Office: Arts & Sciences Building, Room 242
Ph: (518) 442-4708
Ph.D., UC-Berkeley, 1983
Interests: Linguistics, social theory, North America and Europe, education, migration
Areas: North America
I am an anthropologist and linguist by training. My main theoretical commitments lie in engaging discourse analysis with debates in social theory. My work tends to combine fine-grained analysis of linguistic practices with ethnographic research oriented to current theoretical debates about power, identity and inequality. I regularly teach courses on linguistics, language and society, and discourse analysis as well as more specialized methodological and topical offerings. For over twenty five years, I have studied issues of language diversity, ethnic identity, and the politics of literacy. Some of this has been done in Native American communities in Northern California, much, however, has taken the form of ethnographic and sociolinguistic studies of schools and communities in various urban settings in the U.S. More recently, I have investigated the social conditions of multilingualism in an era of globalization, working with colleagues in Belgium on migration and language contact in Flanders and with U Albany colleagues on migration, language learning, and health care in Upstate New York.
Research of James Collins
Working Papers on Language, Power, & Identity
Select Publications Since 2000
James Collins, Stef Slembrouck & Mike Baynham (Eds.). 2008/In press. Globalization and Languages in Context: Scale, Network, and Communicative Practice. London: Continuum Publishers, “Advances in Sociolinguistics” Series.
James Collins & Richard Blot. Literacy and Literacies: Texts, Power, and Identity. 2003. New York: Cambridge University Press, “Studies in the Social and Cultural Foundations of Language” Series.
James Collins. 1998. Understanding Tolowa Histories: Western Hegemonies and Native American Responses. New York: Routledge.
Special Issues of Journals (Editor & Co-Editor)
James Collins & Stef Slembrouck (Eds.) 2005. Multilingualism and Diasporic Populations: Spatializing Practices, Institutional Processes, and Social Hierarchies. Special issue of Language & Communication (vol 25.1)
Jan Blommaert, James Collins, Monica Heller, Ben Rampton, Stef Slembrouck, and Jef Verschueren (Eds.) 2003. Ethnography, Discourse, and Hegemony. Special issue of Pragmatics (vol 13.1).
James Collins, John Calagione & Fiona Thompson (Eds.). 1999. Culture, Dream, and Political Economy: Higher Education and Late Capitalism. Special issue of International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, (vol 12.3).
Articles and Book Chapters
Ben Rampton, Roxy Harris, James Collins, and Jan Blommaert. 2008. “Language, class and education”, in the Kluwer Encyclopedia of Language and Education, 2nd Ed, Part 1. (pp. 71-81) Nancy Hornberger & Stephen May (Eds.). Kluwer. 2008.
James Collins. 2007. “Migration and multingualism: Implications for linguistic anthropology and education research” Working Papers in Urban Languages and Literacies 47. Electronic working paper series, Kings College/London.
James Collins & Stef Slembrouck. 2006 “‘You don’t know what they translate: Language contact, institutional procedure, and literacy practices in neighborhood health centers in urban Flanders.”, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 16.2: 249-268.
Jan Blommaert, James Collins & Stef Slembrouck 2005. “Spaces of multilingualism,”, Language and Communication. 25.3: 197-216.
James Collins. 2004. “Language” In A Companion to the Anthropology of American Indians. (pp. 490-505). Thomas Biolsi (Ed).. Oxford: Blackwell.
James Collins. 2003. “Reclaiming tradition, remaking community.”In Language and Social Identity. (pp.225-242). Richard Blot (Ed). Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing.
James Collins. 2003. “Language, identity, and learning in the era of ‘expert-guided systems’”. In Linguistic Anthropology of Education. (pp. 31-60). Stanton Wortham & Betsy Rymes (Eds). Westport, CT: Praeger.
James Collins. 2001. Selling the market: Educational standards, discourse, and social inequality. Discourse and Critique. Special issue of Critique of Anthropology 21(2): 143-163.