Social Anthropology Program Director
Research and Teaching Interests
Language, music, and semiotics; urban anthropology; anthropology of religion; South Korea.
Nicholas Harkness is the Modern Korean Economy and Society Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University. He specializes in the ethnographic study of communication and sociocultural semiosis (sign-processes). His research in South Korea has resulted in publications on various topics, including voice, language, music, religion, ritual, kinship, liquor, and the city of Seoul. His first book, Songs of Seoul: An Ethnography of Voice and Voicing in Christian South Korea (University of California Press, 2014), was awarded the Edward Sapir Book Prize by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology (Co-Winner, 2014, American Anthropological Association). Harkness's second book is titled Glossolalia and the Problem of Language (University of Chicago Press, 2021). A number of his papers have been devoted to developing an anthropological approach to “qualia.” These papers incorporate the innovations of contemporary semiotics into the ethnographic theorization of sensuous social life.
21 Divinity Ave.
Cambridge MA 02138