Department of Linguistic Anthropology
University of Michigan,
Michael Lempert is Professor of linguistic anthropology, at the University of Michigan. He is affiliated with the Center for South Asian Studies and interdisciplinary programs in Anthropology and History.
A linguistic and cultural anthropologist with cross-disciplinary interests, he has trained in several fields, and has written on a wide range of topics concerned with social interaction. These include gesture and embodied communication; multimodal research; liberalism and deliberative democracy; technosemiotics and the human-media interface; Buddhist modernism; and listening.
He is author of Discipline and Debate: The Language of Violence in a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery (University of California Press, 2012; recipient of the 2013 Clifford Geertz Prize), coauthor (with Michael Silverstein) of Creatures of Politics: Media, Message, and the American Presidency (Indiana University Press, 2012), and coeditor (with E. Summerson Carr) of Scale: Discourse and Dimensions of Social Life (University of California Press, 2016). He has also written his ground breaking From Small Talk to Microaggression: A History of Scale, which traces how face-to-face interaction became a scaled object of knowledge in mid-twentieth century America. With Miyako Inoue (Stanford, Anthropology) and others, he has been involved in collaborative work. One of his recent projects, supported by The Wenner-Gren Foundation, is a team-based ethnography of liberal listening on a college campus.