Interests: Linguistics, social theory, North America and Europe, education, migration
Areas: North America
I am an anthropologist and linguist by training. My research typically engages discourse analysis
with social theory, combining analysis of linguistic practices with ethnographic research oriented to theoretical debates about power, identity and inequality. For several decades, I have studied issues of language diversity, social identity, and the politics of language in rural Native American communities, multi-ethnic urban communities in the U.S. and, most recently, multilingual migrant communities in Belgium, upstate New York, and South Africa.
At Albany I regularly teach courses in linguistics, language and society, and discourse analysis.
My books include:
Understanding Tolowa Histories (Routledge, 1998)
Literacy and Literacies (Cambridge, 2003)
Globalization and Language Contact (Continuum, 2009)
Other recent publications include:
“Social reproduction in classrooms and schools,” Annual Review of Anthropology, 38 (2009): 33-48
“The place of narrative in human affairs,” Text & Talk, 29.3 (2009): 325-346
“Migration, sociolinguistic scale and educational reproduction.” Anthropology & Education Quarterly 43 (2012): 192-213
Research of James Collins
Working Papers on Language, Power, & Identity