William (Willi) Lempert

Affiliation: Anthropology
Assistant Professor of Anthropology

My past, current, and upcoming research projects are united by a focus on the implications of Aboriginal Australian representations for the future of their communities, with a commitment to a sustained and collaborative process. Drawing on years of ethnographic fieldwork with Indigenous media organizations in the Kimberley region of Northwestern Australia, my book manuscript traces the dynamic process of filmmaking as a critical mode of political transformation.

My emerging research engages Aboriginal sign language and hearing loss, as well as outer space decolonization. I continue to be driven by the larger goal of facilitating collaborative partnerships that prioritize community-defined protocols, outcomes, and analytics, and which aim to expand how Indigenous futures are imagined by scholars, policymakers, and broader audiences.

I approach teaching and research as symbiotic, with both centered around a close attention to process. Just as my research highlights the social lives of films as much as finished products, so too does my teaching emphasize the practical and personal terrain of forging productive communication. I emphasize writing and mediamaking not only as skills that can be learned and muscles that should be exercised, but more significantly as invaluable means for conveying one’s inimitable voice for the patiently-considered benefit of others. 


  • PhD, Cultural Anthropology, University of Colorado Boulder
  • MA, Cultural Anthropology, University of Denver
  • BA, Interdisciplinary Studies, Miami University