Paul Kockelman

Most Influential Person

Linguistic Anthropologist

Why Is Paul Kockelman Influential?

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Areas of Specialization: Linguistic Anthropology
Paul Kockelman is the editor of the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, co-editor of The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Anthropology, and a professor of anthropology at Yale University. He is known as one of the last great system-builders in the  field.

His work in linguistic anthropology has yielded significant insights into Qʼeqchiʼ, an ancient language of the Maya people of Guatemala, as well as his ethnographic work. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including Agent, Person, Subject, Self: A Theory of Ontology, Interaction, and Infrastructure, The Chicken and the Quetzal: Incommensurate Ontologies and Portable Values in Guatemala’s Cloud Forest, and most recently, Kinds of Value: An Experiment in Modal Anthropology.

He has also written numerous articles, such as Meeting the Universe Two-Thirds of the Way (Witchful Thinking), Being Multiversed in the Multiverse, and The Role of Mas (Spanish Más) in Q’eqchi’: Comparison and Degree in a Mayan Language.

He has made substantial contributions to the frameworks underlying anthropological research and scholarship, exposing new areas of inquiry and challenging preconceived notions of human and ethnographic history. As the editor of the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, he has provided thought leadership in the field since his appointment in 2016.

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According to Wikipedia, Paul Kockelman is a professor of anthropology at Yale University. His work in linguistic anthropology includes the description and ethnographic analysis of Q’eqchi’, a Mayan language spoken in Guatemala. His contributions to anthropological theory have covered a wide range of themes, including agency, temporality, meaning, subjectivity, stance, value, and more recently the Anthropocene. Some of these writings, blending the concerns of semiotics and ethnography with those of mathematics and computer science, have been understood to have pushed the frontiers of anthropological theory. Kockelman has been described as "one of anthropology's last great system‐builders".

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