Roy Richard Grinker
Areas of Expertise
Psychological and medical anthropology; disability; stigma; autism; ethnicity and nationalism; hunter-gatherers. Regional foci: Africa, Korea.
Dr. Grinker is a cultural anthropologist specializing in ethnicity, nationalism, and psychological anthropology, with topical expertise in autism, Korea, and sub-Saharan Africa. He is also the director of GW's Institute for Ethnographic Research and editor-in-chief of of the journal Anthropological Quarterly.
Dr. Grinker has conducted research on a variety of subjects: ethnic relationships between farmers and foragers in the Ituri forest, Democratic Republic of Congo; North and South Korean relations, with special emphasis on North Korean defectors' adaptation to South Korea life; and the epidemiology of autism. In addition, he has written a biography of the anthropologist Colin M. Turnbull.
Autism and Culture. After completing the first ever epidemiological study of Autism Spectrum Disorder in South Korea (see Kim et al. 2011, under Publications), Dr. Grinker is funded by the Autism Speaks Foundation to study the cultural influences on identification and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder among Korean-Americans. In addition, he is studying efforts at early identification of autism among Mexican migrant farmers in southwest Florida and among Zulu-speaking South Africans in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. A second area of research is military psychiatry, about which he is writing a book.
Ph.D. 1989, Harvard University
M.A. 1985, Harvard University
B.A. 1983, Grinnell College
2021 Grinker, R.R. Nobody’s Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness. NY: W.W. Norton.
2019 Grinker, R.R., C.B. Steiner, S. Lubkemann, and E. Gonçalves, eds. Companion to the Anthropology of Africa. Hoboken, NJ and Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers.
2009 Grinker, R.R., C.B. Steiner, and Stephen Lubkemann, eds. Perspectives on Africa: A Reader in Culture, History, and Representation. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. 2nd Edition.
2007 Grinker, R.R. Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism. NY: Basic Books.
2000 Grinker, R.R. In the Arms of Africa: The Life of Colin M. Turnbull. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
1998 Grinker, R.R. Korea and its Futures: Unification and the Unfinished War. New York: St. Martin's Press.
1997 Grinker, R.R. and C.B. Steiner, eds. Perspectives on Africa: A Reader in Culture, History, and Representation. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
1994 Grinker, R.R. Houses in the Rainforest: Ethnicity and Inequality Among Farmers and Foragers in Central Africa. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
In Press Grinker, Roy R. “Autism, ‘Stigma,’ Disability: Shifting Historical Terrain.” Current Anthropology.
2019 Benavides-Rawson, J. and Roy R. Grinker. “Culture and Autism in Education.” Sage International Handbook: Autism and Education, pp. 517-522.
2019 Grinker, R.R., S. Lubkemann, C. Steiner, and E. Goncalves. 2018. “Introduction” to Companion to the Anthropology of Africa, R.R. Grinker, S. Lubkemann, C. Steiner, and E. Goncalves, Wiley-Blackwell, 2018.
2019 Machaqueiro, Racquel and R.R. Grinker, Environmentality in Africa, Companion to the Anthropology of Africa, R.R. Grinker, S. Lubkemann, C. Steiner, and E. Goncalves, Wiley-Blackwell, 2018.
2019 Benavides-Rawson, J, and Roy R. Grinker. “Reactive Attachment Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Diagnosis and Care in Cultural Context.” R.R. Fogler, Jason M. and Randall A. Phelps, eds. Trauma, Autism, and Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Integrating Research, Practice, and Policy, pp. 149-160. Springer.
2018 Grinker, Roy R. “Being Trans is not a Mental Disorder.” The New York Times, December 6.
2018 Kang-yi, Christina, Grinker, R.R., Beidas, R., Agha, A. , Russell R., Shah, S., Shea K., and Mandell, D. S. “Influence of Community-Level Cultural Beliefs about Autism on Families’ and Professionals’ Care for Children among Koreans in New York City.” Transcultural Psychiatry, 55 (5): 623-47.
2018 Costa, Jurandir Freire and R.R. Grinker, Autism and First Person Accounts—The Cognitive Problem. In Autism in Translation, Elizabeth Fein and Clarice Rios, eds. Palgrave MacMillan
2018 Grinker, R.R., Who Owns Autism?: Economics, Fetishism, and Stakeholders, in Autism in Translation, Elizabeth Fein and Clarice Rios, eds. Palgrave MacMillan.
2017 Nola J. Chambers, Amy M. Wetherby, Sheri T. Stronach, Nonyameko Njongwe, Shuaib Kauchali, and R. R. Grinker, Early detection of autism spectrum disorder in young isiZulu-speaking children in South Africa, Autism 21, 5: 518-26, 2017
2015 Grinker, Roy R. and David Mandell. “Notes on a Puzzle Piece.” Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice. August 2015 vol. 19 no. 6 643-645
2015 Grinker, Roy R. “Reframing the Science and Anthropology of Autism.” Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry.” June 2015, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 345-350
2015 Grinker, Roy R., Christina Kang-Yi, Chloe Ahmann, Rinad Beidas, Adrienne Lagman, and David Mandell. “Cultural Adaptation and Translation of Outreach Materials on Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. August 2015, Volume 45, Issue 8, pp 2329-2336.
Anth 0801: Autism across Cultures
Anth 1002: Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology
Anth 3503: Psychological Anthropology
Anth 3506: Politics, Ethnicity, and Nationalism
Anth 3708: Cultures of Africa
Anth 6201: Proseminar in Sociocultural Anthropology
Anth 6391: National Mythologies
Anth 6507: Nationalism and Ethnicity