Steven BlackAssociate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies Anthropology
Ph.D., 2010, Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
M.A., 2004, Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
B.A., 2002, Ethnomusicology with an emphasis in Jazz Studies, University of California, los Angeles
B.A., 2002, Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
Linguistic anthropology, psychological anthropology, medical anthropology
Dr. Black’s research examines global and planetary health through the lens of linguistic and communicative practices. His work connects to the anthropological study of gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, morality and ethics, globalization, neoliberalism, global health, and international aid. In his professional activities, Dr. Black emphasizes anthropological ethics and engaged scholarship, working in dialogue with public discourses, public policies, and the concerns and goals of research participants. He has studied performance and HIV/AIDS support/ activism in South Africa (leading to publication of a book, titled Speech and Song at the Margins of Global Health), improvisation (both verbal and musical), and the communicative practices of global health professionals. He is currently writing a book about storytelling and the constitution of scientific, ethical, and monetary value in global health. He also recently led a collaborative project on planetary health and cultural sustainability in Boruca Indigenous territory in Costa Rica funded by National Geographic.
Dr. Black is currently the treasurer for the Society for Medical Anthropology. He is also on the advisory board for the journal, Anthropology and Humanism, and he is a senior editor for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Anthropology, At GSU, he is the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Anthropology.
Dr. Black is also a musician, with a background as a jazz saxophonist, a B.A. in ethnomusicology, and an interest in piano and guitar. He speaks English, isiZulu (a.k.a. Zulu) and Spanish. In addition to playing music, spending time with his family, and doing carpentry work, Dr. Black enjoys the outdoors in urban, rural and park forms, and he has hiked, run, and climbed through these spaces on five continents.
(2019). Speech and Song at the Margins of Global Health: Zulu Tradition, HIV Stigma, and AIDS Activism in South Africa. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Edited Special Journal Issues
Black, S. and L Arnold (2020). Communicating Care. A special issue of Medical Anthropology 39(7).
Articles and Book Chapters
(In Press). “Ethics and Language.” In Alessandro Duranti, Rachel George, and Robin Conley Riner (eds.), The Handbook of Linguistic Anthropology, 2nd Edition. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
(2022). Black, Steven P. and Robin Conley Riner. “Care as a Methodological Stance: Research Ethics in Linguistic Anthropology.” In Sabina Perrino and Sonya Pritzker (eds.), Research Methods in Linguistic Anthropology. Bloomsbury Academic Press, p. 97-124.
(2021). “Portable Values, Inequities, and Techno-Optimism in Global Health Storytelling.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 31(1): 25-42.
(2020). “Communicability, Stigma, and Xenophobia During the COVID-19 Outbreak: ‘Common Reactions’?” Special Commentary section of Language, Culture, and Society 2(2): 242-251.
Arnold, L. and S. Black (2020). “Communicating Care.” Medical Anthropology 39(7): 597-608.
Black, S. and G. Alvarado (2020). “Global Health Education and Mediatization of Care in Costa Rica.” Medical Anthropology 39(7): 597-608.
(2019). “Ethics, Expertise, and Inequities in Global Health Discourses: The Case of Non-Profit HIV/AIDS Research in South Africa.” In N. Avineri, L. Graham, E. Johnson, R. Conley Riner, and J. Rosa (eds.), Language and Social Justice in Practice. New York: Routledge, p. 119-127.
(2018). “The Ethics and Aesthetics of Care.” Annual Review of Anthropology 47: 79-95.
(2018). “Sexual Stigma: Markedness, Taboo, Containment, and Emergence.” In Kira Hall and Edward Barrett (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Language and Sexuality. New York: Oxford University Press. Advance electronic publication.
(2018). “Music and Language.” In Hillary Calan (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
(2017). “Anthropological Ethics and the Communicative Affordances of Audio-Video Recorders in Ethnographic Fieldwork: Transduction as Theory.” American Anthropologist 119 (1): 46-57.
Black, S. and E. Falconi (2017). “Linguistic Anthropology and Ethnolinguistics.” In The Handbook of Linguistics, 2nd Edition, edited by Mark Aronoff and Janie Rees-Miller. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, p. 479-504.
(2015). “The Morality of Performance: HIV Disclosure on Stage and in Everyday Life in South Africa.” Ethos 43(3): 247-66.
(2014). “The Intersubjective Space-Time of a Zulu Choir/ HIV Support Group in Global Perspective.” Special issue, Doing (Things With) Sounds: Music As a Site of Social Semiosis. In Social Semiotics 24(4): 1-21.
(2013). “Narrating Fragile Stories About HIV/AIDS in South Africa.” Pragmatics and Society 4(3): 345-368.
(2013). “Stigma and Ideological Constructions of the Foreign: Facing HIV/AIDS in South Africa.” Language in Society 42(5):481-502.
(2013). “Linguistic Anthropology in 2012: Language Matter(s).” American Anthropologist 115(2):269-282.
Duranti, A. & S. Black (2012). “Language Socialization and Verbal Improvisation.” In A. Duranti, E. Ochs, & B. Schieffelin (eds.), The Handbook of Language Socialization. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, p. 443-463.
(2012). “Laughing to Death: Joking as Support Amid Stigma for Zulu-Speaking South Africans Living with HIV/AIDS.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 22(1):87-108.
(2008). “Creativity and Learning Jazz: The Practice of ‘Listening’.” Mind, Culture, and Activity 15(4): 279-295.
PhD Dissertation and MA Thesis
(2010). Dissertation Mss. Facing HIV/AIDS Stigmatization in South Africa Through Language and Music.
(2005). M.A. Thesis. “The Paradox of Teaching Creativity: Communicative Strategies for Teaching Group Interplay in Small Jazz Ensembles.”