Naomi Quinn

Naomi Quinn

Professor Emeritus of Cultural Anthropology

External address: 
201 a Science Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90091, Durham, NC 27708-0091
(919) 684-2810


Naomi Quinn received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1971. Her research has pursued the reconstruction, from reasoning, metaphor, narrative, and other features of their discourse on it, of Americans’ cultural understandings of marriage. Recent research pursues the effects of early attachment and separation on adult intimate relationships cross-culturally. Her enduring interest is in the nature of culture: its sharedness, force, enduringness, and thematicity. She is part of a current effort in cognitive anthropology to explain these and other properties of culture on the basis of schema theory and, within this framework, to relate culture to language, cognition, motivation, affect, psychodynamic processes, and individual experience. Her research is represented by a series of books, book chapters, and articles. Also reflected in several of her articles is an ongoing interest in anthropological research on gender.

Degrees & Credentials

  • Ph.D., Stanford University 1971

  • M.A., Stanford University 1964

  • B.A., Radcliffe College 1961

Quinn, Naomi. Finding Culture in Talk. Palgrave MacMillan, 2005.

Quinn, N. “The History of the Cultural Models School Reconsidered: A Paradigm Shift in Cognitive Anthropology.” A Companion to Cognitive Anthropology, 2011, pp. 30–46. Scopus, doi:10.1002/9781444394931.ch2. Full Text

Morelli, G., et al. “Ethical Challenges of Parenting Interventions in Low- to Middle-Income Countries.” Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, vol. 49, no. 1, Jan. 2018, pp. 5–24. Scopus, doi:10.1177/0022022117746241. Full Text

Quinn, N., and H. F. Mathews. “Emotional arousal in the making of cultural selves.” Anthropological Theory, vol. 16, no. 4, Dec. 2016, pp. 359–89. Scopus, doi:10.1177/1463499616684051. Full Text

Quinn, N. “Response to Anna Wierzbicka.” Ethos, vol. 44, no. 3, Sept. 2016, pp. 199–201. Scopus, doi:10.1111/etho.12133. Full Text

Quinn, Naomi. “Book Essay: Mixed Messages: Cultural and Genetic Inheritance in the Constitution of Human Society.” Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, vol. 63, no. 6, SAGE Publications, Dec. 2015, pp. 1296–301. Crossref, doi:10.1177/0003065115620419. Full Text

Quinn, Naomi. “Cora Du Bois: Anthropologist, Diplomat, Agent. Susan Seymour. Nebraska University Press. 2015. xi+423pp..” Ethos, vol. 43, no. 4, Wiley, Dec. 2015, pp. E27–29. Crossref, doi:10.1111/etho.12096. Full Text

Quinn, N. “A Critique of Wierzbicka's Theory of Cultural Scripts: The Case of Ifaluk Fago.” Ethos, vol. 43, no. 2, Jan. 2015, pp. 165–86. Scopus, doi:10.1111/etho.12079. Full Text

Quinn, N. “Commentary: Good Ethnographies Make Good Theories.” Ethos, vol. 38, no. 4, Dec. 2010, pp. 441–48. Scopus, doi:10.1111/j.1548-1352.2010.01160.x. Full Text

Quinn, N. “Commentary: Good Ethnographies Make Good Theory.” Ethos, vol. 38, no. 4, 2010, pp. 442–49.

Quinn, N., and C. Strauss. “Introduction to special issue on the missing psychology in cultural anthropology's key words.” Anthropological Theory, vol. 6, no. 3, Dec. 2006, pp. 267–79. Scopus, doi:10.1177/1463499606066888. Full Text

Quinn, N. “The self.” Anthropological Theory, vol. 6, no. 3, Dec. 2006, pp. 362–84. Scopus, doi:10.1177/1463499606066893. Full Text