John Colarusso

Professor in the Anthropology Department of McMaster University, Ontario.

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Born in California, raised in Mississippi and New Jersey.

John Colarusso first studied physics and then took two degrees in philosophy (BA Cornell, MA Northwestern).

He earned his doctorate in linguistics from Harvard University in 1975. Since 1967 he has studied the Caucasus, its languages, myths, and cultures.

He has taught at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario since 1976. Since 1992 he has been active in advising leaders and policy makers in Washington, Ottawa, Moscow, and the Caucasus itself.

In addition to more than sixty-five articles on linguistics, myth, politics, and the Caucasus, he has written three books, edited one, and is finishing two more.

He is married and the father of three children. When relaxing he enjoys hiking and biking, or reading math, paleontology, and the works of William Faulkner.


Ph.D., Harvard University, Linguistics Department, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1975

Harvard University, Middle East Center, 1968-1970

M.A., Northwestern University, Department of Philosophy, Evanston, Illinois, 1969

B.A., Cornell University, Philosophy Department, Ithaca, New York, 1967

Cornell University, Engineering Physics, 1962-1965 



August – December 2004, Visiting Scholar, Cornell University, Department of Linguistics

2000-present   Professor, Modern Languages and Linguistics, McMaster University (cross appointment)

1988-present   Professor, Anthropology, McMaster University

1990-present   Associate appointment, Modern Languages and Linguistics

1981 - 88,        Associate Professor, Anthropology, McMaster University

1977 - 81,        Assistant Professor, Anthropology, McMaster University

1976 - 77,        Assistant Professor (part-time), Anthropology, McMaster University

1975 - 1976,    Vertragsassistent, Institut für Sprachwissenschaft, Universität Wien, Vienna, Austria