James P. Mallory

Monday 12 April 2010, 16:00 Large Operon

James P. Mallory, Queen’s University, Belfast

Problems in the correlation of languages and genes in Europe

Geneticists have become increasingly interested in employing the genetic signature of modern populations as a means of tracing not only past patterns of gene flow but also speculating about the dispersal of languages in Europe. Often the results have led to a very simple paradigm in which the current distribution of languages is assigned to either the Palaeolithic/Mesolithic or the Neolithic. This seminar will attempt to investigate how robust this paradigm is and whether it can be improved.

James P. Mallory was born in 1945 and received his AB in History from Occidental College in California in 1967 and his PhD in Indo-European Studies from UCLA in 1975. He has worked at Queen’s University Belfast since 1977 where he is Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology and the Director of Research for Past Cultural Change. His research focuses on issues involving the relationship between archaeology and language, especially the dispersal of the Indo-European languages He is the author of In Search of the Indo-Europeans (1989), co-author with Victor Mair of The Tarim Mummies (2000), joint editor of the The Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture (1997) and The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World (2006). He also edits the Journal of Indo-European Studies.