Professor Emeritus of Anthropology


Ph.D., University of Chicago

Field of Specialty

Semiotic anthropology. Historical anthropology. Linguistic anthropology. Cross-cultural interaction. C. S. Peirce. Social theory.

Contact Information

Brown Social Science Center 221

Rick Parmentier

Deals with the comparative semiotic analysis of verbal art and material culture in three sites: megaliths on the Micronesian island of Palau (Belau), art and architecture in the European High Middle Ages, and advertising images in contemporary mass media.


Parmentier, Richard and Greg Urban, ed. Metasemiosis and Social Life: Essays in Honor of Michael Silverstein. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018.

Parmentier, Richard. "Peirce and Saussure on Signs and Ideas in Language." Scienze dei linguaggi e linguaggi della scienze: Intertestualità, interferenze, mutuazioni. vol. Athanor XXV, 18. Ed. Susan Petrilli. Milan: Mimesis Edizioni, 2016. 293-300.

Parmentier, Richard. Signs and Society: Further Studies in Semiotic Anthropology. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2016.

Parmentier, Richard (with Nancy Felson). "The ‘Savvy Interpreter’: Performance and Interpretation in Pindar’s Victory Odes." Signs and Society 3. 2 (2015): 261-305.

Parmentier, Richard. "Representation, Symbol, and Semiosis: Signs of a Scholarly Collaboration." Signs and Society 3. 1 (2015): 1-7.

Parmentier, Richard (with Massimo Leone), ed. Representing Transcendence: Supplementary Issue of Signs and Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2 (S1) 2014.

Parmentier, Richard (with Massimo Leone). "Representing Transcendence: The Semiosis of Real Presence." Signs and Society 2. S1 (2014): 1-22.

Parmentier, Richard. "Semiotic Degeneracy of Social Life: Prolegomenon to a Human Science of Semiosis." Semiotica 202. (2014): 1-20.

Parmentier, Richard. "The World Has Changed Forever: Semiotic Reflections on the Study of Sudden Change." Semiotica 192. (2013): 235-242.

Parmentier, Richard J.. "Anthropological Encounters of a Semiotic Kind." Semiotic Inquiry 32. 1 (2012): 187-199.

Parmentier, Richard. "Troubles with Trichotomies: Reflections on the Utility of Peirce's Trichotomies for Social Analysis." Semiotica 177. (2009): 139-156.

Parmentier, Richard. "It's About Time: On the Semiotics of Temporality." Language & Communication 27. 2 (2007): 272-277.

Parmentier, Richard. "Palau." Garland Encyclopedia of World Folklores and Folklife. vol. 1 Garland, 2006. 358-365.

Parmentier, Richard. "Description and Comparison of Religion." History of Religions 43. (2005): 233-245.

Parmentier, Richard. "Semiotic Anthropology." International Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Elsevier, 2005

Parmentier, Richard. "Money Walks, People Talk: Systemic and Transactional Dimensions of Palauan Exchange." L'Homme 162. 1 (2002): 49-80.

Parmentier, Richard. "Representing Semiotics in the New Millennium." Semiotica 142. (2002): 291-314.

Parmentier, Richard. "Charles S. Peirce." Handbook of Pragmatics. Ed. Jef Verschueren. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1997. 1-18.

Parmentier,Richard. The Pragmatic Semiotics of Cultures. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1997.

Parmentier, Richard. "Haole-ing in the Wind: On the Rhetoric of Identity Anthropology." Anthropological Quarterly 69. 4 (1996): 220-230.

Parmentier, Richard. "Miklouho-Maclay in Palau, 1876." ISLA: A Journal of Micronesian Studies 4. 1 (1996): 71-108.

Parmentier, Richard. "Comparison, Pragmatics, and Interpretation in the Comparative Philosophy of Religion." Religion and Practical Reason: New Essays in the Comparative Philosophy of Religion. Ed. Frank E. Reynolds and David Tracy. Albany: SUNY Press, 1994. 407-440.

Parmentier,Richard. Signs in Society: Studies in Semiotic Anthropology. Indiana University Press, 1994.

Parmentier,Richard. The Sacred Remains: Myth, History and Polity in Belau. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.

Parmentier,Richard, co-ed. Elizabeth Mertz. Semiotic Mediation: Sociocultural and Psychological Perspectives. Orlando: Academic Press, 1985.

Courses Taught

ANTH 108b History, Time, and Tradition
ANTH 114b Verbal Art and Cultural Performance
ANTH 121a Crossing Cultural Boundaries
ANTH 201a History of Anthropological Thought
GS 202b Critical Global Issues