Professor James Collins Awarded Fulbright Fellowship to Study Language and Connect Scholars in South Africa

Professor James Collins, Department of Anthropology, has been awarded a Fulbright Teaching/Research Fellowship to be in South Africa from January to July of 2014. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected by the J. William Fulbright Scholarship Board, which is appointed by the President and establishes worldwide policies for the Fulbright Program . Fulbright awards are highly prestigious, and many UAlbany faculty members have benefited from them.

Collins’ project “After Apartheid & Jim Crow: A framework for examining language diversity, civil rights and social inequalities in contemporary South Africa and the United States” addresses pressing social issues in the U.S. and the R.S.A. and aims to help build research capacity in South Africa. His proposed course is designed to initiate graduate research student exchanges between the (historically white) University of Cape Town and (historically black) University of the Western Cape, a goal that the Cape Town sponsors at both institutions strongly support. Working with colleagues and graduate students at both universities, he will conduct research on language diversity, language policy, and educational inequality. This research will be affiliated with the international Superdiversities Research Network that connects scholars in Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America.

Professor Collins’ research typically combines analysis of linguistic practices with ethnographic research oriented to theoretical debates about power, identity and inequality. He has conducted field-based research conducted fieldwork in rural Native American communities, multi-ethnic urban communities in the U.S. and, most recently, multilingual migrant communities in Belgium and upstate New York. At UAlbany he regularly teaches courses in linguistics, language and culture, and discourse analysis.

His publications include Understanding Tolowa Histories (Routledge, 1998), Literacy and Literacies (Cambridge, 2003) and Globalization and Language Contact (Continuum, 2009), “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, and “Migration, sociolinguistic scale and educational reproduction,” Anthropology & Education Quarterly 43 (2012): 192-213.