Bruce Mannheim

Mailing address:

Department of Anthropology
1020 LS&A
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor MI 48109-1382
(734) 763-4259          



Bruce Mannheim, Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan, is a leading linguistic anthropologist, specializing in Quechua, once the language of the Inka and now the most widespread Native American language family. He is author of The language of the Inka since the European invasion (1991) and editor of The dialogic emergence of culture (1995) and is completing books on Quechua poetry and narrative. His most recent research is a historical study of Quechua texts as indices of national formation. 

Professor Mannheim is a past Guggenheim fellow, a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, and was twice a fellow of the Institute for the Humanities at Michigan. He was director of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Michigan from 1997-1999, and is currently President of the Society for Latin American Anthropology.

"My research is motivated by a theoretical orientation that places language at the center of culture and social relationships, on the one hand, and approaches language as infused with social and cultural contingencies on the other. Culture is located within structured semiotic practices—semiotic practices that are jointly produced in face-to-face interaction but constrained by more broadly shared, patterned interpretive conventions. These vary from the commonplace, such as grammatical patterns and other mundane social practices, to specialized practices, such as ritual language and verbal art. Moreover, the formal properties of patterns constrain both the stability of linguistic and cultural systems and the ways in which they change ; they disseminate through genres (for example, narrative) and even across media (song text and cloth textile). Much of this research has been developed through sustained work in Southern Quechua, the language of the Inkas, spoken today by millions in Peru and Bolivia (with closely related languages spoken across the Andean region)."



Workshop on social conflict and pragmatics in the Andean region

Quechua language study at UM and the Quechua summer program


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