Blackwell Publishers). The second is called Language and Emotion (under contract with Cambridge University Press.) All of my ethnographic fieldwork up until 2003 was in Bangladesh, or among Bangladeshi diasporic communities in New York and London. Since 2003 I have begun working in Finland in collaboration with a group of people involved in the revival of lament.