Elizabeth Keating is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of books and articles about language and culture. Language is a phenomenal tool in creating and sustaining relationships, yet most people are unaware of how it really works, and how much the language we use every day to get things done in the world is influenced by habits we learned in our cultural surroundings. Through the perspective of anthropology, it’s possible to gain greater understanding among people from different cultural backgrounds and to gain new insight into the immense varieties of human behavior. In her most recent book, The Essential Questions: Interview your family to Uncover Stories and Bridge Generations, Keating uses anthropology to guide families seeking greater connection and communication across different generations.
Keating has been a Fulbright Scholar in Ireland, a Visiting Fellow in the School of Language & Literature at the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies in Germany, and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in The Netherlands. She received her PhD in Anthropology from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and her B.A. in Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. She has taught anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin for over 25 years.
In addition to her three books, Keating is author or co-author of over 60 academic articles and book chapters for academic audiences, and has given research talks in 15 countries.
Keating has a wide range of research interests in linguistic anthropology, including how language contributes to social inequality, how virtual environments impact our language use, how misunderstandings develop in the cross-cultural work place, as well as research on visual language, oral narratives and human stories. She has researched societal impacts of technology and has been Director of the Science, Technology and Society Program at the University of Texas at Austin. She has done ethnographic fieldwork in Micronesia, the U.S., Romania, India, Brazil, Germany, and in the Texas Deaf community.