Alan Rumsey

Alan Rumsey

Alan Rumsey first came to Australia in 1975 as a University of Chicago PhD student to study language and its relation to other aspects of social life among the Ngarinyin people in the Kimberley district of Western Australia. During 1978-95 he lectured in the Anthropology Department at the University of Sydney. While continuing his work with Aboriginal people in the Kimberleys, since 1981 Rumsey has done his main research in the Ku Waru region in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea, partly in collaboration with Francesca Merlan. Their work there has included projects on language and politics, verbal art, and child language socialization. In 1996 Rumsey joined the Anthropology Department in what is now the College of Asia and the Pacific at Australian National University, where he is a Professor and former Head of Department. In 2004 Rumsey was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. During 2010-11 he served as President of the Australian Anthropological Society. He is currently heading a major, ARC funded comparative project on Children’s language learning and the development of intersubjectivity, with special focus on Ku Waru children’s interactions with adults and other children . Key publications include ‘Wording, meaning and linguistic ideology’ (American Anthropologist 90: 91:346-61, 1990); Ku Waru: Language and Segmentary Politics in the Western Nebilyer Valley (Cambridge University Press, co-authored with Francesca Merlan, 1991); ‘Agency, personhood and the ‘I’ of discourse in the Pacific and beyond’ (Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 6:101-115, 2000); Sung Tales from the Papua New Guinea Highlands (ANU Press, co-edited with Don Niles, 2011); and ‘Intersubjectivity, deception, and the “opacity of other minds”: perspectives from Highland New Guinea and beyond’ (Language and Communication 33:326-43, 2013).

Sung Tales from the Papua New Guinea Highlands »

Studies in Form, Meaning, and Sociocultural Context

Edited by: Alan Rumsey, Don Niles
ISBN (print): 9781921862205
ISBN (online): 9781921862212
Publication date: August 2011