Charles L Briggs

Research Expertise and Interest

social cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, folklore and performance, racialization, linguistic anthropology

Research Description

Charles Briggs is the Alan Dundes Distinguished Professor in Folkloristics and a professor in the Department of Anthropology at UC Berkeley. He is interested in philosophical and ethnographic issues regarding how bodies, media, viruses and bacteria, narratives and songs, and race constantly get mixed up, sometimes fatally. He has engage these issues by investigating epidemics of cholera and rabies in Venezuela, struggling with relatives, doctors, nurses, healers, and epidemiologists to figure out why so many people die from preventable diseases. His concern with infectiousness spreads from microbes to narratives, to thinking about who produces the stories of H1N1, Ebola, diabetes, etc. that proliferate in traditional and social media, thereby shaping the imaginations of policymakers, clinicians, journalists, and publics.

In the News

Six New Fellows of American Academy of Arts & Sciences

The new UC Berkeley fellows are medical anthropologist Charles Briggs, philosopher John Campbell, neuroscientist Marla Feller, playwright Philip Kan Gotanda, physicist Dung-Hai Lee and political scientist Amy Lerman.
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