November 4, 1996
Professor of Anthropology
Donald Brenneis is a linguistic and social anthropologist who has spent years studying language, communication, and the relationship between talk and conflict. In Fiji, where overt arguments between adults are discouraged, Brenneis studied other genres that play important roles in village communication and politics, including gossip, insult, and oratory. More recently, Brenneis has been exploring the world of federal research funding. He has examined funding panels at federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation, to see how they evaluate proposals and, ultimately, how they help shape contemporary knowledge. Brenneis comes to UCSC from Pitzer College. He earned his B.A. in anthropology and an interdisciplinary program in humanities from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in social anthropology from Harvard University.