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Richard L. Warms

Office: ELA 260Dr. Richard Warms, Cultural Anthropology Faculty

Phone: 512.245.8272

Curriculum Vitae (pdf download)

Educational Background
Ph.D. - Syracuse University
M.A - Syracuse University
B.A. - Bates College

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Research Interests
West African economies, merchants, veterans of colonial armies, Islam in West African society, history of theory in anthropology, pedagogic methods.

Richard L. Warms is Professor of Anthropology. He came to Texas State in 1988. Warms conducted extensive research in West Africa in the 1980s and 1990s. His research there focused around two topics: the intersection of ethnicity, religion, and economics as expressed in the lives and actions of merchants in the Southern Malian city of Sikasso, and the war time and peace time experiences of veterans of the Tirailleurs Sénégalais a regiment of the French colonial army. Beginning in the 1990s, Warms became deeply interested in the development of anthropological theory and most of his research since then has focused on exploring the ideas, lives, and understandings of critical thinkers in anthropology.

Much of Warms’ career has been focused around writing for students of anthropology. In collaboration with R. Jon McGee (also of Texas State University), Warms is the author of Anthropological Theory: an introductory history, long considered a fundamental text in anthropology and currently in its 5th edition. With McGee and James Garber, Warms is also the author of of Sacred Realms: readings in the anthropology of religion now in its second edition. McGee and Warms are also the editors of Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology: an encyclopedia. This major work includes more than 300 state of the art essays on theorists and theoretical positions in anthropology by over 250 authors (including McGee and Warms). Warms began his collaboration with Serena Nanda (emerita of CUNY John Jay) in the mid-1990s. Together they are the authors of two popular textbooks in introductory anthropology: Cultural Anthropology now in its 11th edition and Culture Counts now in its 3rd edition. Taken together, Warms’ books have sold over a quarter million copies.

In addition to publication and teaching, Warms also consults with government and business on ways of bringing the insights of anthropology to bear on problems of planning, communication, and cross cultural understanding.

Warms has mentored an extremely diverse selection of graduate students. Their thesis topics include Medicine and Curanderas in Belize, the Afro-Argentine community of Buenos Aires, Homeless Buskers in Austin, Community Residences for the Elderly, Border cultures and Charro Days in Brownsville, TX, Iranian converts to Christianity, and the Drag Community in Austin. Warms accepts graduate students interested in anthropological theory, economic anthropology, issues of identity, and the anthropology of religion. To apply to study with Dr. Warms, please visit the Study with Dr. Warms page.  Although eclectic in his theoretical approach, Warms is committed to an anthropology that recognizes diversities of understanding and the centrality of discourse but is at the same time focused on exploring the realities of society, economy, and regimes of power that condition the daily experience of people in all cultures.

Select Publications

Anthropological_Theory_6h_ed Book cover

Anthropological Theory: An Introductory History

Now in a new and fully revised edition and including new essays on Gender, Globalization and Agency and Power, Anthropological Theory: an introductory history is a comprehensive anthology of classic and contemporary essays.  There are 17 introductory essays as well as extensive notes to each essay to guide readers through seminal anthropological works.  The commentary provides background information needed to understand each essay, a discussion of its central concepts and its relationship to the social and historical context in which it was written

Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology, Book Cover

Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology: An Encyclopedia

Edited by R. Jon McGee and Richard L. Warms, Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology: an encyclopedia is a two volume A to Z reference that provides historical context to the critical issues that have shaped anthropology over the past two hundred years. It profiles critical anthropological thinkers, theories, national traditions, and events which continue to shape anthropological thought. It includes more than 300 signed entries by more than 250 leading international scholars of anthropology.

Cultural Anthropology, Book Cover

Cultural Anthropology, 11th Edition

Build your awareness of cultures around the world with CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY, 11th Edition! Emphasizing the issues of power, gender, globalization, stratification, ethnicity, and the similarities and differences among all cultures, this book enables you to explore the diversity of human life and lifestyles, and will prompt you to think deeply about the world in which you live. Available with InfoTrac Student Collections

Culture Counts, Book Cover

Culture Counts: A Concise Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, 3nd Edition 

Framed around the concept of culture, Nanda and Warms' brief book shows you how culture matters in driving and explaining human behavior, as well as the dynamic nature of culture that interrelates various cultural systems in adaptive (or maladaptive) ways. The text emphasizes why understanding culture is important for understanding what is going on in the world today, and how we can solve problems and effect positive change.

Fourth edition coming soon!

Sacred Realms, Book Cover

Sacred Realms: Readings in the Anthropology of Religion

Sacred Realms is a collection of classic and contemporary articles that introduce religion from an anthropological perspective. It is designed to give students the tools to understand and analyze religion as well as to consider its important role in world affairs. The book is divided into twelve major topics in faith, religion, and belief; it concludes with a unique section written by the editors that describes fundamental aspects of five of the world's most influential religions.

Courses Taught

ANTH 1312: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
In this course students examine the nature of cultural variation of populations in the present and recent past. Its subjects include social, political, economic, and ideological aspects of human cultures.

ANTH 3305: Magic, Ritual, and Religion
An examination of magic and religion in cultures of the world with an emphasis on recent works dealing with mysticism and the occult.

ANTH 3309: Cultures Through Film
Through films, lectures, and discussions, students explore the various ways that ethnographic film interprets the cultural environment and social interactions of small-scale cultures around the world. We will also discuss anthropological interpretations of how historically U.S. (American) culture has dealt with concepts of the "other" and supernatural phenomena through film.

ANTH 3327: Anthropology of Religion and Fundamentalism
This course provides students with current and historical approaches to the anthropology of religion with a particular emphasis on fundamentalism. It focuses on the development of religious fundamentalism in different cultural contexts, geopolitical situations, and religious traditions.

ANTH 3360/5360: Economic Anthropology
This course reviews central issues in economic anthropology using both case studies and theoretical writings. Analyzes production, exchange, distribution, consumption, property, economic surplus, and types of economic structure. (Stacked course with ANTH 3360)

ANTH 3376V: Anthropology of Peace and Violence
The class explores anthropological perspectives on peace and violence. It focuses on understanding violent practices within both traditional and current day societies including everyday violence and warfare. It explores the contributions of social structure, gender, religion, race, and ethnicity to violence. It examines efforts to build peace and reconciliation.

ANTH 4310: History of Anthropological Thought
This course explores major theoretical and historical developments in anthropology, highlighting the discipline’s unique four-field perspective that includes archaeology, biological and cultural anthropology, and anthropological linguistics. Topics stress the importance of anthropological thought in key scientific discoveries and cultural debates. Prerequisites: ANTH 1312 and 60 hours of coursework.

ANTH 5311: Graduate Seminar in Cultural Anthropology
A comprehensive survey of the history, development, and application of major theoretical perspectives in cultural anthropology from the late 19th century to the present.

Warms has also taught: Cultural Ecology, Cultures of Africa, Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology, Principles of Cultural Anthropology, Honors Seminar: Race and Ethnicity in Anthropological Perspective, Honors Seminar: The Anthropology of Violence and Terror, and Rise of Civilization.