Associate Professor Veerendra Lele joined the department in 2003. A.B. Cornell University, M.A. Georgetown University, M.A. in Anthropology University of Michigan, and M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia University. Professor Lele is also a member of the International Studies faculty.
I am a broadly-trained cultural anthropologist with research interests in semiotic anthropology, identity, material culture and archeology, racial, ethnic, and linguistic identity, kinship, demography, anthropology and philosophy, and the history of anthropology. Most of my fieldwork has been conducted in Ireland, in Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) communities. My recently completed projects include an analysis of recent demographic and cultural change in Ireland, something of particular interest due to Ireland's diasporic past. I have also just completed sociolinguistic research on personal names and naming-systems in a Gaeltacht community in western Ireland. I have two research projects currently in progress, the first being an analysis and critique of the logic of racial profiling, using C.S. Peirce's arguments about the various forms of logical inference including retroduction/abduction. The other project is a long-term investigation of the phenomenological and semiosic manifestation of archaeological sites and other material artefacts in the lives of contemporary people in Gaeltacht and other communities in Ireland. I am particularly interested in the kind of "work" that artefacts do, their implicit telic qualities when they are manifest as material habits. I teach courses on social theory (classical and contemporary), race and ethnicity, semiotic, and Ireland/Europe. I also teach our introductory course and our senior research seminar.
2010 "Lessons in Racial Identity and Kinship" Anthropology News May 2010 see full article [pdf]
2009 " 'It's not really a nickname, it's a method': Local Names, State Intimates, and Kinship Register in the Irish Gaeltacht". Journal of Linguistic Anthropology v. 19:1 See full article [pdf]
2008 "Demographic Modernity" in Ireland: a cultural analysis of citizenship, migration, and fertility". Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe (JSAE). v.8:1 See full article [pdf]
2007 "Reading Dialogic Correspondence: Synge's The Aran Islands". New Hibernia Review. Geimhreadh/Winter 11:4 See full article [pdf]
2006 "Material Habits, Identity, Semeiotic". Journal of Social Archaeology. 6:1 See full article [pdf]
2005 Book Review of S. Muthu's "Enlightenment Against Empire". American Anthropologist. v.107:2