Marybeth
Office
Munroe Hall 110
Tel
(802) 443-5019
Email
mnevins@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
Spring Term: Wednesdays 1-2:30pm and Fridays 11am-12:30pm

M. Eleanor Nevins (PhD U of Virginia 2005; Associate Professor)

Linguistic anthropology; Language Endangerment and Revitalization; Indigeneity and Colonialism; Christianity; Religious Movements; History of Anthropology; Ethnopoetics; Native American languages; Environmental Communication; Misunderstanding; Anthropology of Translation.

Courses Taught

Course Description

Prior to registering for ANTH 0500, a student must enlist the support of a faculty advisor from the Department of Anthropology. (Open to Majors only) (Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

One-Semester Senior Project
Under the guidance of a faculty member, a student will carry out an independent, one-semester research project, often based on original data. The student must also participate in a senior seminar that begins the first week of fall semester and meets as necessary during the rest of the year. The final product must be presented in a written report of 25-40 pages, due the last day of classes.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Multi-Semester Senior Project
Under the guidance of a faculty member, a senior will carry out an independent multi-semester research project, often based on original data. The student must also participate in a senior seminar that begins the first week of fall semester and meets as necessary during the rest of the year. The final product must be presented in a written report of 60-100 pages, due either at the end of the Winter Term or the Friday after spring break.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Language Structure and Function
In this course we will discuss the major issues and findings in the study of human language within theories of modern linguistics, which shares a history with mid-century American anthropology. The main topics include the nature of human language in comparison with other communication systems; sound patterns (phonology); word-formation (morphology); sentence structure (syntax); meaning (semantics); use (pragmatics); language acquisition and socialization. We will also consider language variation and the historical development of languages. Instruction is in English but examples will be drawn from less commonly studied languages around the world. (not open to students who have taken LNGT 0101) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Language, Culture and Society
In this course students will be introduced to the comparative, ethnographic study of language in relation to socio-cultural context. Our readings will be drawn from diverse global settings and will focus upon language as the means by which people shape and are shaped by the social worlds in which they live. We will examine contrasts in ways of speaking across different communities, personal identities, and institutions. We will explore the consequences of communicative difference across a range of contact situations, including everyday conversation among peers, service encounters, political elections, and global connections or disconnections made possible through new media. (formerly SOAN 0109) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Spring 2022

Requirements

CMP, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Linguistic Anthropology Methods
In this course we will work with a method and theory known as the “ethnography of communication” to examine language use in socio-cultural context. Students will learn to form research questions and collect different kinds of data, including everyday spoken interactions, archival print sources, and social media. Students will learn how to document, annotate, and analyze their samples as speech events linked to broader discursive contexts and social relations. Students will also turn ethnography of communication upon social science research itself, examining interviews and surveys as communicative interactions. The course provides an empirical pathway to questions of cultural difference and social inequality. (formerly SOAN 0396) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2021

Requirements

SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Linguistic Anthropology Methods
In this course we will work with a method and theory known as the “ethnography of communication” to examine language use in socio-cultural context. Students will learn to form research questions and collect different kinds of data, including everyday spoken interactions, archival print sources, and social media. Students will learn how to document, annotate, and analyze their samples as speech events linked to broader discursive contexts and social relations. Students will also turn ethnography of communication upon social science research itself, examining interviews and surveys as communicative interactions. The course provides an empirical pathway to questions of cultural difference and social inequality. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Environmental Communication
Do languages simply put different labels on the environment, from rocks to trees to carbon, or are what we see and what we value shaped by the ways that we talk about it? Drawing upon ethnography, linguistics, and critical discourse analysis, we will explore how environmental perceptions and modes of action are formed in and through language. We will bring an appreciation of language differences to the analysis of ongoing environmental controversies, where the various stakeholders draw contrasting boundaries between nature and culture and define human involvement with nature in different ways. (formerly SOAN 0395) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2021

Requirements

CMP, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Indigeneity and Colonialism in Native North America
In this course we will approach Native North America and the American political mainstream as dynamically intertwined. Through ethnography, ethno-history, oral literature, and indigenous film we will examine the history of colonial encounters between the Indigenous and the 'Western'. We will examine how indigenous cultural difference and moral claims to land have challenged dominant political cultures across the history of the North American settler states. Our analysis will extend to ongoing questions concerning cultural knowledge, sustainability, and imagined futures. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

AMR, HIS, NOR, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Invention of Nature: Global and Local
In this class we take a deep dive into the nineteenth century archive where students will discover how Middlebury’s first professor, Frederick T. Hall, institutionalized the scientific study of nature here at a time when most colleges emphasized seminary studies. We will compare the careers of two of his students: Henry Rowe Schoolcraft and Edwin James, both of whom became explorers of the western territories and experts in Native American languages. We will look at their expeditionary writings and examine how these were taken up and used by a diverse audience that included scientists, industrialists, legislators, poets, clergy, and adventure-seekers. We will explore how these writings and their subsequent use help to invent a natural history for the new nation. We will also examine the ambivalent implication of James and Schoolcraft’s writings for the status of the Native Americans with whom they worked. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2020

Requirements

AMR, CW, HIS, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Language, Culture and Society
In this course students will be introduced to the comparative, ethnographic study of language in relation to socio-cultural context. Our readings will be drawn from diverse global settings and will focus upon language as the means by which people shape and are shaped by the social worlds in which they live. We will examine contrasts in ways of speaking across different communities, personal identities, and institutions. We will explore the consequences of communicative difference across a range of contact situations, including everyday conversation among peers, service encounters, political elections, and global connections or disconnections made possible through new media. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Anthropology)/

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

CMP, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Language and the Environment
Do languages simply put different labels on the environment, from rocks to trees to carbon, or are what we see and what we value shaped by the ways that we talk about it? Drawing upon ethnography, linguistics, and critical discourse analysis, we will explore how environmental perceptions and modes of action are formed in and through language. We will bring an appreciation of language differences to the analysis of ongoing environmental controversies, where the various stakeholders draw contrasting boundaries between nature and culture and define human involvement with nature in different ways. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Anthropology)/

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

CMP, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Prior to registering for SOAN 0500, a student must enlist the support of a faculty advisor from the Department of Sociology/Anthropology. (Open to Majors only) (Approval Required) (Sociology or Anthropology)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

One-Semester Senior Project
Under the guidance of a faculty member, a student will carry out an independent, one-semester research project, often based on original data. The student must also participate in a senior seminar that begins the first week of fall semester and meets as necessary during the rest of the year. The final product must be presented in a written report of 25-40 pages, due the last day of classes. (Sociology or Anthropology)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Multi-Semester Senior Project
Under the guidance of a faculty member, a senior will carry out an independent multi-semester research project, often based on original data. The student must also participate in a senior seminar that begins the first week of fall semester and meets as necessary during the rest of the year. The final product must be presented in a written report of 60-100 pages, due either at the end of the Winter Term or the Friday after spring break. (Sociology or Anthropology)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Indigeneity and Colonialism in Native North America
In this course we will approach Native North America and the American political mainstream as dynamically intertwined. Through ethnography, ethno-history, oral literature, and indigenous film we will examine the history of colonial encounters between the Indigenous and the 'Western'. We will examine how indigenous cultural difference and moral claims to land have challenged dominant political cultures across the history of the North American settler states. Our analysis will extend to ongoing questions concerning cultural knowledge, sustainability, and imagined futures. 3 hrs. sem. (Anthropology)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018

Requirements

AMR, HIS, NOR, SOC

View in Course Catalog