Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology, of Linguistics, and of Psychology and in the Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities

PhD, Harvard University, 1972


Michael Silverstein studies language structure and its functional contextualization, language history and prehistory, the anthropology of language use, sociolinguistics, semiotics, language and cognition (and their development), and history of linguistic and ethnographic studies. His fieldwork in northwestern North America and northwestern Australia has been the basis of various descriptive, theoretical and generalizing contributions. He is also investigating language use and textuality as sites of contestation and transformation of cultural value in contemporary American society, reconceptualizing sociocultural and rhetorical practices in light of the semiotic anthropology of communication.


Contact Information

Office: Haskell 313
Phone: (773) 702-7713
Email: m-silverstein@uchicago.edu


Selected Publications

2017
The Fieldwork Encounter and the Colonized Voice of Indigeneity. Representations 137(1): 23-43.

2017
Forty Years of Speaking (of) the Same (Object) Language--Sans le Savoir. Langage et Société 160-161: 93-110.

2017
Message, Myopia, Dystopia. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 7(1): 407-13.

2017
Standards, Styles, and Signs of the Social Self. Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford 9(1): 134-64.

2016
Fabrication, Verification, Authentication: An Introduction. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 160 (1-5).

2016
Postscript: Thinking about the "Teleologies of Structuralism." HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 6(3): 79-84.

2016
The "Push" of Lautgesetze, the "Pull" of Enregisterment. In Nikolas Coupland, ed., Sociolinguistics: Theoretical Debates. Cambridge University Press.

2016
Semiotic Vinification and the Scaling of Taste. In E. S. Carr and M. Lempert, eds., Scale: Discourse and Dimensions of Social Life. University of California Press.

2015
An American Map in Paris: U.S. Views of the Balkans in the Peace Process. Balkanistica 28: 501-518.

2014
The Voice of Jacob: Entextualization, Contextualization, and Identity. English Literary History (ELH), special issue ed. by R. Copeland and F. Ferguson.

2013
From Baffin Island to Boasian Induction: How Anthropology and Linguistics Got into the Interlinear Groove. In R. Darnell, ed., Franz Boas: Ethnographer, Theorist, Activist, Public Intellectual. University of Nebraska Press.

2013
(w/ M. Lempert) Creatures of Politics: Media, Message, and the American Presidency. Indiana University Press.

2013
Worora Kinship and 'Parenteral' Relationships. Anthropological Theory, special issue on "Qualia" ed. N. Harkness and L.H. Chumley. 13 (1-2): 89-103.

2013
The Race from Place: Dialect Eradication vs. the Linguistic 'Authenticity' of 'terroir'. In Lacoste, et al. eds., Indexing Authenticity: Sociolinguistic Perspectives. de Gruyter.

2013
Performative Risks in Risking Performace. In Metz, et al. eds., Translating the Social World for Law. Oxford University Press.

2012
The Eucharistic Chiastic Trope in American 'Civil Religion': Ritual Interdiscursivity and the Production of Cultural Intertexts. Lexia, Revista di Semiotica. 11-12: 297-325.

2012
Does the Autonomy of Linguistics Rest on the Autonomy of Syntax: An Alternative Framing of our Object of Study. In Meeuwis and Ostman, eds., Pragmaticizing Understanding: Studies for Jef Verschueren. John Benjamins, 15-38.

2011
The 'Message' in the (Political) Battle. Language and Communication. 31(2):203-216.

2011
Seized by Eminent Domaine: The ‘Vinification’ of Comestible Prestige. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society.

2011
What goes around. . .: Some Shtick from ‘Tricky Dick’ and the Circulation of U.S. Presidential Image. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology. 21(1):54-77.

2011
Presidential Ethno-blooperology: Performance Misfires in the Business of ‘Message’-ing. Anthropological Quarterly, 84(1): 165-86.

2010
Society, Polity, and Language Community: An Enlightenment Trinity in Anthropological Perspective. Journal of Language and Politics. 9(3):339-363.

2010
‘Direct’ and ‘Indirect’ Communicative Acts in Semiotic Perspective. Journal of Pragmatics. 42: 337-353.

2009
Private Ritual Encounters, Public Ritual Indexes. In S. Senft & E. Basso, eds., Ritual Communication. Oxford: Berg, 271-291.

2006
How Knowledge Begets Communication Begets Knowledge: Textuality and Contextuality in Knowing and Learning. Intercultural Communication Review (Tokyo) 5: 31-60.

2006
How We Look from Where We Stand [Review essay on 3 Blackwell Handbooks]. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology. 16(2): 269-78.

2006
Old Wine, New Ethnographic Lexicography. Annual Review of Anthropology. Vol 35, 481-96.

2006
Writing at the Chronotopic Margins of Empires. In S.L. Sanders, ed., Margins of Writing, Origins of Cultures. Chicago: Oriental Institute Press, 149-155.

2005
Cultural Knowledge, Discourse Poetics, and the Performance of Social Relations. In A. Makkai, W. J. Sullivan & A. R. Lommel, eds., LACUS Forum XXXI: Interconnections. Houston : LACUS, 33-52.

2005
The Poetics of Politics: “Theirs” and “Ours.” Journal of Anthropological Research. 61(1):1-24.

2005
Heartburn as a Cultural System. In R. Cernea, ed., The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate. University of Chicago Press.

2005
Axes of --evals: Token vs. Type Interdiscursivity. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 15(1):6-22.

2005
Languages/Cultures are Dead! Long Live the Linguistic-Cultural! In D. Segal & S. Yanagisako , eds., Unwrapping the Sacred Bundle: Reflections on the Disciplining of Anthropology. Durham : Duke University Press, 99-125.

2004
‘Cultural’ Concepts and the Language-Culture Nexus. Current Anthropology. 45(5) : 621-652.

2004
Boasian Cosmographic Anthropology and the Sociocentric Component of Mind. In R. Handler, ed., Significant Others. History of Anthropology, Vol. 10] Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, pp. 131-57.

2003
Translation, Transduction, Transformation: Skating Glossando on Thin Semiotic Ice. In P. Rubel and A. Rosman, eds., Translating Cultures: Perspectives on Translation and Anthropology. Oxford: Berg, 75-105.

2003
The Whens and Wheres—as well as Hows—of Ethnolinguistic Recognition. Public Culture. 15(3): 531-57.

2003
Indexical Order and the Dialectics of Sociolinguistic Life. Language and Communication. 23(3-4): 193-229 [Special issue on the work of M. Silverstein and students: Words and Beyond: Linguistic and Semiotic Studies of the Sociocultural Order. ed. P. Manning.]

2003
Talking Politics: The substance of style from Abe to “W.” Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press [distributed by University of Chicago Press].

2000
Whorfianism and the Linguistic Imagination of Nationality. In P. Kroskrity, ed., Regimes of Language: Ideologies, Polities, and Identities. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press, pp. 85-138.

1998
The Uses and Utility of Ideology. A Commentary. In B. Schieffelin, K. Woolard, P. Kroskrity, eds., Language Ideologies: Practice and Theory. Oxford University Press, 123-145.

1998
Contemporary Transformations of Local Linguistic Communities. Annual Review of Anthropology, 27:401-26.

1998
The Improvisational Performance of Culture in Realtime Discursive Practice. In K. Sawyer, ed., Creativity in Performance. Greenwich, CT: Ablex Publishing Corp., pp. 265-312.