James H. McNulty Professor of English

Research Professor of Anthropology

306 Clemens Hall

State University of New York at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY 14260

(716) 645-3422 / FAX 645-3654



Maya Hieroglyphic Workshops, University of Texas at Austin (1984, 1989, 1992, 1997).

Ph.D. in Anthropology, Tulane University (1968).

B.A. in Art History and Anthropology, cum laude in General Studies, University of New Mexico (1961).



American Anthropological Association President’s Award (shared with Barbara Tedlock), for distinctive leadership in forging a new vision for the American Anthropologist (1997).

Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing for Days from a Dream Almanac (1991).

Selection of Days from a Dream Almanac (illustrated by the author) for the Association of American University Presses Book, Jacket, and Journal Show (1990).

PEN Translation Prize for Poetry for Popol Vuh (1986).

Elsie Clews Parsons Folklore Prize for Popol Vuh (1986).

Elected to PEN (Poets-Essayists-Novelists) (1981).

Pushcart Prize for Alcheringa/Ethnopoetics while editor (1977).

Nominee, National Book Award in translation for Finding the Center (1972).

Junior Honors Fellow, Senior Honors Fellow, University of New Mexico (1959-61).


Fellowships and grants

Dumbarton Oaks Fellowship in Pre-Columbian Studies (fall 1993, spring 1994).

National Endowment for the Humanities Translations Program grant (summer 1993, summer and fall 1994).

University of Michigan, Fellow of the Institute for the Humanities (March 1989).

John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (1986).

Fulbright Award, Council for International Exchange of Scholars; supplemental award from CAPES, an agency of the Brazilian Ministério da Educação e Cultura (July-December, 1985).

National Endowment for the Humanities Translations Program grant (1985-88).

National Endowment for the Humanities Translations Program grant (1979-81).

National Endowment for the Arts Literature Program grants for the publication of Alcheringa/Ethnopoetics (1977-78, 1979-80).

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for Independent Study and Research (1976).

American Philosophical Society Phillips Fund grants (1972, 1973).

University of Pennsylvania Center for Urban Ethnography fellowship (1972).

National Institute of Mental Health Fellowship with research grant attachment (1964-66).



State University of New York at Buffalo: James H. McNulty Chair in English and Research Professor of Anthropology (1987-present).

Harvard University: Visiting Professor of Folklore and Comparative Literature (spring 1999).

Oregon State University: Instructor, NEH Summer Institute for College and University Faculty (June 1990).

University of Texas at Austin: Visiting Scholar, Graduate Studies, and Instructor, NEH Summer Institute for College and University Faculty (July 1989).

University of British Columbia: Visiting Member, Extra-Sessional Studies, and Visiting Scholar, Tenth International Summer Institute for Semiotic and Structural Studies (August 1988).

Boston University: University Professor of Anthropology and Religion (1982-87), Associate University Professor of Anthropology and Religion (1977-82), Associate University Professor of Anthropology (1973-77).

Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey: Member (1986-87).

Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Brazil): Fulbright Scholar, Depto. de Lingüística, Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem (July-December, 1985).

University of New Mexico: Adjunct Professor of Anthropology (1980-81).

Yale University: Assistant Professor of Anthropology (1972-73).

New School for Social Research: Visiting Lecturer (part-time), Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science (fall 1972).

University of Pennsylvania: Research Fellow, Center for Urban Ethnography (summer 1972).

Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut: Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology (1971-72).

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York: Assistant Professor of Anthropology (1970-71).

School of American Research, Santa Fe, New Mexico: Research Associate (1969-70).

University of California at Berkeley: Assistant Professor of Rhetoric (1967-69).

Iowa State University: Assistant Professor of Anthropology (1966-67).


Field Research

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: oral performances of Mongol shamans from Selenge, Khövsgöl, and Tuva (July-Aug., 1999).

Rabinal, Guatemala: K’iche’ Maya (Achi dialect) spoken and written verbal arts; dance-drama (Jan. 1998).

Toledo District, Belize: Mopán and Q’eqchi’ Maya verbal arts (Nov. 1990, summer 1991).

Rabinal, Guatemala: (summer 1989).

Momostenango, Guatemala: K’iche’ ritual (Oct. 1988).

Rabinal, Guatemala (summer 1988).

Zuni, New Mexico: Zuni verbal arts (spring 1986).

São Félix do Araguaia, Mato Grosso, and Santa Izabel do Morro, Goiás, Brazil: Karajá verbal arts (Nov. 1985).

Zuni, New Mexico (summers 1982, 1983).

Chichicastenango, Chinique, San Pedro Jocopilas, and Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán, Guatemala: K’iche’ survey ethnography (summer 1979).

Ibadan, Oshogbo, Ife, and Iwo, Nigeria: Yoruba spoken and written verbal arts (summer 1978).

Momostenango, Guatemala: K’iche’ linguistics, verbal arts, ethnological interpretation of the Popol Vuh (summer 1975, calendar year 1976).

Zuni, New Mexico (summer 1973).

Gallup, New Mexico: sociolinguistics in a quadrilingual urban community (summer 1972).

Zuni, New Mexico: Zuni linguistics, ethnography of speaking, religion, world view (1964-66, 1969-70, summer 1971).

Elton, Louisiana: Koasati linguistics (spring 1963).


Advisory Roles

Journal of Latino Cultural Studies. Published by the Latino Graduate Students’ Association at the University at Buffalo. Editorial board (1999-).

Night Fire Films (Los Angeles), consultant for television series on Mayan hieroglyphic decipherment (1999).

National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, exhibit plan vetting committee (1997).

Ancient Prophecies, NBC Television specials produced by Greystone Productions, consultant and narrator for Mayan segment (1995).

American Anthropological Association, ex-officio participation in section assembly meetings and various committees as co-editor of American Anthropologist (1994-98).

Modern Language Association, Folklore and Literature Discussion Group, executive committee (1991-95).

Legacy, public television series produced by Central Television (London) and Maryland Public Television, consultant for the "Burden of Time" segment (1991-92).

Series in Native American Literatures. Books published by Smithsonian Institution Press. Editorial advisory board (1990-present).

National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington: Translations Program grants panel (1990).

Journal of American Folklore. Associate editor (1988-90).

National Geographic, travel assignment to Guatemala (Sept. 27-Oct. 2, 1988).

Popol Vuh, animated film by Patricia Amlin, based on pre-Columbian Mayan painting (1987-89).

Series in Contemporary Ethnography. Books published by University of Pennsylvania Press. Editorial advisory board (1987-present).

National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington: Translations Program grants panel (1986).

Oral Tradition. Published by the University of Missouri. Consulting editor (1984-present).

WGBH, Boston: The Spider’s Web, series of radio programs dramatizing mythology, funded by NEH (1983-85).

Journal of Anthropological Research. Published by the University of New Mexico. Associate editor (1982-86).

Voices, Inc., Pasadena: Mythology for Broadcast, public radio project funded by NEH (1980-81).




The Human Work, The Human Design: 2000 Years of Mayan Literature. Berkeley: University of California Press (forthcoming).

Rabinal Achi: Dialogue, Dance, and History in a Mayan Play. Based on a script written in 16th-century K’iche’, a 1998 production of the play in Rabinal, and dialogues with the director. New York: Oxford University Press (forthcoming).

Finding the Center: The Art of the Zuni Storyteller. From performances in Zuni by Andrew Peynetsa and Walter Sanchez. Second edition with three new stories. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press (1999). Original edition subtitled Narrative Poetry of the Zuni Indians, New York: Dial (1972), reprinted by Nebraska (1978).

Breath on the Mirror: Mythic Voices and Visions of the Living Maya. Second edition with a new preface. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press (1997), originally published by Harper San Francisco (1993).

Popol Vuh: The Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life. Revised and expanded edition. Translated, with introduction, commentaries, and glossary. New York: Simon & Schuster (1996). CD-ROM edition, Library of the Future Series. Garden Grove, Calif.: World Library (1994). First edition published by Simon & Schuster (1986 paper, 1985 hard cover).

The Dialogic Emergence of Culture. Edited and introduced with Bruce Mannheim. Urbana: University of Illinois Press (1995).

Teachings from the American Earth: Indian Religion and Philosophy. Edited and introduced with Barbara Tedlock. Second edition. New York: Liveright/Norton (1992), same publisher for earlier edition (1975).

Days from a Dream Almanac. Folklore and Society Series. Urbana: University of Illinois Press (1990).

The Spoken Word and the Work of Interpretation. University of Pennsylvania Publications in Communication and Conduct. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press (1983).


Books in foreign editions

Italian translation of The Spoken Word and the Work of Interpretation. L’Ancora Edizione (forthcoming).

Popol Vuh: Cartea maya despre zorii vietii si triumfurile zeilor si regilor. Romanian translation. Bucharest: Editura Humanitas (2000).

Popol Vuh: Il libro sacro dei Maya. Edited by Laura Lepore and translated by Carmen Dell’Aversano. BUR Classici. Milano: Biblioteca Universale Rizzoli (1998).

Über den Rand des tiefen Canyon: Lehren indianischer Schamanen. Edited and introduced with Barbara Tedlock, translated by Jochen Eggert. Vienna, Gütersloh, and Stuttgart: Bücher der Weisheit (1995); original edition, Düsseldorf: Eugen Deiderichs (1978).

Popol Vuh: El libro maya del albor de la vida y las glorias de dioses y reyes. Translated by Debra Nagao and Luis Estrada de Artola. México: Diana (1993).

Teachings from the American Earth: Indian Religion and Philosophy. Edited and introduced with Barbara Tedlock. Toronto: George J. McLeod (1975).


Periodicals edited

American Anthropologist. Co-editor-in-chief with Barbara Tedlock (term 1994-98). Vol. 96 (no. 3) through vol. 100 (no. 2), published quarterly (with 230-330 pages per issue) by the American Anthropological Association, Washington, D.C.

Buffalo Broadsides. Occasional publications of poetry and prose. Editor (1990-present). Published by the McNulty Chair, State University of New York at Buffalo.

PEN Newsletter. Guest co-editor, with B.J. Chute, Peter Glassgold, and Lore Segal, of a special issue on translation (no. 60, 1986).

Alcheringa/Ethnopoetics. "A First Magazine of the World’s Tribal Poetries," with insert disk recordings. Co-founder (1970) and co-editor with Jerome Rothenberg (1970-76), editor-in-chief (1977-80). Old series (nos. 1-5) published by the editors in Santa Fe and New York (1970-73); new series (vols. 1-4) published biannually by Boston University (1975-80).

Review. Biweekly literary review. Co-founder and co-editor with David Bloom, Robert Duncan, and Joel Markman (1957-59). Published by the students of the General Honors Program, University of New Mexico.


In books and periodicals

Chapters in more than forty edited volumes and articles in the Handbook of North American Indians and The International Encyclopedia of Communications.

Articles in the following scholarly journals: American Anthropologist, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Anuário Antropológico (Brazil), Bijdragen tot de Taal- Land-en Volkenkunde (Netherlands), boundary 2, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, Current Anthropology, Dialectical Anthropology, International Journal of American Linguistics, Journal of American Folklore, Journal of Anthropological Research, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, The Kiva, Mesoamérica (Guatemala), New Literary History, Revista Mexicana de Estudios Antropológicos, U Mut Maya.

Contributions to the following newspapers and literary and arts magazines: Alcheringa/ Ethnopoetics, Anthropology and Humanism Quarterly, Archaeology, artscanada, B. C. Monthly, Bezoar, Chronicle of Higher Education, Conjunctions, I giorni cantati (Italy), Hambone, The Harvard Advocate, Hermes (Japan) Io, Kenyon Review, Kiosk, Kuksu, New Wilderness Newsletter, New World Journal, The New York Times, Times Higher Education Supplement, Translation Review, Trickster (Germany), Tyuonyi, Versions of the Traditional, Wassaja.