Most of my writings have focused on elaborating the relationships between community expressions (e.g., language, song, narrative) and larger systems of meaning (e.g., memory, belief, identity). My ethnographic research has included a number of ongoing projects with members of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma; a series of partnerships with African Americans in Muncie, Indiana (the site of the famous "Middletown" studies); and most recently, action research with a range of groups in southern West Virginia. My thinking about anthropology in general, and ethnography in particular, has also been influenced by my experiences growing up in the rapidly globalizing American South; early fieldwork with addicts and their recovery processes; various international exchanges; applied and participatory research with various institutions and organizations; and, of course, the many and diverse students from whom I have had the privilege to learn over the past many years.

A good bit of my writing has revolved around imagining and articulating a space for collaborative ethnography, an approach to ethnographic research that emphasizes how scholars and research participants/consultants can research and write together to advance multicultural understanding and social change.

Books & Edited Volumes


Collaborative Anthropologies, ed., Vol. 1 - 6 (U of Nebraska Press, 2008, 2009 & [with Samuel R. Cook] 2010 - 2013).

Invitation to Anthropology, 3rd. edition. Lanham: AltaMira/ Rowman & Littlefield (2009, 2006, 2002).
Explorations in Cultural Anthropology, ed. with Colleen Boyd (AltaMira Press, 2011).

The Chicago Guide to Collaborative Ethnography (U of Chicago Press, 2005).
Powwow: Ethnographic Texts, ed. with Clyde Ellis and Gary Dunham (U of Nebraska Press, 2005)
The Other Side of Middletown: Exploring Muncie's African American Community, with Hurley Goodall, Elizabeth Campbell, Michelle Natasya Johnson, and the students of the "Other Side of Middletown" seminar (AltaMira Press, 2004)
  • Winner of the 2005 Margaret Mead Award. See the Award Remarks, presented in Vancouver, Canada, March 2006, here.
  • see the article about this book (and The Chicago Guide to the Collaborative Ethnography) in the Chronicle of Higher Education, here.
  • see a short excerpt from Middletown Redux, a DVD documentary (aired on Indiana Public Television in 2004 and 2005), which chronicles the collaborative research and writing between and among the students, faculty, and community participants who wrote the book. The full version is available here.
  • see House Concurrent Resolution No. 33, passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2003, recognizing the work of the Other Side of Middletown research and writing team.
  • the Introduction to this book is posted here.
  • see the article written by six of the student authors, published in Anthropology News in October 2004, "Whose Book is it Anyway? Challenges of the Other Side of Middletown Project.”
  • see the photographic essay behind the 2007 Indiana State Museum photo exhibit, "The Other Side of Middletown," here, by Danny Gawlowswki, the award-winning photographer for The Other Side of Middletown project.
  • see a short excerpt from the beginning of MLK Boulevard: The Concrete Dream, a 2003 New York Times Television documentary that includes (in the second half of the film) several of the students, faculty, and community participants who worked on The Other Side of Middletown project.
  • oral histories and historic photographs collected by the Other Side of Middletown research and writing team are archived at the Ball State University Archives and Special Collections.
  • this project was carried out under the auspices of the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry, which sponsored the project in 2003. More about the Center's approach to product-driven, collaborative, and community engaged teaching and learning is discussed by the Center's Director, here.
  • in honor of the good people of Muncie, Indiana, since 2004, all royalties for this book have gone directly to Ball State University's Vivian Conley Memorial Scholarship Fund. More about Vivian Conley can be found here.
Signifying Serpents and Mardi Gras Runners: Representing Identity in Selected Souths, ed. with Celeste Ray (U of Georgia Press, 2003)
The Jesus Road: Kiowas, Christianity, and Indian Hymns, with Ralph Kotay and Clyde Ellis (U of Nebraska Press, 2002).

  • named among the Most Significant University Press Titles Published in 2001-2002, Choice.
  • see also Kiowa Hymns, with Ralph Kotay and Chris Wendt (U of Nebraska Press, 2005), an ethnographic song production that grew out of the book's collaboration.
  • in honor of the late Mildred Kotay, since 2002 all royalties for this book have gone directly to her former church, the Cedar Creek United Methodist Church of Carnegie, Oklahoma, who use these monies to help feed hungry people in the Carnegie area.
The Power of Kiowa Song (U of Arizona Press, 1998).
  • see also two of the ethnographic song productions that grew out of this book's collaboration, here and here. These limited productions are available at major university libraries throughout the United States.
  • all royalties from this book were donated to the Kiowa Education Fund, which provided scholarships to Kiowa youth attending college for the first time. When it was established in 1999 as a committee of the Anadarko-based non-profit Satethieday Khatgomebaugh, Inc., the Kiowa Education Fund consisted of seven members: Luke Eric Lassiter (Appointed Director, non-voting), Billy Evans Horse, Emily Satepauhoodle, Theresa Carter, Danieala Nieto, Clyde Ellis, and Rita Quoetone Gaddy. Thanks to numerous outside donations, the KEF provided 15 scholarships over a 12 year period.

Selected Essays, Articles, Reviews, and Commentaries


“’To Fill in the Missing Piece of the Middletown Puzzle’: Lessons from Re-studying Middletown.” Invited article for “Community Re-Studies and Social Change,” Special Issue edited by Nickie Charles and Graham Crow, Sociological Review 60:421-37 (2012).

“What Will We Have Ethnography Do?” Co-authored with Elizabeth Campbell. Qualitative Inquiry 16(9):757-67 (2010).

“From Collaborative Ethnography to Collaborative Pedagogy: Reflections on the Other Side of Middletown Project and Community-University Research Partnerships.” Co-authored with Elizabeth Campbell. Anthropology & Education Quarterly 41(4):370-85 (2010).

“Serious Fieldwork: On Re-functioning Ethnographic Pedagogies.” Co-authored with Elizabeth Campbell. Anthropology News 51(6):4, 8 (2010).

“Editor’s Introduction.” In Collaborative Anthropologies, Vol. 1, edited by Luke Eric Lassiter, vii-xii. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press (2008).

“Moving Past Public Anthropology and Doing Collaborative Research.” National Association of Practicing Anthropologists, Bulletin 29, 70-86. Washington, D.C.: American Anthropological Association (2008).

“The Story of a Collaborative Project.” In Ethnic Studies Research: Approaches and Perspectives, edited by Timothy P. Fong, 469-89. Lanham: AltaMira/Rowman & Littlefield (2008).

“On the Job: Applied Anthropology in a Graduate Humanities Program.” Society for Applied Anthropology Newsletter 18(3):8-10 (2007).

Review of ‘Pictures Bring Us Messages’ / Sinaakssiiksi aohtsimaahpihkookiyaawa: Photographs and Histories from the Kainai Nation, by Alison K. Brown and Laura Peers, with members of the Kainai Nation. Museum Anthropology 30(1):74-77 (2007).

"Collaborative Ethnography Matters," Dialogue with Anthropology News 47 (5):20-21 (2006).

“Kiowa Folklore.” In Greenwood Encyclopedia of World Folklore and Folklife, edited by William M. Clements, 60-67. Westport: Greenwood Press (2006).

“Collaborative Ethnography and Public Anthropology." Current Anthropology 46(1):83-106 (2005).

“A Tribal Chair’s Perspective on Inherent Sovereignty.” Co-authored with Billy Evans Horse. In Sovereignty, Colonialism and the Future of the Indigenous Nations, edited by Robert Adawi Porter, 30-35. Durham: Carolina Academic Press (2005).

“Kiowa Indian Hymns.” In Encyclopedia of American Indian Religious Traditions, edited by Suzanne J. Crawford and Dennis F. Kelley, 440-42. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO (2005).

Review of Investigating Culture: An Experiential Introduction to Anthropology, by Carol Delaney. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 11(1):163-64 (2005).

“Collaborative Ethnography.” AnthroNotes 25(1):1-14 (2004).

“Music.” In Companion to the Anthropology of American Indians, edited by Thomas Biolsi, pp. 196-211. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers (2004).

“Kiowa: The Red Wolf Story” (with Ralph Kotay). In Voices from Four Directions: Contemporary Translations of the Native Literatures of North America, edited by Brian Swann, 350-56. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press (2004).

“The Muncie Race Riots of 1967, Representing Community Memory through Public Performance, and Collaborative Ethnography between Faculty, Students and the Local Community.” Co-authored with Lee Papa. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 32(2):147-66 (2003).

“Theorizing the Local.” Anthropology News 44(5):13 (2003).

“Kiowa: On Song and Memory.” In Social Memory and History: Anthropological Perspectives, edited by Jacob Climo and Maria Cattell, pp. 131-41. Lanham: AltaMira/Rowman & Littlefield (2002).

“Native American Music.” The second annual Kirkham Lecture presented to The Friends of the Alexander M. Bracken Library, Alexander M. Bracken Library Publications, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana (2002).

“The Power of Kiowa Song.” Ball State Alumnus 60(2):28-29 (2002).

Review of Gifts of Pride and Love: Kiowa and Comanche Cradles, edited by Barbara A. Hail. American Studies 43(2):142-43 (2002).

“From ‘Reading Over the Shoulders of Natives’ to ‘Reading Alongside Natives’, Literally: Toward a Collaborative and Reciprocal Ethnography.” Journal of Anthropological Research 57 (2):137-49 (2001).

“‘From Here On, I Will Be Praying to You’: Indian Churches, Kiowa Hymns, and Native American Christianity in Southwestern Oklahoma.” Ethnomusicology 45(2):338-52 (2001).

“Engaging a Localized Public Anthropology.” Anthropology News 42(2):7-8 (2001).

Review of The Seminole Baptist Churches of Oklahoma: Maintaining a Traditional Community, by Jack M. Schultz. American Indian Quarterly 25(2):318-19 (2001).

“Authoritative Texts, Collaborative Ethnography, and Native American Studies.” American Indian Quarterly 24(4):601-14 (2000).

Review of Where the Two Roads Meet, by Christopher Vecsey. Western Historical Quarterly 31(4):504-5 (2000).

Review of Comanches in the New West, 1895-1908: Historical Photographs, by Stanley Noyes. Chronicles of Oklahoma 78(2):246-8 (2000).

“Southwestern Oklahoma, the Gourd Dance, and Charlie Brown.” In Contemporary Native American Cultural Issues, edited by Duane Champagne, pp. 145-66. Lanham: AltaMira/Rowman & Littlefield (1999).

“‘Who Am I? I Am the One Who Sits in the Middle’: A Conversation with Billy Evans Horse, former Kiowa Tribal Chairman (1982-1986, 1994-1998).” American Indian Quarterly 23(2):59-69 (1999).

“Students Consider Relevance.” Anthropology News 40(7):17-18 (1999).

“We Keep What We Have by Giving it Away.” Anthropology News 40(1):3, 7 (1999).

Review of Indians and Anthropologists: Vine Deloria, Jr., and the Critique of Anthropology, edited by Thomas Biolsi and Larry J. Zimmerman. American Indian Quarterly 23(1):60-62 (1999).

Review of Playing Indian, by Philip J. Deloria; and Speaking of Indians, by Ella Deloria, with an Introduction by Vine Deloria, Jr. Ethnohistory 46(4):835-38 (1999).

Review of Blessing for a Long Time: The Sacred Pole of the Omaha Tribe, by Robin Ridington and Dennis Hastings. American Indian Quarterly 22(4):532-34 (1998).

“On Inherent Sovereignty: A Perspective from Billy Evans Horse, Kiowa Tribal Chairman.” Co-authored with Billy Evans Horse. St. Thomas Law Review 10(1):79-86 (1997).

“Charlie Brown: Not Just Another Essay on the Gourd Dance.” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 21(4):75-103 (1997).

“‘They Left Us These Songs . . . That’s All We Got Left Now’: The Significance of Music in the Kiowa Gourd Dance and its Relation to Native American Cultural Continuity.” In Native American Values: Survival and Renewal, edited by Thomas E. Schirer and Susan M. Branstner, pp. 375-84. Sault Sainte Marie, MI: Lake Superior State University Press (1993).