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Myrdene Anderson

Photo of Myrdene Anderson

Promoted to Professor
Department of Anthropology

Myrdene Anderson completed a Ph.D. at Yale Univeristy in 1978. She has taught anthropology, linguistics, and semiotics, and is responsible for one undergraduate core course (ANTH 414/LING 498 Language and Culture) and two graduate core courses (ANTH 514/LING 598 Anthropological Linguistics and ANTH 605/LING 689 Ethnographic Analysis).

A Purdue faculty member since 1977, Dr. Anderson has engaged in ethnographic research in a variety of settings, ranging from community garden associations in the U.S. to the international and interdisciplinary movement of artificial life in biology. However, she is best known for her fieldwork among Saami reindeer breeders in Norwegian Lapland, where research commenced in 1971. She has published more than 150 articles and chapters in a variety of venues and has edited a number of volumes on human-alloanimal ethology, on ethnicity and identity, on semiotic modeling, on the cultural construction of trash, on mathematics education, and on violence.

She has organized more than 50 international and transdisciplinary symposia, has been active on editorial boards of publications – including Semiotica and The American Journal of Semiotics – and has served on executive boards of professional societies. She was president of the Central States Anthropological Society in 1993 and president of the Semiotic Society of America in 1996. In 2003, Anderson was a Fulbright Visiting Professor in Estonia, where she offered a semiotics course at the University of Helsinki.