Anthropology professor Caleb Everett named Carnegie Fellow, teaches at sea

Caleb Everett. Photo by Jamie Servidio // Contributing Photographer
Caleb Everett. Photo by Jamie Servidio // Contributing Photographer
Anthropology professor and Carnegie Fellow Caleb Everett on board the MV Explorer

One of the most unique aspects of Semester at Sea is the fact that I eat lunch with, live down the hall from, and make small talk with the program’s faculty and staff.

Coincidentally, I live two doors down from University of Miami professor of anthropology and recent Carnegie Fellow, Caleb Everett.

As one of 32 announced Carnegie Fellows, Everett will receive up to $200,000 for research and writing on proposed topics. He is among established and emerging scholars, journalists and authors who were chosen from over 700 nominees nationwide.

His students even compare his lectures to TED talks, and he spent a portion of his life living in the Amazon.

Pretty cool, huh?

Everett, 38, is traveling on his third Semester at Sea voyage with his wife, Jamie, and son, Jude. He first traveled at age 15 when his father was a professor on the program and again during his first semester as a college student at age 18. Both initial voyages were sailed on the S.S. Universe, a former naval transport and Semester at Sea’s longest serving ship.

“It certainly left an indelible mark on my life,” Everett said. According to Everett, being immersed in diverse cultures at an early age was a factor in his choice to pursue anthropology.

On this most recent voyage, Everett taught three courses: Introduction to Anthropology (which he also teaches at UM); Languages of the World; and Sex, Gender and Culture.

What he enjoys most about Semester at Sea is the unique synthesis of sailing around the world in a learning environment. He admitted he isn’t a big fan of cruises in general, but Semester at Sea offers a completely unique shipboard experience.

“It’s that combination of being at sea in an educational context while travelling the world,” he said.

With a third voyage under his belt, Everett will move on to his research as a Carnegie Fellow. His research will focus on dying languages of hunter-gatherer communities in places like New Guinea, the Amazon and Australia.

It’s what he calls a “popular level” project that will test different hypotheses about how language affects human thought processes. He expressed his hopes to make this a more creative project utilizing photography that will reach a broader audience.

And he just happened to drink a Coca-Cola with me a few short hours ago.