AU Press Releases

Myers takes aim at 'gunspeak' in talk at Wellsville library

Our language is loaded with “gunspeak,” says Dr. Robert Myers, professor of anthropology at Alfred University. He’ll target the topic when he speaks at the David A. Howe Public Library at 7 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 27).

His talk, to be held in the Nancy A. Howe Auditorium, is open to the public, free of charge.

He “will examine the myriad ways in which our contemporary cultural obsession with firearms has permeated our language, affecting a wide range of situations, both personal and impersonal,” Myers said.

Additionally, he “will attempt to present a high caliber talk / discussion covering this topic, lock, stock, and barrel, targeting the subject in his anthropological cross-hairs. He promises not to take potshots at anyone, but those with hair-trigger sensitivities are cautioned, as they may be blown away.”

Myers, a cultural anthropologist, teaches courses in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Global Studies major and minor, the Comparative Cultures major, the Anthropology minor, and in the Violence Studies minor, including the courses Intro to Global Studies, Cultural Anthropology, Language and Culture, Health and Culture, Human Origins, the Anthropology of Violence, the Nacirema, and Africa & Africans.

For the College of Business, he teaches Public Health Concepts and Issues. Occasionally he teaches honors seminars on topics such as Alternative Healing and in 2005, "Nip, Tuck, Perm, Pierce, and Tattoo: Adventures in Embodied Culture," which received national attention.
Myers has received three Excellence in Teaching Awards (1997, 2002, 2005) and an Honorable Mention citation (1999). He delivered AU's Opening Convocation address, "Examining Violence in Our World" in August, 2001.

Myers has published op-ed articles in newspapers throughout the nation on American cultural topics ranging from barbecuing, varied marriage patterns, ball sports, Santa Claus, movie ad hype, and The Weather Channel, to youth violence, hazing, fun, "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 are fun as a cultural theme, violence, fear, public health, contemporary U.S. Culture, West Africa, and the Caribbean. 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, 2007).

He earned a B.A. degree in German from Davidson College and an M.A. degree in anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also earned a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology. Myers also holds a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University.