Professor of Anthropology
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
2001 Ph.D. University of Chicago (Linguistics)
1992 M.A. University of Chicago (Linguistics)
1987 B.A. Reed College (Classics/Religion)
2016- Professor, Department of Anthropology, Trent University
2007-2015 Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Trent University
2003-2006 Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Trent University
2002-2003 Lecturer, Department of Linguistics, University of Chicago
2000-2001 Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Bard College
1998-2000 Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Reed College
2015 Love Stories: Language, Private Love, and Public Romance in Georgia. University of Toronto Press.
2012a Strangers in a Strange Land: Occidentalist Publics and Orientalist Geographies in Nineteenth-Century Georgia. Brighton: Academic Studies Press. Now open access: https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1zxsjjc, https://library.oapen.org/handle/20.500.12657/30900?show=full
2012b The Semiotics of Drink and Drinking. London: Continuum Press.
2002 (Co-authored with Marcello Cherchi.) Disciplines and Nations: Niko Marr vs. his Georgian Students on Tbilisi State University and the ‘Japhetidology’/ ‘Caucasology’ Schism. The Carl Beck Papers: The Center for Russian and East European Studies, University of Pittsburgh.
2008 Guest editor. Talk. Language and Communication 28.2.
2004 (With Adi Hastings.) Guest editor. Acts of Alterity. Language & Communication 24.4.
2003 Guest editor. Words and Beyond: Linguistic and Semiotic Studies of the Sociocultural Order. Language and Communication 23.3-4.
Submitted Metro Girl: The alliance of art and architecture in the Visual Aesthetics of the Modern Georgian City of the 1960s.
Forthcoming Flânerie in Text and City: The Heterogeneous Urban Publics of The Georgian Feuilleton. Forthcoming in Journal of Linguistic Anthropology.
2021 Spectral aphasia, psychical ghost stories, and spirit post-offices: Three modern ghost stories about communication infrastructures. Signs and Society 9.2, 204-233.
2020a Free the code, free the world: The chronotopic “worldness” of the virtual world of Ryzom. Language & Communication 70, 119-131.
2020b Goblin spiders, ghosts of flowers and butterfly fantasies: Lafcadio Hearn’s transnational, transmedia and trans-species aesthetics of the weird. Japan Forum 32.2, 259-283.
2019 The doe-eyed girl: the face of Post-Stalinist Georgian urban modernism. Semiotic Review, special issue on Faces. https://www.semioticreview.com/ojs/index.php/sr/article/view/51/82
2018a Spiritualist signal and Theosophical noise. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 28(1): 67-92.
2018b Animating virtual worlds: emergence and ecological animation of Ryzom’s living world of Atys. First Monday 23(4), http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/8127/7414
2017a No ruins. No ghosts. Preternature 61.1: 63-92.
2016a Peircean steamiotics: technological metaphors and pastoral designs
Semiotic Review. No. 4 Im/Materialities. https://www.semioticreview.com/ojs/index.php/sr/article/view/13
2016b Monstrous media and media monsters. Contemporary Legend 3.5, 112-123.
2014a Domestication of the wild supra. Ab Imperio 4, 53-62.
2014b Once upon a time there was sex in Georgia. Slavic Review 73.2, 265-286
2013a (With Ilana Gershon) Animating interaction. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 3 (3): 107–37, https://www.haujournal.org/index.php/hau/article/view/hau3.3.006
2013b Altaholics Anonymous: on the pathological proliferation of parasites in massively multiple online worlds. Semiotic Review 1: Parasites. https://www.semioticreview.com/ojs/index.php/sr/article/view/30
2010a The semiotics of brand. Annual Review of Anthropology 39, 33–49.
2010b Теория Периферийного кафе: Воды Лагидзе и периферийная городская модерность. Антропологический форум 12, 272-296.
2009a The epoch of Magna: capitalist brands and postsocialist revolutions in Georgia. Slavic Review 68 (4), 924-45.
2009b Just like England: on the liberal institutions of the Circassians. Comparative Studies in Society and History 51 (3), 590–618.
2008a Materiality and cosmology: old Georgian churches as sacred, sublime, and secular objects. Ethnos 73 (3), 327-360.
2008b (With Anne Meneley). Material objects in cosmological worlds: an introduction. Ethnos 73 (3), 285-302.
2008c Barista rants about stupid customers at Starbucks: what imaginary conversations can teach us about real ones. Language & Communication 28 (2), 101-126.
2008d От человеческих конфликтов к цивилизационным. Антропологический форум 8, 59-70.
2007a Rose-colored glasses? Color revolutions and cartoon chaos in postsocialist Georgia. Cultural Anthropology 22 (2), 171-213.
2007b (With Ann Uplisashvili) “Our Beer”: ethnographic brands in postsocialist Georgia. American Anthropologist 109 (4), 626-641.
2007c A construction-based view of possessive and local case-marking in Middle and Modern Welsh relative clauses. Journal of Celtic Linguistics 11, 77-130.
2006 Words and things, goods and services: problems of translation between language and political economy. Language & Communication 26 (3-4), 270-284.
2005a Staging the state and the hypostasization of violence in the medieval Cornish Drama. Cornish Studies 13, 126-169.
2005b Jewish ghosts, Knackers, Tommyknockers, and other sprites of capitalism in the Cornish mines. Cornish Studies 13, 216-255.
2004a Owning and belonging: a semiotic investigation of the affective categories of a bourgeois society. Comparative Studies in Society and History 46 (2), 300-325.
2004b The streets of Bethesda: the slate quarrier and the Welsh language in the Welsh liberal imagination. Language and Society 33 (4), 469-500.
2004c Describing dialect and defining civilization in an early Georgian nationalist manifesto: Ilia Ch’avch’avadze’s ‘Letters of a Traveler’. Russian Review 63 (1), 26-47.
2004d The geology of railway embankments: celticity, liberalism, the Oxford Welsh reforms, and the word order(s) of Welsh. Language and Communication 24 (2), 135-163
2004e (with Adi Hastings). Introduction: acts of alterity. Language & Communication 24 (4), 291-311.
2003 The Word made land: incarnationalism and the spatial poetics and pragmatics of largesse in medieval Cornish drama. Semiotica 146 (1/4), 237-266.
2002a Welsh rocks and English money: ideologies of divisions of language and divisions of labor in Nineteenth century Welsh slate quarries. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 44 (3),481-510.
2002b Orderly affect: The syntactic coding of pragmatics in Welsh expressive constructions. Pragmatics 12, 415-446.
2001a On social deixis. Anthropological Linguistics 43 (3), 55-100.
2001b The craft of reference: the Welsh language and the division of labor in Nineteenth Century slate quarries. Language and Communication 21 (3), 209-233.
1997 Indexical operators and scope relations in the Old Georgian relative clause. Linguistics 35, 513-563.
1995 Fluid intransitivity in Middle Welsh: Gradience, typology and 'unaccusativity'. Lingua 97, 171-194.
Open Access Online Publications
2019 Tiflis-Tbilisi.com. Website devoted to making available research materials and research articles related to the grant SSHRC grant Reassembling the City: Tbilisi from Safavid Persia to Postsocialism (239,318 over five years)
In Preparation Ritual Drinks: Performative and Phatic. For The Oxford Handbook of Ritual Language. David Tavárez, editor
Under Review Can Such Things Be? Ambrose Bierce and Newspaper Folklore. Paper under review for inclusion in a volume on the folkloresque edited by Michael Foster and Jeffrey Tolbert.
Forthcoming How to domesticate a Georgian goblin. Paper submitted for a volume entitled How to Live with Monsters edited by Yasmine Musharbash and Ilana Gershon.
Forthcoming Niko Marr and his Georgian students on the project of a university in Tbilisi: a temple of Georgian science or a university for the Caucasus? Forthcoming [in Georgian] in საქართველოს დემოკრატიული რესპუბლიკა: ფორმისა და შინაარსის ძიებაში [Georgia’s democratic republic: in search of form and content].
2021 (with Tamta Khalvashi) Human devils: Affects and spectres of alterity in eerie Cities of Georgia. In Modern Folk Devils: Contemporary Constructions of Evil, edited by M. D. Frederiksen and I. Harboe Knudsen, 63–79. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press.
2019 Botanizing on the asphalt: the “poké-flaneur” and the virtual urban wildlife of Pokémon GO. Neriko Doerr and Debra Occhi (eds.), The Augmented Reality of Pokémon GO, pp. 65-93. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books.
2018 Monstrous media and media monsters: from Cottingley to Waukesha. In Trevor Blank and Lynne McNeill (eds.), Slender Man Is Coming: Creepypastas and Contemporary Legends on the Internet, pp. 155-181. Louisville, CO: University of Colorado/Utah State University Press.
2017 The semiotic ecology of drinks and talk in Georgia. In Jillian Cavanaugh and Shalini Shankar (eds.), Language and Materiality, pp.226-247. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
2016 Pixie's progress: How the pixies became part of the 19th century fairy mythology. In Michael Dylan Foster and Jeffrey Tolbert (eds.), The Folkloresque: Reframing Folklore in Popular Culture, 81-103. Boulder, Colorado: University of Colorado Press.
2014a When goblins come to town: the ethnography of urban hauntings in Georgia. In Yasmine Musharbash, Geir Presterudstuen (eds.), Monster Anthropology in Australasia and Beyond, 161-177. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
2014b (With Ilana Gershon) Language and media. In N. J. Enfield, Paul Kockelman and Jack Sidnell(eds), The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Anthropology, 557-576. Cambridge.
2013a (with Adam Walker) Georgian wine: the transformation of socialist quantity into post-socialist quality. In Rachel Black and Robert Ulin (eds.), Wine and Culture: from Vineyard to Glass, 201-219. London: Bloomsbury.
2013b The theory of the Café Central and the practice of the Café Peripheral: aspirational and abject infrastructures of sociability on the European periphery. In Aksel Tjora and Graham Scrambler (eds.), Cafe Society, 43-65. New York: Palgrave McMillan.
2011a (with Zaza Shatirishvili). Why are the dolls laughing? Tbilisi culture between intelligentsia culture and socialist labor. In Tsypylma Darieva et al. (eds.), Urban Spaces after Socialism: Ethnographies of Public Places in Eurasian Cities, 207-225. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag.
2011b (with Zaza Shatirishvili). The exoticism and eroticism of the city: The ‘kinto’ and his city. In Tsypylma Darieva et al. (eds.), Urban Spaces after Socialism: Ethnographies of Public Places in Eurasian Cities, 261-281. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag.
2010 Folklore and terror in Georgia’s “notorious” Pankisi Gorge: the ethnography of state violence at the margins of the nation. In Nino Tsitsishvili and Sergei Arutiunov (ed.), Cultural Archetypes and Political Change in the Caucasus, 234-256. Saarbrücken: Lambert Academic Publishing.
2009a The city of balconies: elite politics and the changing semiotics of the post-socialist cityscape. In K. Van Assche, J. Salukvadze, N. Shavishvili (eds.), City Culture and City Planning in Tbilisi. Where Europe and Asia Meet, 71-102. Lewiston: Mellen Press.
2009b The hotel/refugee camp Iveria: symptom, monster, fetish, home. In K. Van Assche, J. Salukvadze, N. Shavishvili (eds.), City Culture and City Planning in Tbilisi. Where Europe and Asia Meet, 319-349. Lewiston: Mellen Press.
2007a Love Khevsur style: the romance of the mountains and mountaineer romance in Georgian ethnography. In Bruce Grant and Lale Yalçın-Heckmann (eds.), Caucasus Paradigms: Anthropologies, Histories, and the Making of a World Area, 23-46. Halle Studies in the Anthropology of Eurasia. Berlin: LIT Verlag.
2007b “Magnas” epoka: brandis t’ot’emizmi da ts’armosaxviti gadasvla sotsializmidan post’-sotsializmze sakartveloshi. In Sajaro Lektsiebi Erovnul Bibliot’ek’ashi, 2007.
2003a 'The rock does not understand English': Welsh and the division of labor in Nineteenth-century Gwynedd slate quarries. In Brian D. Joseph et al. (eds.), When Languages Collide: Perspectives on Language Conflict, Language Competition, and Language Coexistence, 45-75. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press.
2003b Editorial Foreword. Words and Beyond. In Words and Beyond: Linguistic and Semiotic Studies of the Sociocultural Order. Language and Communication Volume 23, 3-4 (July/October 2003).
Comments and Review Essays
2018 Comment on Sasha Newell, “The Affectiveness of Symbols.” Current Anthropology 59.1, 14-17.
2016 Comment on Eitan Wilf, “The Post-it Note Economy: Understanding post-Fordist business innovation through one of its key semiotic technologies.” Current Anthropology 57.6: 751-3.
2009 Can the avatar speak? (Review article). Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 19 (2), 310-325.
2020 Review of Martin Demant Fredriksen (2018), An Anthropology of Nothing in Particular. Anthropological Journal of European Cultures 29.2: 128-130.
2018 Review of Tsypylma Darieva, Florian Mühlfried, Kevin Tuite 2018 Sacred Places, Emerging Spaces Religious Pluralism in the Post-Soviet Caucasus. Reading Religion. http://readingreligion.org/books/sacred-places-emerging-spaces
2017 When the Guest becomes the Host: Review of [Erik Scott, 2016] Familiar Strangers: The Georgian Diaspora and the Evolution of the Soviet Empire. Review Essay. Diaspora 19:2/3 (2010), 351-360.
2015 Review of Jessica Greenberg, 2014, After the Revolution: Youth, Democracy, and the Politics of Disappointment in Serbia. Slavic Review, 74(3), 597-600.
2007 Review of Richard Bauman, 2004, A World of Other’s Words. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Vol. 17, No. 2: 301–303.
1998 Review of Alice Harris and Lyle Campbell, 1995, Historical Syntax in Cross-Linguistic Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Anthropological Linguistics 40 (2), 357-61.
1996 Review of R. D. Borsley and I. Roberts (eds.), 1996, The Syntax of the Celtic Languages: A Comparative Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. Anthropological Linguistics 38 (4), 732-4.
2012 (with Ilana Gershon) “Publishing in an Internet World.” Anthropology News 53(3) March 2012.
2007 “Magnas” epoka: brandis t’ot’emizmi da ts’armosaxviti gadasvla sotsializmidan post’-sotsializmze sakartveloshi. Axali Shvidi Dghe 20-26 July 2007, 13-15
Other Open Access Online publications
2007 Socialist supras and drinking democratically: changing images of the Georgian feast and Georgian society from socialism to post-socialism. (http://www.mapageweb.umontreal.ca/tuitekj/cours/Manning-Supra.pdf)
The epoch of Magna: brand totemism and the imagined transition/translation from socialism to post-socialism in Georgia.
Aluda is even better than Luda: Selling Beer ‘traditionally’ in post-socialist Georgia. (http://www.mapageweb.umontreal.ca/tuitekj/caucasus/Manning_BeerTalk.pdf)
2006 Talk and techne: images of conversation and the Starbucks service encounter. (http://www.semioticon.com/virtuals/semiotics/talk.pdf)
Papers in conference proceedings
2002 Describing dialect and defining civilization in Ilia Chavchavadze’s mgzavris tserilebi. amirani/Amirani 7, 97-124. Tbilisi/Montreal: ICRI.
1998 Indexical categories in the Old Georgian relative clause: ese, ege, igi. NSL 9: Linguistic Studies on the Non-Slavic Languages of the C.I.S. and the Baltic Republics. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society
1997 The geology of railway embankments: Oxford Welsh and the 'abnormal sentence'. CLS 33, Papers from the Panels on Linguistic Ideologies in Contact, 59-74. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.
1996a What Welsh relatives are really like. CLS 32: The Main Session, 251-265. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.
1996b Mi and mo revisited: the development of the category of 'orientation' in Old Georgian. NSL 8: Linguistic Studies on the Non-Slavic Languages of the C.I.S. and the Baltic Republics, 249-68. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.
1995a 'Social' deixis and social change in North Wales. Salsa II. Texas Linguistic Forum 34, 244-54.
1995b Quotative clitic 'spreading' in NE Georgian mountain dialects. CLS 31: Papers from the Thirty-first Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society. Volume 2: The Parasession on Clitics, 198-214. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.
1994 Split locativity in Old Georgian and Svan. NSL 7: Linguistic Studies in the Non-Slavic Languages of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltic Republics, 211-240. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.
Grants, Honors and Awards
2021 Principal Investigator, SSHRC Insight grant Gardens Elsewhere and Otherwise: A historical and Ethnographic Study of Georgia’s Green Heterotopias (152,065 over 5 years)
2020 Merit award for scholarship, Trent University.
2015 Principal Investigator, SSHRC grant Reassembling the City: Tbilisi from Safavid Persia to Postsocialism (239,318 over five years)
2013 Edward Sapir Book Prize for Semiotics of Drink and Drinking
2012 Merit award for scholarship, Trent University.
2010 Merit award for scholarship, Trent University.
2009-2012 Principal Investigator, SSHRC grant, Displaced Persons and State Formation after the Russo-Georgian War.
2008 Merit award for scholarship, Trent University.
2008 NCEEER travel grant.
2006 NCEEER travel grant.
2005 NCEEER travel grant.
2005 SSHRC internal grant, Trent University.
2004 Merit award for scholarship, Trent University.
2003-4 Participant, European-American Young Scholars’ Summer Institute, on The Concept of Language in the Academic Disciplines. Held at the National Humanities Center in Durham, North Carolina (2003) and at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin (2004).
2004 SSHRC internal grant, Trent University.
2002 Participant, SSRC workshop ‘Globalizing the Caucasus and Central Asia.’ Berkeley, April 19-22, 2002.
2002-3 NCEEER Research contract for grant entitled Constructing kartveloba: the metasemiotics of national imaginings (2 years, Republic of Georgia)
2001-2002 NEH Collaborative Humanities Research Fellowship for grant entitled Constructing kartveloba: the metasemiotics of national imaginings (6 months, Republic of Georgia)
1999 Summer Research Grant, Reed College
1998-1999 Stillman Drake Fund for Faculty Development, Reed College
1996-1997 Whiting Dissertation Fellowship
1994-1998 Jacob J. Javits Graduate Fellowship
1989-1992 National Science Foundation Fellowship
1989 A-level certification in Welsh
1987-1988 Thomas J. Watson Fellowship
1987 Phi Beta Kappa, Reed College
2021 (With Ketevan Gurchiani) Gardens otherwise and elsewhere: A historical and ethnographic study of Georgian gardens. Online Colloquium at the Frobenius Institute, Frankfurt.
2020 An Accidental Ethnographer. Online lecture, Department of Anthropology, Ilia University, Tbilisi.
2019 Goblin Spiders, Ghosts of Flowers and Butterfly Fantasies: Lafcadio Hearn's Transnational and Transmedia Aesthetics of the Weird. Invited talked sponsored by the Ei’ichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Professorship in Japanese Studies & the Smurfit-Stone Corporation Endowed Professorship in Irish Studies. University of Missouri-St. Louis.
2018 Guest lecture via Skype on my book Love Stories Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado Boulder.
The City of Gardens: Three Garden Heterotopias of Old Tbilisi. Public Lecture Presented at Ilia Chavchavadze University in Tbilisi.
Niko Marr and his Georgian Students on the Project of a University in Tbilisi: A Temple of Georgian Science or a University for the Caucasus? Invited paper given [English and Georgian] at Ilia Chavchavadze University conference in October: საქართველოს დემოკრატიული რესპუბლიკა (1918-1921) როგორც პროექტი. პოლიტიკური, კულტურული და ეკონომიკური ასპექტები.
2017 Animating Virtual Worlds. Invited Lecture, University of Texas, Department of Anthropology, Austin.
Urban Haunters: Ghosts and Kajis. Invited Lecture, Department of Anthropology, Tbilisi Free University, Tbilisi.
Brand Animism and Brand Animation. Keynote Address. Semiofest, Toronto 2017.
Animating Virtual Worlds. Invited Lecture, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto
2016 Ghosts, Goblins and Fairies: Lafcadio Hearn’s Monstrous Media. Invited Talk at University of Copenhagen, Department of Anthropology.
2014 Animating the city: Safavid soundscapes in socialist Tbilisi. Invited talk given to the Center for Media, Culture and History and the Department of Anthropology, NYU.
2013 Playing characters and animating alts in Ryzom. Agencies of Things conference hosted by Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan.
2012 The semiotic ecology of drink. Paper delivered at Southeast European center for Semiotic Studies, Sozopol, Bulgaria.
2011-2012 Fairies on the Frontier: Sprites of Capitalist and Colonial Nature in the American West and Australia. Hilliard Foundation Invited Speaker, Anthropology Department, University of Nevada, Reno (October 2011). Paper also presented at the Toronto Semiotics Circle, January 2012.
2010-2011 The Soviet Uncola. Invited paper presented at the Anthropology Department, University of Pennsylvania (December 2010); CREES and Anthropology of Europe Workshop, University of Chicago (May 2011), Anthropology Colloquium, Stanford University (May 2011).
2009 The Hotel/Refugee Camp Iveria: Symptom, Monster, Fetish, Home. Paper presented at the Semiotics Workshop at the University of Chicago.
2007 “Magnas” epoka: brandis t’ot’emizmi da ts’armosaxviti gadasvla sotsializmidan post’-sotsializmze sakartveloshi. (The Epoch of Magna: Brand totemism and the imagined transition/translation from socialism to post-socialism in Georgia.) Public Lecture, National Parliamentary Library of Georgia, July 6 2007.
Aluda is even better than Luda: Selling Beer ‘traditionally’ in post-socialist Georgia. Talk presented at Anthropology Department, Universite de Montreal, January 25 2007.
“Our Beer”: Ethnographic branding in contemporary Georgia. Invited talk delivered at the Chicago Caucasus Conference, May 16 2007.
2006 Ballad of the Khevsurs: The intelligentsia romance with the Georgian mountains. Workshop in social Anthropology: “Caucasus paradigms”. Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle.
Imaginary conversations. Toronto Semiotics Circle.
2005 The Rose Revolution. Department of Anthropology and the Center for Russian and East European Studies. University of Michigan.
2004 The Rose Revolution. Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto.
Dictators of the table and drinking democratically: changing images of the Georgian feast and Georgian society from Socialism to Post-socialism. Department of Anthropology, University of Maynooth, Ireland.
Sprites of Capitalism: Jewish ghosts and other fairies in the Cornish mines.
Department of Anthropology, University of Maynooth, Ireland.
2003 Dictators of the table and drinking democratically: changing images of the Georgian feast and Georgian society from Socialism to Post-socialism. Department of Anthropology, Trent University.
2001 ‘You must get a Welshman to break the rock, for the rock does not understand English.’ Department of Anthropology, Yale University.
1999 'Dearest Old Welsh, if ever it dies, from the mouth of a quarrier, I believe, will come the final word.’ Bard College.
1997 The moral and political economy of 'belonging': Social deixis and social change in North Wales. Reed College.
Paper presentations and panels organized
2021a The Gardens of Tbilisi. Workshop: From Armenian Pomegranates to Urban Gardening: Research perspectives on Gardening, Horticulture and Plants from Transcaucasia and Beyond. Frobenius Institute Webinar.
2021b Tbilisi was Once Green: Ecological Narratives of a Changing Cityscape. ASEEES virtual convention part of the panel Material Memories, December 3.
2021c Plant Publics: Dialogs of Gardens and Genres.
2020 The Languages of Nowhere: Language Creation, Roleplaying, and Virtual “Worldness.” Talk delivered at Con/Lang, Alt/Lang, Art/Lang Webinar (October/November 2020).
2019a Could commodities themselves speak, they would say… paper given at the AES conference in St. Louis.
2019b The Medium, The Message and the “Message Medium.” Paper given at the SAR Conference in Toronto.
2019c Partners in Desire: Consumers and Commodities. Panel co-organized with Laura Milller at AES conference in St. Louis.
2019d Animating Transit Infrastructures: the “Superflat” Ontology of the Kyoto Moe Moe Project. AAA Vancouver.
2019e Through the Looking Glass: Screens, Worlds, Interfaces. Invited commentary, AAA Vancouver.
2018a Niko Marr and his Georgian students on the project of a University in Tbilisi: A Temple of Georgian Science or a University for the Caucasus? Ilia Chavchavadze University conference Conference Democratic Republic of Georgia (1918-1921): In Search of Form and Content.
2018b Worldness. Paper presented at the Society for Linguistic Anthropology conference. University of Pennsylvania.
2017a Discussant: Interstices of Pokemon GO and Pokemon NO: Intersecting Chronotopes and Moral Panic of Augmented Reality. AAS Toronto.
2017b The Girl with Downcast Eyes: The Visual Semiotics of the 1960s Georgian Modernist City. IVMC5 (Intervnational Visual Methods Conference), Singapore.
2017c Art and Architecture in 1960s Tbilisi. WIP talks CRRC Georgia, Tbilisi.
2016 A Traditional Face in the Modern Crowd: The Secular Feminine Icons of Georgian Socialist Modernism. AAA Minneapolis.
2015a Spiritualist signal and Theosophical noise. AAA Denver.
2015b Animating the city: Safavid soundscapes in socialist Tbilisi, WIP talks, CRRC Georgia, Tbilisi
2015c Lafcadio Hearn's cosmopolitan and interdimensional fairyland: The exchange of people and spirits between Japan and Europe. Association for Asian Studies AAS-in-Asia conference Taipei, Taiwan.
2014a Animating animality and the virtual 'living world'. AAA Washington DC, December 2014.
2014b Animating animality and ontologies of violence in the virtual 'living world'. Popular Culture and World Politics 7.0, Ottawa.
2013 Peirce's steam-engines: technological metaphors, pastoral design, and Peircean semiotics. AAA Chicago.
2012 No ruins, no ghosts. AAA San Francisco.
2011 Altaholics Anonymous: on the proliferation of parasitic identities. AAA Montreal.
2010a The Theory of the Café Central and the Practice of the Café Peripheral: Problematic Publics on the Periphery. AAA New Orleans.
2010b The Theory of the Café Central and the Practice of the Café Peripheral: Problematic Publics on the Periphery. Harriman Institute, Columbia University.
2009a BonAqua and Borjomi: Capitalist and Socialist bottled waters and the Branding of Technology and Nature in Georgia. Consumer Culture Theory conference, Ann Arbor.
2009b BonAqua and Borjomi: Capitalist and Socialist Bottled Waters and the Branding of Technology and Nature. AAA, Philadelphia, November 2009.
2008a Your girlfriend is your ‘sworn brother’: public idioms for intimate relationships in mountain Georgia. AAA San Francisco.
2008b Georgians, that is, Readers of Droeba. University of Michigan conference “Georgia: the Making of a National Culture”, Ann Arbor, MI.
2007a Folklore and Terror in Georgia’s ‘Notorious’ Pankisi Gorge. AES/CASCA, Toronto.
2007b Sprites of Capitalism? Jewish ghost-fairies and other fairy ‘hybrids’ in British folkloric science. AAA, Washington DC.
2006a Idolaters without images and images of idolatry: Orthodox and Intelligentsia discourses about the Georgian ‘pagan’ mountain peoples. AAA San Jose.
2006b (with Rupert Stasch). Panel organizer for panel: Idols of the marketplace: commodity circulation and moral imagination. Society for Cultural Anthropology (AAA/SCA), Milwaukee.
2006b The Epoch of Magna: Brand Totemism and the Imagined Transition/Translation from Socialism to Post-Socialism in Georgia. Society for Cultural Anthropology (AAA/SCA), Milwaukee.
2005a Tarragon pop: Ethnographic brand in the post-socialist economy of Georgia. AAA, Washington, DC.
2005b Ecclesioclasm. Paper presented at the Anthropology of Religion section of the AAA in Vancouver.
2004 Words and things: goods and services. Paper presented at the University of Chicago conference Critical Theory in the 21st Century: Moishe Postone’s Time, Labor, and Social Domination After 10 Years. Chicago, Illinois.
2003a Renters and Real Tbilisians: Historicizing the Georgian city as an ethnolinguistic category. AAA Chicago.
2003b supra da saxelmtsipo sabchota qopashii (satirul-iumoristuli zhurnal 'niangis' (1933-1990) masalebis mixedvit)/The Supra and the State: images of the Georgian feast from the Soviet humor magazine ‘Niangi’ (1933-1990). 10th annual Kutaisi Discussions, Kutaisi, Georgia.
2003c Reflections on the ‘Meetings’: the metapragmatics of ‘democratic’ oratory in post-socialist Georgia. Anthropology of Europe workshop, University of Chicago.
2002a Reflections on the ‘Meetings’: the metapragmatics of ‘democratic’ oratory in post-socialist Georgia. AAA, New Orleans.
2002b On Circassian liberalism. The Social Theory Workshop, University of Chicago.
2001a Voicing the Terek river’s roar: the rhetoric of Georgian dialect in Georgian critiques of colonialism. AAA Washington DC.
2001b Welsh rocks and English money: ideologies of divisions of language and divisions of labor in Nineteenth century Welsh slate quarries. The Social Theory Workshop at the University of Chicago.
2000a The rock does not understand English: The slate quarrier and the Welsh language. AAA San Francisco.
2000b Peasant in form, gentry in content: The representation of Mokhevian dialect in Ilia Chavchavadze’s Mgzavris C’erilebi.Michigan-Chicago Graduate Student Conference in Linguistic Anthropology. University of Chicago.
1999 The social poetics of Ilia Chavchavadze’s Mgzavris C’erilebi [‘Letters of a Traveler’] and the invention of Georgian dialect. Conference on the Cultures of Caucasia. University of Chicago.
1998 'The rock does not understand English': Welsh in the linguistic division of labor in Nineteenth-century Gwynedd slate quarries. When Languages Collide: Sociocultural and Geopolitical Implications of Language Conflict and Coexistence. Ohio State University.
1997a The geology of railway embankments: Oxford Welsh and the 'abnormal sentence'. Parasession on Language Ideology and Contact at the Thirty-third Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society. University of Chicago.
1997b (with Marcello Cherchi). Niko Marr and his Georgian students: On Tbilisi State University and the 'Japhetidology'/'Caucasology' schism. The Eighth International Conference on the Cultures of Caucasia. University of Chicago.
1996a What Welsh relatives are really like. Thirty-second Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society. University of Chicago.
1996b Hypostasis, explanation, and the Old Georgian local case system. Paper presented at the conference on Functionalism and Formalism in Linguistic Theory. University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
1995a Quotative clitic 'spreading' in NE Georgian Mountain dialects. Thirty-first Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society: Parasession on Clitics. University of Chicago.
1995b Indexical categories in the Old Georgian relative clause: ese, ege, igi.
Paper presented at NSL 9: Linguistic Studies on the Non-Slavic Languages of the C.I.S. and the Baltic Republics. University of Chicago.
1994a 'Social deixis' and social change in North Wales. Second Annual Symposium about Language and Society at Austin, April 1994. University of Texas at Austin.
1994b Cultural categories of space and membership in nominal and verbal deixis. Time, Space and Identity: The First International Colloquium on Deixis. University of Kentucky at Lexington.
1993 Mi and mo revisited: Global indexical coding and the category of 'orientation' in Old Georgian. NSL 8: Linguistic Studies on the Non-Slavic Languages of the C.I.S. and the Baltic Republics. University of Chicago.
1991 'Split locativity' in Old Georgian and Svan. NSL 7: Linguistic Studies on the Non-Slavic Languages of the C.I.S. and the Baltic Republics. University of Chicago.
1990 Syntactic borrowing and its consequences: Spanish-style preposition deletion in Patagonian Welsh. Nineteenth Annual Linguistics Symposium at the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee.
Courses designed and/or taught
Introduction to Linguistics Culture, Colonialism and Imperial Peripheries
Introduction to Anthropology Linguistic Typology
Introduction to the Humanities Traditional Oratory and Poetics
Intermediate Georgian Semiotic Anthropology
Anthropology of Language Language Encounter and Language Shift
Language, Culture and Society Ethnography and Literature in the Caucasus
Anthropology of Europe Nationalism
Monsters Anthropology of Colonialism
Anthropology of Technology Style and Subculture
Freaks and Geeks Virtual Worlds
Anthropology of Media Animacy, Animism, Animation
Language and Media: Voice Anthropology of Drinks and Drinking
Contemporary Legends Language and Media: Writing Systems
Editor, Semiotic Review (2012-present)
Book series editor (with Sabina Perino and Jim Wilce). Bloomsbury Studies in Linguistic Anthropology (2016-present)
Editor (with Miyako Inoue), Journal of Linguistic Anthropology (2007-2010)
Member of the International Advisory Board for the PhD program in Social and Cultural Anthropology, Ilia State University, Tbilisi (2020-)
Manuscript, article, fellowship and/or grant reviewer (often on multiple occasions) for American Academy in Berlin, American Anthropologist, American Councils for International Education, American Ethnologist, Anthropologica, Anthropological Journal of European Cultures, Anthropological Quarterly, Anthropological Theory, Anthropologie et Sociétés, Berg Hahn Press, Broadview Press, Bloomsbury, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Consumption Markets & Culture, Cornell University Press, Critique of Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Current Anthropology, Ethnos, Etnografia e Ricerca Qualitativa, Euroasiatica, European Planning Studies, European Science Foundation, Food, Culture and Society, I Quaderni di Urbanistica Tre, International Journal of American Linguistics, Interventions, Journal of Cultural Economy, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI), Journal of Sociolinguistics, Kadmos, Language & Communication, Language in Society, Marine Policy, MWK fellows, Nationalities Papers, NCEEER, New Media and Society, NU SHSS, Oxford University Press, Palgrave McMillan Press, REGION, Reviews in Anthropology, Russian Review, Rustaveli Foundation, Signs and Society, SSHRC, Slavic Review, Syracuse University Press, Taylor and Francis, Temple University Press, University of California Press, University of Minnesota Press, University of Toronto Press, Utah State University Press.
Tenure file and promotion reviewer for University of Regina, University of Michigan, University of California Santa Cruz, New York University, City University of New York, London School of Economics, University of Notre Dame, Rutgers University, St. Mary’s University.
Oral and Literary proficiency: Welsh (A-levels), Georgian (teaching experience), Spanish
Literary Proficiency: Latin, Middle Welsh, Middle Cornish, French, Classical Greek
2001-Present Field and archival work in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia
1999 Library and archival work in Bangor district, North Wales
1992-3 Fieldwork in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia
1991 Fieldwork in Bangor District, North Wales
1988 Fieldwork in Trelew district, Patagonia, Argentina
1987-8 Fieldwork in Bangor District, North Wales
1985 Language training in Bangor District, North Wales