Alexander S. Dent

Alexander S. Dent

Title:
Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs
Faculty: Full-Time
Office:
Hortense Amsterdam House 302
Phone: 202-994-5084
Email:
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Language; music; mediation; intellectual property; piracy; authoritarianism. Regional foci: Brazil; Latin America; North America.

Dr. Dent is the Associate Editor of Anthropological Quarterly.

He is also in a DC punk rock band called Weird Babies.

Current Research

Dr. Dent's current research uses digital textuality as a way to critique the violent policing of media “piracy,” and the use of intellectual property laws to curtail participation in global economies.  He is also engaged in an analysis of the role of “confidence” in establishing political and economic authority.   Finally, he is focusing on Brazilian punk-rock in order to understand the role of music in fostering social change.  His last book analyzed the post-authoritarian popularity of Brazilian "country" music and rodeo as a way to unify theories of performance from linguistic anthropology, media, cultural, and performance studies.

Ongoing Projects

  • A National Science Foundation funded project (with Joel Kuipers and Joshua Bell of the Smithsonian) examining social inequality as manifested in cell phone use among Washington DC Teens.

Education

Ph.D. 2003, University of Chicago
M.A. 1998, University of Chicago
B.A. 1993, Princeton University

Publications

See Dr. Dent's CV for a complete list of publications.

Books

2009  Dent, A.S. River of Tears: Country Music, Memory, and Modernity in Brazil. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Selected Articles and Book Chapters

2017.  Dent, A.S. "Paraguayan Horses: The Entailments of Internet Policy and Law in Brazil" (Current Anthropology, 58, 113-122)

2016. Dent, A.S. “Policing the Unstable Materialities of Digital-Media Piracy in Brazil” (American Ethnologist, 43:3, 424-436)

2016. Dent, A.S. “Piracy, Counterfeiting, and Intellectual Property” (Annual Reviews of Anthropology, 45)

2013  Dent, A.S. "Intellectual property in practice: Filtering testimony at the United States Trade Representative," Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 23(2): E48-E65. DOI: 10.1111/jola.12016.

2012  Dent, A.S. "Piracy, circulatory legitimacy, and neoliberal subjectivity in Brazil,Cultural Anthropology 27(1): 28-49. DOI: 10.1111/j.1548-1360.2011.01125.x

2010  Dent, A.S. "Flouting the Elmo necessity and denying the local roots of interpretation: 'Anthropology's' quarrel with ACTA and authoritarian IP regimes," PIJIP Research Paper no. 3. Washington, DC: American University Washington College of Law.

2007  Dent, A.S. "Country brothers: Kinship and chronotype in Brazilian rural public culture," Anthropological Quarterly 80(2): 455-496.

2006  Dent, A.S. "High ropes and hard times: Wilderness and the sublime in adventure-based education," International Journal of the History of Sport 23(5): 856-875.

2003  Dent, A.S. "Cross-cultural 'countries': Covers, conjectures, and the whiff of Nashville in musica sertaneja (Brazilian commercial country music)," Popular Music and Society 28(2): 207-227.

Distinctions

Awarded the Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenbery Prize for Teaching Excellence, 2015.

Awarded the Morton Bender Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2008.

Classes Taught

To see syllabi, click on the course title.

Anth 0801: Piracy, Copying, and Culture
Anth 1004: Language in Culture and Society
Anth 3601: Language, Culture, and Cognition
Anth 3691: Topics: Media, Technology, and Performance
Anth 3702: Anthropology of Latin America
Anth 6104: Proseminar in Linguistic Anthropology
Anth 6591: Topics: Culture, Intellectual Property, and the Informal Economy
Anth 8695: Linguistic Field Methods