William O. Beeman
|William O. Beeman|
|Occupation||Professor and Chair of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota, author, opera singer, actor|
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William Orman Beeman is an actor, author, singer, Middle East researcher, and professor of anthropology at The University of Minnesota, where he is Chair of the Department of Anthropology. For many years he was Professor of Anthropology; Theatre, Speech and Dance; and East Asian Studies at Brown University. Beeman was the recipient of an award named in honour of opera baritone, George London. From 1996-1999 Beeman sang under contract with Oper Chemnitz in the German city of Chemnitz. He authored the book: The Third Line: The Opera Performer as Interpreter with opera stage director Daniel Helfgot.
He gained fame through his extensive writing, having authored several books and more than 100 scholarly articles on communication dynamics in the United States, Iran, Japan and South Asia. His Language, Status and Power in Iran has become a classic,[according to whom?] as has his Culture, Performance and Communication in Iran.
Beeman's recent work, The “Great Satan” vs. the “Mad Mullahs”: How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other, deals with the highly negative rhetoric and discourse between Iran and the United States over the three decades since the Iranian Revolution, and its effects on national attitudes toward the Bush administration's policy towards Iran, as well as the possibility of military conflict between the two nations.
His latest publication is Iranian Performance TraditionsThis book deals with the important indigenous performance traditions of Iran, including many photographs.
An important aspect of Beeman's work has been in the field of performance studies, particularly the study of non-Western theatrical traditions. In Iran, this includes the Iranian ritual passion drama, ta'ziyeh and the comic improvisatory theatre tradition, ru-howzi. He has also studied traditional performance in Japan, China and South Asia. His interest in the art world is also shown in his contribution to the co-authored volume Object, Image and Inquiry: The Art Historian at Work. He has authored more than 500 opinion pieces and media essays, and is the author of the blog Culture and International Affairs.
An admirer of the late anthropologist, Margaret Mead, Beeman has edited seven volumes of her post-World War II papers, having written scholarly introductions for several of them, including The Study of Culture at a Distance, and Studying Contemporary Western Society: Method and Theory.
Beeman spoke with Andrew Zimmern on the Halloween episode of his show Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern (season 3, episode 7, airing in 2008) about the fear of eating bugs and organ meat.