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Professor James Paul Gee

Tashia Morgridge Chair in Reading
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
University of Wisconsin
Madison, USA


Biographical Statement

James Paul Gee was born in San Jose, California. He received his B.A. in philosophy from the University of California at Santa Barbara and both his M.A. and Ph.D in linguistics from Stanford University. He started his career in theoretical linguistics, working in syntactic and semantic theory, and taught initially at Stanford University and later in the School of Language and Communication at Hampshire College in Amherst Massachusetts. After doing some research in psycholinguistics at Northeastern University in Boston and at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Holland, Prof. Gee's research focus switched to studies on discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, and applications of linguistics to literacy and education. He went on to teach in the School of Education at Boston University, where he was the chair of the Department of Developmental Studies and Counseling, and later in the Linguistics Department at the University of Southern California. At Boston University he established new graduate programs centered around an integrated approach to language and literacy, combining programs in reading, writing, bilingual education, ESL, and applied linguistics. From 1993 to 1997 he held the Jacob Haiti Chair in Education in the Haiti Center for Urban Education at Clark University in, Massachusetts. In January of this year, Prof. Gee accepted the Tashia Morgridge Chair in Reading in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Prof. Gee's work over the last decade has centered on the development of an integrated theory of language, literacy, and schooling, a theory that draws on work in socially situated cognition, sociocultural approaches to language and literacy, language development, discourse studies, critical theory, and applied linguistics. This work has served as a theoretical base for a number of school-based projects run by the Hiatt center at Clark University in elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as in an after-school science project funded by the Spencer Foundation. Prof. Gee's recent work has extended his ideas on language, literacy, and society to deal with the so-called "new capitalism" and its cognitive, social, and political implications for literacy and schooling. He has published widely in journals in linguistics, psychology, the social sciences, and education. His books include Sociolinguistics and Literacies (1990, Second Edition 1996); The Social Mind (1992); Introduction to Human Language (1993); and, with Glynda Hull and Colin Lankshear, The New Work Order: Behind the Language of the New Capitalism (1996).



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