Ph.D., 2010, Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
M.A., 2004, Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
B.A., 2002, Ethnomusicology with an emphasis in Jazz Studies, University of California, los Angeles
B.A., 2002, Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
Linguistic anthropology, psychological anthropology, medical anthropology
Dr. Black’s research examines verbal art, performance, health, and illness. Through these foci, his work connects to the anthropological study of gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, morality and ethics, globalization, neoliberalism, global health, and international aid. In his professional activities, Dr. Black emphasizes anthropological ethics and engaged scholarship, working in dialogue with public discourses, public policies, and the concerns and goals of research participants. He has studied performance and HIV/AIDS support/ activism in South Africa (Speech and Song at the Margins of Global Health), improvisation (both verbal and musical), and the communicative practices of global health professionals (The Global Health Discourses Project). His newest project examines planetary health and cultural sustainability in an indigenous territory in Costa Rica.
In collaboration with the Costa Rican organization El Centro Interamericano Para la Salud Global (CISG), Dr. Black led a summer field school focused on communication, culture, and global health challenges in Costa Rica in 2017 and 2018. Working with two CISG leaders–Dr. Carlos Faerron Guzmán (a planetary health/ global health expert) and Carolina Bolaños Palmieri (a nutrition/ global health expert)–and with Doña Leila Garro Valverde (a Costa Rican public health visionary, researcher, and author of an award-winning ethnographic cookbook), Dr. Black is the leader of a National Geographic Explorer grant that was awarded to fund a youth participatory action research project, titled, “Indigenous Knowledge, Planetary Health, and Cultural Sustainability in Costa Rica” (postponed until summer 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Recently, Dr. Elizabeth Falconi (a lecturer at University of West Georgia who is an expert on Latin America, Indigeneity, and storytelling) was added to this multidisciplinary, multinational research team.
Dr. Black is on the advisory board for the journal, Anthropology and Humanism. He is a senior editor for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Anthropology, He is also a section co-editor for the Society For Linguistic Anthropology section news column of Anthropology News. He is currently the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Anthropology at Georgia State University.
Dr. Black is also a musician, with a background as a jazz saxophonist, a B.A. in ethnomusicology, and an interest in piano and guitar. He speaks English, isiZulu (a.k.a. Zulu) and Spanish. In addition to playing music, spending time with his family, and doing carpentry work, Dr. Black enjoys the outdoors in urban, rural and park forms, and he has hiked, run, and climbed through these spaces on five continents.
(2019). Speech and Song at the Margins of Global Health: Zulu Tradition, HIV Stigma, and AIDS Activism in South Africa. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Black, S. and L Arnold (2020). Communicating Care. A special issue of Medical Anthropology 39(7).
(To appear). "Portable Values, Inequities, and Techno-Optimism in Global Health Storytelling." Journal of Linguistic Anthropology.
(2020). “Communicability, Stigma, and Xenophobia During the COVID-19 Outbreak: ‘Common Reactions’?” Special Commentary section of Language, Culture, and Society 2(2): 242-251.
Arnold, L. and S. Black (2020). “Communicating Care.” Medical Anthropology 39(7): 597-608.
Black, S. and G. Alvarado (2020). “Global Health Education and Mediatization of Care in Costa Rica.” Medical Anthropology 39(7): 597-608.(https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01459740.2020.1722123)
(2018). “The Ethics and Aesthetics of Care.” Annual Review of Anthropology 47: 79-95.
(2017). “Anthropological Ethics and the Communicative Affordances of Audio-Video Recorders in Ethnographic Fieldwork: Transduction as Theory.” American Anthropologist 119 (1): 46-57.
(2015). “The Morality of Performance: HIV Disclosure on Stage and in Everyday Life in South Africa.” Ethos 43(3): 247-66.
(2014). “The Intersubjective Space-Time of a Zulu Choir/ HIV Support Group in Global Perspective.” Special issue, Doing (Things With) Sounds: Music As a Site of Social Semiosis. In Social Semiotics 24(4): 1-21.
(2013). “Narrating Fragile Stories About HIV/AIDS in South Africa.” Pragmatics and Society 4(3): 345-368.
(2013). “Stigma and Ideological Constructions of the Foreign: Facing HIV/AIDS in South Africa.” Language in Society 42(5):481-502.
(2013). “Linguistic Anthropology in 2012: Language Matter(s).” American Anthropologist 115(2):269-282.
(2012). “Laughing to Death: Joking as Support Amid Stigma for Zulu-Speaking South Africans Living with HIV/AIDS.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 22(1):87-108.
(2008). “Creativity and Learning Jazz: The Practice of ‘Listening’.” Mind, Culture, and Activity 15(4): 279-295.
Book Chapters in Edited Volumes
(2018). “Sexual Stigma: Markedness, Taboo, Containment, and Emergence.” In Kira Hall and Edward Barrett (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Language and Sexuality. New York: Oxford University Press. Advance electronic publication.
(2018). “Music and Language.” In Hillary Calan (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Black, S. and E. Falconi (2017). “Linguistic Anthropology and Ethnolinguistics.” In The Handbook of Linguistics, 2nd Edition, edited by Mark Aronoff and Janie Rees-Miller. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, p. 479-504.
Duranti, A. & S. Black (2012). “Language Socialization and Verbal Improvisation.” In A. Duranti, E. Ochs, & B. Schieffelin (eds.), The Handbook of Language Socialization. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, p. 443-463.
PhD Dissertation and MA Thesis
(2010). Dissertation Mss. Facing HIV/AIDS Stigmatization in South Africa Through Language and Music.
(2005). M.A. Thesis. “The Paradox of Teaching Creativity: Communicative Strategies for Teaching Group Interplay in Small Jazz Ensembles.”