William Beeman

William Beeman

Infobox Person
name = William O. Beeman

birth_date =
birth_place = Manhattan, Kansas, birth date unknown
death_date =
death_place =
other_names =
known_for =
occupation = Professor and Chair of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota, author, opera singer, and actor
website = [http://www.wbeeman.com www.wbeeman.com]

William Orman Beeman is an actor, author, singer, and professor of anthropology at The University of Minnesota, where he is Chair of the Department of Anthropology. For many years he was Professor of Anthropology; Theatre, Speech and Dance; and East Asian Studies at Brown University. Born in Manhattan, Kansas, Beeman was the recipient of an award named in honour of opera baritone, George London. From 1996-1999 Beeman sang under contract with Oper Chemnitz in the German city of Chemnitz. He authored the book: "The Third Line: The Opera Performer as Interpreter" with opera stage director Daniel Helfgot.


Beeman was trained as a linguistic anthropologist at Wesleyan University and the University of Chicago. He gained fame through his extensive writing, having authored several books and more than 100 scholarly articles on communication dynamics in the United States, Iran, Japan and South Asia. His "Language, Status and Power in Iran" has become a classic, as has his "Culture, Performance and Communication in Iran".Fact|date=February 2008

Beeman's most recent work, "The “Great Satan” vs. the “Mad Mullahs”: How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other," deals with the highly negative rhetoric and discourse between Iran and the United States over the three decades since the Iranian Revolution, and its effects on national attitudes toward the Bush administration's policy towards Iran, as well as the possibility of military conflict between the two nations.

An important aspect of Beeman's work has been in the field of performance studies, particularly the study of non-Western theatrical traditions. In Iran, this includes the Iranian ritual passion drama, "ta'ziyeh" and the comic improvisatory theatre tradition, "ru-howzi." He has also studied traditional performance in Japan, China and South Asia. His interest in the art world is also shown in his contribution to the co-authored volume "Object, Image and Inquiry: The Art Historian at Work". He has authored more than 500 opinion pieces and media essays, and is the author of the blog "Culture and International Affairs".

An admirer of the late anthropologist, Margaret Mead, Beeman has edited seven volumes of her post-World War II papers, having written scholarly introductions for several of them, including "The Study of Culture at a Distance", and "Studying Contemporary Western Society: Method and Theory".

External links

* [http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Anthropology/Beeman.html Home page at Brown University] with selected articles available for download
* [http://www.realmutoartists.com/beeman.htm William O. Beeman, Bass--Performing Arts Career Information]
* [http://www.wbeeman.com/ Beeman's weblog: "Culture and International Affairs"]
* [http://www.nytimes.com/cfr/international/slot2_061605.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin "New York Times" interview with Beeman on the 2005 political elections in Iran]
* [http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/15/09/5240/ Sanctions Against Iran Will Cure Nothing] , "The Providence Journal", November 15, 2007.

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