Dr. Michael A. Lange is an anthropologist and folklorist. His research interests include narrative, language and identity. He has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Norway, Scotland, Morocco and the US.
An Object of Affection
You'll find me posing with an orange chair. It's a replica (not full size) of the distinctive chairs from the Union Terrace at the University of Wisconsin. I spent many a summer day with my teachers, my students, and my friends sitting on those chairs, eating bratwurst and watching sailboats glide across Lake Mendota. Good times, good times.
"Anything people do can be analyzed anthropologically. It lets me poke my nose into a lot of corners and go down lots of different rabbit holes," says Lange. He models that kind of intellectual curiosity in the classroom, holding up an imaginary string of ideas and saying, "Show me how this" — the 'idea' in his left hand — "connects to this" in his right."
"The process of learning to make those connections can be challenging, but the step-by-step process he teaches leads to what he calls 'the Aha moment."
"Students learn to run information through the filter of different disciplines and they begin to see what they can do with this knowledge. They may have lived in a black and white world, but now they see there are lots of gray areas-and how to evaluate them."