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Paul Kockelman is Professor of Anthropology at Yale University. He has undertaken extensive ethnographic and linguistic fieldwork among speakers of Q’eqchi’ (Maya) living in the highlands of Guatemala. Some of his favorite research topics include: temporality, poultry husbandry and commons management, sieves and serendipity, labor and measurement, animals and affect, semiosis and statistics, meaning and value, causality and inference, economy and ecology, materiality and objectivity, enemies and noise, agency and subjectivity, and a variety of grammatical categories insofar as they are deployed in real-time interactions and entangled in deep cultural histories (such as tense, aspect, mood, evidentiality, status, grade, quantification, inalienability, and interjections). His current research focuses on the relation between gradients, grading, degradation, and grace.
His forthcoming book is entitled, The Art of Interpretation in the Age of Computation (Oxford University Press). His most recent book is The Chicken and the Quetzal: Portable Values and Incommensurate Ontologies in Guatemala’s Cloud Forest (Duke University Press, 2016). He is also the author of Language, Culture, and Mind: Natural Constructions and Social Kinds (Cambridge University Press, 2010), and Agent, Person, Subject, Self: a Theory of Ontology, Interaction, and Infrastructure (Oxford University Press, 2013). With Nick Enfield and Jack Sidnell, he is the editor of The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Anthropology (Cambridge University Press, 2014). And with Nick Enfield, he is the editor of Distributed Agency(Oxford University Press, 2017).
That said, he really likes the essay form, the diagrammatic imaginary, dad puns, and teaching more generally. Much of this work may be found at www.envorganism.org.
2016 Grading, Gradients, Degradation, and Grace: Part 1, Intensity and Causality. Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory.
2016 Phenomenology, Materiality and Cosmology: Part 2 ofGrading, Gradients, Degradation, and Grace. Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory.
2016 Meeting the Universe Two-Thirds of the Way (Witchful Thinking). Signs in Society.
2013 The Anthropology of an Equation: Sieving Spam, Algorithmic Agents, and Ontologies in Transformation. Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory.
2012 The Ground, The Ground, The Ground: Why Archaeology is so ‘Hard’, 58:176-183. Yearbook of Comparative Literature.
2011 Biosemiosis, Technocognition, and Sociogenesis: Selection and Significance in a Multiverse of Sieving and Serendipity. Current Anthropology.
2010 Enemies, Parasites, and Noise: How to Take Up Residence in a System Without Becoming a Term in It. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology.
2010 Value is Life Under a Description. Anthropological Theory.
2007 Agency: The Relation between Meaning, Power, and Knowledge. Current Anthropology.
2006 A Semiotic Ontology of the Commodity. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology.
1999 Poetic Function and Logical Form, Ideal Languages and Forms of Life. Chicago Anthropology Exchange.