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Norbert Ross

Associate Professor

Dr. Ross's research focuses on several Maya groups in Chiapas, Yucatán (Mexico) and the Petén (Guatemala). His work targets issues of culture and cognition, children's acquisition of cultural knowledge, as well as cultural change. Current projects (funded by NSF and NIH) deal with the domains of folkbiology, ethnomedicine and religion. Dr. Ross also conducts research among North-American populations, mainly Hispanics in the USA and Menominee Native Americans in Wisconsin. He teaches courses on Maya ethnography, Maya language (Tzotzil and Yukatec), Religion, Environmental Anthropology, and Research methods. Dr. Ross has a background in the cognitive sciences (Northwestern University) and is developing an "Anthropology of predicitive Models" to be used within participant observations. Publications include Culture and Cognition, Implications for Theory and Method, Sage Publication (2004); Culture and Resource Conflict, (with Doug Medin and Doug Cox, 2006); as well as an array of articles in the leading journals.

Recent grants:

Norbert Ross has received a 3-year research grant from the National Science Foundation as well as a one year scholarship from the Fulbright Commission to study how violence affects children’s identities and worldview in El Salvador. The research combines interviews with, GIS mapping, as well as a focus on playback theatre, an improvisational theatre based on stories told by the audience.


Children violence, violence space, social formation war, theatre social change, child development, cognition, environmental anthropology, religion, theory and methods, El Salvador, Mexico, underwater anthropology, tourism climate change, tourism coral reef ecology