Anthropology Department

Robert Brightman (Emeritus)

Ruth C. Greenberg Professor of Native American Studies



Ph.D. 1983 University of Chicago
M.A.  1976 University of Chicago
B.A.  1973  Reed College

Research interests

Native North America [esp. Subarctic, California, Southeast]
Hunter-Gatherer Societies
Cultural Theory
Linguistic Typology and Functional Syntax
Structuralism and Semiotics
Ontologies and Subjectivities
Vernacular/Indigenous Ethnologies
Environmental Anthropology(ies)
Transgression and Deviance
Anthropology and Literature
History of Anthropology

In Progress: Books, Reports, Articles

Aboriginal Membership Practices of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation and Their Historical Continuation. Prepared for the case Opaskwayak Cree Nation,  Dakota McGillivary, Diane Lehmann, et al.  v. Her Majesty the Queen, Federal Court File No. T-1975-93. [report]

Fear and Loathing in Hunter-Gatherer Arcadia: Primordialism, Primitivism, and Ur-Savagery.  Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press. [book]

Cotexts, Contexts, and Cultures of Algonquian Noun Gender.  Language and Communication. [article]

Visual Media

2012.  Heart of Ice: The Legend, Condition, and Prophecy of Windigo.  Christian Tizya, director. Watson Street Pictures. [interview]

Recent Conferences

2013 “In the old days, you can go live anywhere”: Cree and Canadian Indian Affairs Rules of Band Membership.  10th Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies. Liverpool, 23-28 June 2013

2012. Discussant: Panel on “Crossings from Present to Past: History of Anthropology in Anthropological Practice.” 111th Annual American Anthropological Association Meetings, San Francisco, CA, November 16-20.
2011. Context and Cotext in Plains Cree Gender Shifts.  43rd Annual Algonquian Conference. Ann Arbor, MI Oct. 20-23.

2010. “Irony and Ontology in Luiseno Cosmogony.” Society for Cultural Anthropology Spring Conference Program on “Natureculture”  Santa Fe, New Mexico, May 7-9.
2008. Discussant for Organized Session “Hunting Windigo: The Cannibal Spirit in Folklore, History and Film.  13th Rupert’s Land Colloquium, Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, May 14-16.

2004.Beneath the Valley of 4th World Monism. Invited plenary session paper for Conference on The Nature of Spirits: Human and Non-Human Beings in Amerindian Cosmologies.  Laval University, Québec City, Québec, April.

Selected Articles

____. 2007. Nature and Culture in the Bush.  La nature des esprits dans les cosmologies autochtones.  F. Laugrand and Jarich Oosten, eds. Pp.31-44.  Québec: Les Presses de L’Université Laval.

____. 2006. North American Indian Culture and Culture Theory. Native
    American Cultures, Histories, and Representations. Pauline Strong and Sergei Kan, eds. Pp. 351-384. Lincoln: University of Nebraska  

____. 2004. Chitimacha. Handbook of North American Indians. Volume 14:
    Southeast. R. Fogelson, ed.  Pp. 642-652. Washington D.C: Smithsonian Institution.

____. 2003. Jaime de Angulo and Alfred Kroeber:  Bohemians and Bourgeois
    in Berkeley Anthropology. History of Anthropology Volume 10: Significant Others.  R. Handler, ed. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

____. 2002. Totemism Reconsidered (Co-author Raymond Fogelson). Anthropology, History, and American Indians: Essays in Honor of William Curtis Sturtevant.  W. Merrill and I. Goddard, eds.  Pp.  305-314. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. 

____. 1999. Traditions of Subversion and the Subversion of Tradition: Cultural Criticism in Maidu Clown Performances. American Anthropologist 101(2): 272-287. 

____. 1996. Biology, Taboo, and Gender Politics in the Sexual Division of Foraging
Labor. Comparative Studies in Society and History  38(4): 687-729

____. 1995. Forget Culture: Replacement, Transcendence, Relexification. Cultural
    Anthropology   10(4):1-39.

____. 1989. Primitivism in Missinipi  Cree Historical Consciousness. 1989. Man  25:399-418.

____. 1989. Tricksters and Ethnopoetics. International Journal of American Linguistics  55(2):179-203.

____. 1988. Windigo in the Material World. Ethnohistory   35(4):337-379. 


____. 1993. Grateful Prey: Rock Cree Human-Animal Relationships. Berkeley: University   of California  Press.  Pp. 1-396.

____. 1989. Aca∂ohkiwina  and Acimowina: Traditional Narratives of the Rock Cree Indians.  Ottawa: Canadian Museum of Civilization. Pp. 1-223

____. 1988. Co-author: Jennifer Brown. The Orders of the Dreamed: George Nelson on Cree and Northern Ojibwa Religion and Legend. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press . Pp. 1-226.