Stanton Wortham

Judy and Howard Berkowitz Professor of Education at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education

Stanton Wortham is the Judy and Howard Berkowitz Professor of Education at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.  He also has appointments in Anthropology, Communications and Folklore at Penn.  He has written on classroom discourse and the linguistic anthropology of education, applying techniques from linguistic anthropology to uncover social positioning in apparently neutral talk.  His books Acting out participant examples in the classroom (John Benjamins, 1994), Linguistic anthropology of education (Praeger, 2003, coedited with Betsy Rymes) and Learning identity: The joint emergence of social identification and academic learning (Cambridge University Press, 2006), together with various articles and chapters, explore interrelations between the official curriculum and covert interactional patterns in classroom discourse.  He has also studied interactional positioning in media discourse and autobiographical narrative, and he has developed methodological techniques for analyzing narrative, media and other everyday discourse.  His book Narratives in Action (Teachers College Press, 2001) explores how storytelling—whether done in therapy, or with a friend—can partly construct the narrator’s self.  It also provides a concrete methodological approach to analyzing narrative discourse.  More recently, he has begun research with Mexican immigrant and Mexican American adolescents who live in areas of the United States that have only recently been home to large numbers of Latinos.  Some of this work is collected in Education in the New Latino Diaspora (Ablex, 2002; coedited with Enrique Murillo and Edmund Hamann), together with associated articles and conference presentations.  The work explores the challenges and opportunities facing both Latino newcomers and host communities, in places where models of newcomers' identities and practices for dealing with newcomers are often more fluid than in areas with longstanding Latino populations.