Alan Rumsey

Emeritus Professor Alan Rumsey

  • Post Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2004
  • Section(s): Linguistics


Now an Australian citizen, Alan Rumsey first came to Australia in 1975 as a University of Chicago PhD student to study language and its relation to other aspects of social life among the Mgarinyin people in the Kimberley district of Western Australia. During 1978-95 he lectured in the Anthropology Department at the University of Sydney. While continuing his work with Aboriginal people in the Kimberleys and the Northern Territory, Rumsey has also carried out research in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea, on language and politics, verbal art, and child language socialization. Since 1996 he has been a Fellow/Senior Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University. He currently heads a major, ARC funded comparative project on genres of sung narrative in the New Guinea Highlands.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.