"For more than thirty years, I have been studying change in the lives of urban west Africans. Sub-Saharan Africa remains one of the most intense locales for changes in the lifeways and values of people, with some of the highest rates of urbanization in the world, and extensive and complex multilingualism. This research informs my teaching in Cultural Anthropology, especially in courses like "Language and Culture" and "Contemporary Cultures Of Africa."
Years at Knox: 1995 to present
Ph.D., Anthropology, 1978, University of Rochester.
M.A., Anthropology, 1973, University of Rochester.
B.A., Geography, magna cum laude with high honors, 1971, Clark University.
Language and culture, Sub-Saharan Africa, linguistics, first year preceptorial.
"Don't Tell Me What I said, I Know What I Meant." Inside Higher Education December 5 (2006).
"Humanizing Language through its Anthropology Study," and "Anthropology's Challenge: Disquieting Ideas for Diverse Students," in C. Kottak, J. White, R. Furlow, and J. White, eds, The Teaching of Anthropology. Mayfield Publishers, 2000.
Speaking and Social Identity: English in the Lives of Urban Africans. Mouton, 1998.
"Global Citizenship," part of a panel on "Off-Campus Study and the Goals of Liberal Learning." Annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, Washington, D.C., January 2006.
"Getting to the Capstone, Getting Beyond the Capstone," Pew-Midstates Science/Mathematics Consortium "Workshops on the Capstone Experience." Chicago, Illinois, February 2006.
"Information Literacy at Knox College," Council for Independent Colleges workshop, "Transformation of the College Library," Boston, Massachusetts, April 2006.
"Off-Campus Study-How Students Learn." Plenary Presentation, ACM Conference on Engaging Students in Liberal Learning, Lake Forest College.
"Institutional Initiatives." Session on Pipeline to the Professoriate: Recruitment Strategies, Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, Compact for Faculty Diversity, Arlington, Virginia.
Campus & Community Involvement
Member, Executive Committee, Advisory Board of Deans.
Panelist, Research Fellowships, National Endowment for the Humanities.
Reader, American Council of Learned Societies research grants.
What Students Say
"Despite the considerable challenges involved in being an administrator, teacher and scholar, Dean Breitborde has boundless energy and a great sense of humor. He is genuinely interested in the lives of the students. He's particularly good at seeing the connections among the various academic disciplines."
-Ellen Landers, Independent Major
Leading up to a worldwide event -- Gun Control Theatre Action Week, May 27 through June 2 -- a play by Knox College theatre professor Neil Blackadder was selected for a new collection, "24 Gun Control Plays."
Rana Tahir, a double major in creative writing and political science, wrote dozens of poems and created 29 paintings after interviewing Kuwaiti residents about the 1990 Iraqi occupation.
Knox College awarded more than $1,750 in prizes in the 2013 Al Young Art Show. Organizing 200 art works in an array of media is a challenge, according student Katie O'Connor, who helped arrange the entries.