Roy Richard Grinker is Professor and Chair of Anthropology at the George Washington University, and editor-in-chief of Anthropological Quarterly. He has published books and articles on topics such as the ethnic conflict in central Africa, the intellectual history of African Studies, north-south Korean relations, and most recently autism. He has conducted research in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Korea, Swaziland, South Africa, Namibia, India, and the U.S.
Richard, as he is known, graduated from Grinnell College in 1983 and received his Ph.D. in Social Anthropology at Harvard University in 1989. His work has included a total population study of autism prevalence in Ilsan, South Korea (in collaboration with Dr. Young-Shin Kim), the early identification of autism in diverse populations in South Africa and southwest Florida (in collaboration with Dr. Amy Wetherby), and efforts to reduce health care disparities for Korean children with autism New York City (in collaboration with D. David Mandell). Richard is the author of Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism (Basic Books, 2007). The book is both an account of the cultural factors underlying changes in autism prevalence, and his own experiences raising a daughter with autism. Unstrange Minds was selected by Library Journal as one of the “30 Best Books of 2007" and won the KEN Award from NAMI in 2008 for "Outstanding Contribution to the Understanding of Mental Illness."
He is the author of Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism (Basic Books); Houses in the Rainforest: Ethnicity and Inequality among Farmers and Foragers in Central Africa (California); In the Arms of Africa: The Life of Colin Turnbull (Chicago); and Korea and its Futures (St. Martin’s), He is the co-editor, with Stephen Lubkemann and Christopher Steiner of Perspectives on Africa: A Reader in Culture, History and Representation (Wiley-Blackwell) and the forthcoming Companion to the Anthropology of Africa (Wiley-Blackwell).
He is the author of, most recently, Nobody's Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness (W.W. Norton), a NY TIMES "Editor's Choice," Selection.