Thomas N. Headland
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Current Projects

  1. Tom and Janet Headland continue to make biennial field trips to the Philippines, and have recently returned from their last trip in 2010, where they continually update their demographic data on the San Ildefonso Agta population. This hunter-gatherer society numbered 285 in January 2010. The Headlands have recorded every birth, death, marriage, divorce, and in- and out-migration of this group since 1950. (See their statement “Four Decades Among the Agta.”)

  2. Agta database screenshotHeadland's latest academic project, co-authored with his wife Janet Headland, was recently published, in 2009. Titled Agta Demographic Database: Chronicle of a Hunter-Gatherer Community in Transition, it is a mammoth 4,000-page population chronicle of all members of an Agta Negrito people in the Philippines. It is based on the Headlands' more than 48 years of demographic research on the Agta people. They consider it their most significant contribution to science. To see a brief description to this, click the link in this paragraph. They expect to publish an updated second edition of this with version 2.0 in the fall of 2010.

  3. Another major goal of the Headlands in 2010 has been to publish two editions of the same book, one in English and one in the Agta language. The title of the English edition is The Agta People: A Photographic Depiction. They plan for that book to be published by SIL in the fall of 2010. It will be 230 pages and will contain 1,054 facial photographs they took of Agta people over the past half-century. The Agta language edition was already published in January 2010, and the Headlands personally distributed one free copy of the book to almost every Agta household in the spring of 2010.

  4. After nine summers teaching at the University of North Dakota (2001-09) and twenty years serving as adjunct professor of linguistics at U Texas-Arlington, Headland has stepped down from those roles and will now begin teaching part-time in fall 2010 as an adjunct lecturer of anthropology at Southern Methodist University.

  5. He continues to serve as an international anthropology consultant at the Dallas, Texas, headquarters of his home institution, SIL International.

A review of the Headlands' past research in the Philippines is described elsewhere on this website.