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Professor of Anthropology & Public Health Emeritus, Alfred University

Robert Myers is professor of anthropology and public health emeritus at Alfred University, Alfred, New York. His academic emphasis has been studying American culture, especially themes of fun and violence while paying attention to patterns of speech including gunspeak and warspeak metaphors. He is past president of the General Anthropology Division of the American Anthropological Association, spent two years on a Fulbright Senior Fellowship in Nigeria and in recent years has explored Arctic communities in Nunavut, Greenland, Alaska and Svalbard.

His op-eds have appeared in newspapers throughout the nation on American cultural topics ranging from the variety of marriage patterns, curling, barbecuing, ball sports, Santa Claus, movie ad hype, and weathertainment, to youth violence, hazing, fun, the violent language of "gunspeak," the college scholarship search, and the semantic impact of 9/11. In addition, he compiled lengthy annotated bibliographies, Dominica, Nigeria, Ghana, and Mali for ABC-Clio Press, Oxford, England, as well as scholarly articles on health, migration, cannibalism, and circumcision. His major areas of interest concern contemporary U.S. culture, especially fun, violence, and fear as cultural themes. Articles on "Gunspeak" and on "Nuf and E-Nuf among the Nacirema" [Fun and Funny among the Americans] appeared in "Reflecting on America" (Clare Boulanger, ed., Allyn & Bacon, 2008); his article "When Worlds Collude: Groundhog Phil Meets the Super Bowl on Candlemas" is in the 2016 2nd edition.

He wrote on American anxieties about liminal bathroom space in "That Most Dangerous, Sacred American Space, the Bathroom," the most downloaded article of 2018 in An interview and article focused on "gunspeak" was broadcast on NPR/PRI by WGBH in June 2016, and his "Trigger Happy with Gunspeak" was published Nov. 8 online by the American Anthropological Association in its series on Mass Shootings.

In 2017, published his commentary on the anti-wrinkle cultural-industrial complex, "The Making of a Wrinkle Convert." Traveling with an AU group to Missouri for the August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse prompted his "The Great American Cultural Eclipse" in

The Conversation published “The ‘warspeak’ permeating everyday language puts us all in the trenches," an article about violent language. “(COVID)-Time Marches Grinds On,” was published in Anthropology Now and “What Scars Say about Sex and Stereotypes,” appeared in SAPIENS, both in 2020.


  • 1987–present
    Professor of Anthropology & Public Health, Alfred University


  • 1982 
    Harvard School of Public Health, MPH Public Health
  • 1976 
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, PhD, MA
  • 1968 
    Davidson College, BA


  • 2018
    Anthropology Now, "That Most Dangerous, Most Sacred American Space, the Bathroom"
  • 2017
    SAPIENS, "The Making of a Wrinkle Convert"
  • 2017
    Anthropology Now, "The Great American Cultural Eclipse"
  • 2016
    Anthropology Newsletter, "Trigger Happy with Gunspeak"
  • 2016
    Reflecting on America: Anthropological Views of U.S. Culture, "When Worlds Collude: Groundhog Phil and the Super Bowl Meet on Candlemas"
  • 2008
    Reflecting on America: Anthropological Views of U.S. Culture, C. Boulanger, ed., "Gunspeak: The Influence of America's Gun Culture on Everyday Communication"

Professional Memberships

  • American Anthropological Association, Royal Anthropological Institute


Fulbright to Nigeria; Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa