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Steven Black


Steven Black is an anthropologist with a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition to a B.A. and M.A. in Anthropology, he completed a B.A. in Ethnomusicology with an emphasis in Jazz Studies at UCLA. Dr. Black is also an accomplished jazz saxophonist. He speaks English, isiZulu, and Spanish, is currently studying Dutch, and is learning about the grammatical overlaps between Dutch and Afrikaans as well as isiZulu and isiXhosa. Dr. Black has conducted fieldwork in Durban, South Africa focusing on the experiences of members of a Zulu gospel choir that was an HIV support group and AIDS activist organization. In earlier work, he assisted in fieldwork in Los Angeles on the topic of communication among jazz students and instructors. Dr. Black is now preparing to begin research on language, culture, health and environment(s) in Cape Town, South Africa and the United States. Across these diverse projects, he has focused on the topics of the role of verbal art and performance in producing social action and social transformation.


When taking a break from work, Dr. Black enjoys long distance running (often with his dog Jaco), playing saxophone, guitar, and piano, listening to music of all sorts, hiking with his wife, and doing all sorts of other outdoor activities. Dr. Black previously taught anthropology at the University of California—San Diego, the University of California, Los Angeles, and Rutgers University, New Brunswick.


For more information about Dr. Black's publications and research, please see his personal website:



·         ANTH 1102, Introduction to Anthropology

·         ANTH 2040, Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology

·         ANTH 4460/ANTH 6460, Health and Culture

·         ANTH 4480/6480, Ethnographic Analysis