Michael P. Jordan
College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work
Dr. Michael P. Jordan is an assistant professor of cultural anthropology. His teaching interests include:
- the indigenous peoples of North America
- the ethnohistory and ethnography of the Plains
- material culture
- intellectual and cultural property
- expressive culture
- the politics of memory
Professor Jordan's research focuses on the ethnohistory and expressive culture of the indigenous inhabitants of the Southern Plains. He has worked with members of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma for more than a decade. Professor Jordan is also interested in exploring the ways in which digital technologies can be harnessed to serve indigenous communities' ongoing efforts to preserve and promote their heritage.
He is drawing upon his contacts with Native American communities in Oklahoma to identify collaborative projects in which undergraduate and graduate students could play an active role. He is also excited about the possibility of offering an ethnographic field school in the Kiowa community that would allow students to gain firsthand experience in conducting ethnographic research while contributing to the community's ongoing cultural preservation efforts.
Professor Jordan received his Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology from the University of Oklahoma. His dissertation, titled "Reclaiming the Past: Descendants' Organizations, Historical Consciousness and Intellectual Property in Kiowa Society," explores the ways in which heritage and historical consciousness are implicated in the social dynamics of the Kiowa community by focusing on formal descendants' organizations, groups organized by descendants to commemorate their 19th-century ancestors. Research for his dissertation was supported by grants from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Whatcom Museum Society, and the American Philosophical Society.