News

When COVID hit last spring, many graduate students had to give up their summer plans for teaching, field research and internships. The Provost’s Office quickly pledged support,… read more about Duke Ph.D. Students Find Unexpected Benefits in an Unusual Summer »

On November 9, the Ethnography Workshop hosted its last public event of Fall 2020. We were fortunate to have three speakers critically engage the linkages between surveillance, capitalism, and digitality, each drawing on years of research and activism. The event was hosted by our co-director, Professor Ralph Litzinger. 70 participants joined the session. Each speaker gave 15 minutes presentations on how the global expansion of surveillance capitalism in recent decades has had troubling effects on different populations, from… read more about Moments from Surveillance Regimes: Capitalism/ Race/ Digitality »

On November 9, the Ethnography Workshop hosted its last public event of Fall 2020. We were fortunate to have three speakers critically engage the linkages between surveillance, capitalism, and digitality, each drawing on years of research and activism. The event was hosted by our co-director, Professor Ralph Litzinger. 70 participants joined the session. Each speaker gave 15 minutes presentations on how the global expansion of surveillance capitalism in recent decades has had troubling effects on different populations, from… read more about Moments from Surveillance Regimes: Capitalism/ Race/ Digitality »

COVID 19 Update In response to the disruptions wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Department of Cultural Anthropology has elected to pause admissions for its doctoral program for Fall 2021. This one-year hiatus will allow us to provide our current students with additional support as they navigate the unanticipated needs that have arisen since the pandemic began. We are committed to devoting our full attention and support to our current doctoral students, and to mentoring them closely so that their… read more about Admissions Paused Fall 2021 »

Here are recently published and forthcoming books by Duke authors, from September and October:   Marc Zvi Brettler, co-author: “The Bible With and Without Jesus: How Jews and Christians Read the Same Stories Differently” Annotated Edition (HarperOne, Oct. 27, 2020) Avshalom Caspi and Terrie E. Moffitt, co-authors: “The Origins of You: How Childhood Shapes Later Life” (Harvard University Press) Samuel Fury Childs Daly: “A History of the Republic of Biafra: Law, Crime, and… read more about New Great Reads from Duke Authors »

Joella Bitter was following a couple surveyors around the lush, green western outskirts of Gulu, a growing city in northern Uganda. While the surveyors marked the path of a future road, she was trying to record the songs of some nearby birds for her dissertation. The skittish avians, however, weren… read more about Ph.D. Alumna Captures Soundtrack of a City in the Making »

Joella Bitter was following a couple surveyors around the lush, green western outskirts of Gulu, a growing city in northern Uganda. While the surveyors marked the path of a future road, she was trying to record the songs of some nearby birds for her dissertation. The skittish avians, however, weren’t cooperating, as they scattered whenever she approached. After giving her a little good-natured teasing, one of the surveyors offered an idea. He took her recorder, placed it under a tree, and told her to walk away for 15… read more about Ph.D. Alumna Captures Soundtrack of a City in the Making »

CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY COLLOQUIUM MONDAY SEPTEMBER 21, 202O  MARIA CRUZ-TORRES Associate Professor in the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University and President of the Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists ANGELA GARCIA Associate Professor Anthropology Department, Stanford University  Latino/Latina/Latinx studies has emerged over recent decades as a vibrant field within and beyond anthropology, as befits its transborder, coyote, oceans connect sensibility. Barrios and borders remain important… read more about Latinx Anthropology, Considerations of the Field »

CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY COLLOQUIUM  MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2020        “NATIVE AMERICA/ANTHROPOLOGY”        JEAN DENNISON, Associate Professor, American Indian Studies, University of Washington      VALERIE LAMBERT, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, UNC-Chapel Hill      DANA POWELL, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Appalachian State     The study of Native America was once the defining feature of American anthropology. During the Red Power movement of the 1960s and 1970s, however, the… read more about Cultural Anthropology Colloquium: Native America/Anthropology »

Duke University, Trinity College Subject Area: Asian American Studies Application Deadline: 2020/10/26Applications must be submitted online through Academic Jobs Online using this address: https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/16876 Position Description: Duke University Trinity College of Arts and Sciences seeks candidates for two tenure track professorships in Asian American Studies. These hires are part of an effort to increase the number of faculty with global perspectives and expertise across core departments… read more about Two Tenure-Track Professorships in Asian American Studies »

Duke University, Trinity College Subject Area: Latinx Studies Application Deadline: 2020/10/26Application must be submitted through Academic Jobs Online https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/16885 Position Description: Duke University Trinity College of Arts and Sciences seeks distinguished candidates for two tenure-track professorships in Latinx Studies. These hires are part of an effort to increase the number of faculty with global perspectives and expertise across core departments, with support from the… read more about Tenure-track Professorships in Latinx Studies »

The Ethnography Workshop is a Humanities Lab of the Humanities Unbounded initiative at Duke University. Often described as both a science and a craft, ethnography is a method, a theoretical framework, and the product of research. It can be immersive in a single place, or it can arc across different sites, meaning that different research problems require different forms of ethnographic theory, research, and representation. The final product of research may be written, but its medium may also be visual, sonic, conceptual,… read more about The Ethnography Workshop: A HUMANITIES UNBOUNDED LAB AT DUKE UNIVERSITY »

Brian Goldstone, National Fellow, is writing a book about America’s crisis of housing insecurity and the dramatic rise of the working homeless. Based in Atlanta, the project will examine the intersecting forces—stagnant wages, inadequate tenant protections, gentrification and rampant real estate speculation, a legacy of housing discrimination—that are making it impossible for a growing number of families to keep a roof over their heads. The book will be published by Crown. Goldstone’s work has appeared in Harper’s… read more about Brian Goldstone (Ph.D. 2012) New America Announces Class of 2021 National Fellows »

Scholar Strike for Racial Justice is a national Racism Teach In, happening online September 8 and 9.  We are dedicating a number of our classes to the theme, drawing on our own work on and in movements for social justice and utilizing the tools of our trade. As cultural anthropologists we think about social structure and violence, the ways history, myth, economics, the family, religion, media, and the organization of power through time, help to maintain the basic “skeleton” of white supremacy. Over and over again, in… read more about Scholar Strike for Racial Justice »

The course is called Duke Design Health, and while it’s housed in the Pratt School of Engineering, it’s very Duke-ish in its interdisciplinary bent. The medical school is a partner, but it also draws students from engineering, nursing, law and business as well as undergraduates in the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. It was successful enough in its first year that organizers expect to teach at least portions of it during the new school year, while working within COVID-19 restrictions. Two instructors, Eric… read more about Designing Better Healthcare at Duke »

Brian Goldstone (Ph.D. 2012) was awarded second prize in the Diversity In Digital Features (Division 3) category at the Society of Features Journalism 2020 Excellence in Features Awards for a joint California Sunday Magazine/Economic Hardship Reporting project piece on homelessness. Second place: Brian Goldstone—California Sunday Magazine & The Economic Hardship Reporting Project, “3 kids. 2 paychecks. No home.” Judge’s comments: Amid a housing crisis that is all too often reported… read more about Brian Goldstone (Ph.D. 2012) was awarded second prize in the Diversity In Digital Features »

Congratulations to Charlie Piot who has won 2nd Prize in the 2020 Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing (Society for Humanistic Anthropology) for The Fixer: Visa Lottery Chronicles (Duke University Press). read more about 2020 Winner of the Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing »

 Episode 3 of People’s Science features Dr. Anne-Maria Makhulu, Professor of Cultural Anthropology and African and African American Studies at Duke University. People’s Science interviews researchers and scientists of color from a variety of disciplines about the importance of their work and how systems of inequity have impacted their fields through a lens of social and environmental justice, especially considering the racial justice movement happening today. Hosted by Hudson Mohawk Magazine Producer Erin Blanding for… read more about People's Science #3 featuring Dr. Anne-Maria Makhulu »

To the Editor: This article falls prey to a common theme in writing about higher education: The experiences of the majority of campus workers are left out. What about the bus drivers, the dining hall staff and the custodial staff whom universities also rely upon? These workers, who also have children at home, elderly relatives to care for, and immune-compromised family members they fear infecting, should have a greater say in these decisions. These workers who have been undervalued in pre-pandemic times… read more about Letter to the Editor »

“Do I really want to be integrated into a burning house?-James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time The fires James Baldwin predicted in his letter to his nephew are burning now.  At this writing, the fires of love, which inspire protesters to march for lynched neighbors, still burn brighter than literal fires kindled in anger when property receives more protection than black and brown lives.  We cannot say how this will end.   But we can say when these… read more about The Fires Burning Now »

Cultural Anthropology major Carter Teng was featured in Sunday’s Modern Love short blurbs about togetherness during coronavirus. Read the full article on The New York Times, including Carter's section below: ‘My brother and I had a bare-bones relationship’ Carter Teng, 20 Raleigh, N.C. Living with her parents and 10-year-old brother, River. Before Covid-19, my brother and I had a bare-bones relationship. With a 10-year age difference, there’s not much we can talk about. But after seeing his… read more about Modern Love Together »

The connections between research and teaching, advocacy and activism in Cultural Anthropology date back to the early days of our discipline and remain a critical aspect of what many of us work on, write about, and teach. At its heart, a discipline committed to anti-racism, social justice, and equality, we find ourselves both moved by the courage of a multitude in struggle and outraged by police brutality, right wing agitation, and the defense of both at the highest levels of the state. It is striking to note the timing of… read more about Duke’s Cultural Anthropology Department Stands in Solidarity with Black Lives »

Congratulations to the following student award winners from Duke University units in 2020.   African & African American Studies   John Hope Franklin Award for Academic Excellence: Elizabeth DuBard Grantland Karla FC Holloway Award for University Service: Beza Gebremariam Mary McLeod Bethune Writing Award: Jenna Clayborn Walter C. Burford Award for Community Service: Kayla Lynn Corredera-Wells   Art, Art History & Visual Studies        Mary Duke… read more about Student Honors and Laurels for 2020 »

Cultural Anthropology   Celebrating 2020 Graduates AWARDS Judith McDade Prize in Cultural AnthropologyAwarded to the graduating senior(s) majoring in cultural anthropology judged to have the most distinguished record in the major. Isabel Panno Shepard Paul Farmer Award for Justice and Social ResponsibilityTo recognize commitment to academic excellence and social justice in cultural anthropology. Kayla Corredera-Wells… read more about Congratulations! »

Society for East Asian Anthropology Jieun Cho April 29, 2020 This piece is part of the SEAA series “An Anthropology of Ethics in East Asia.” The articles highlight different aspects of moral values and ethical practices in a range of Asian regions. They examine how individuals cope with societal changes such as environmental crises, nationalism, economic development, and mobility through lens of everyday ethics. “I chose to not worry about radiation anymore, for as long as I stay living here; to… read more about Family in the Ruins of Nuclear Risk »

Duke faculty members throw themselves into remote and unfamiliar environments for their research.  From exploring villages in West Africa to traveling by train in the far corners of Siberia, remote research has taught faculty valuable lessons about working and living.  Eve Duffy, associate vice provost for Duke Global Affairs, said traveling teaches vital traits to help during this time: flexibility, patience and forming a positive outlook. “Our faculty know everything isn’t going to work out how they anticipated when they… read more about Distancing Lessons from Faculty Who Travel to Remote Places »

In the twelve years I have taught the documentary studies and cultural anthropology seminar “Our Culinary Cultures” (DocSt 344S/CulAnth 285S), the course has morphed from focusing on the ways in which food holds and sustains communities throughout history and across the globe into a class that dwells on the ways in which food can be an incredibly divisive material, as the role of restaurants in the #MeToo movement recently showed us all. However, I have never taught in a semester like this one—including the one in which I… read more about Food in the Time of Covid-19 »

Various members of Duke's Department of Cultural Anthropology reflect on the current COVID-19 situation and provide some insights and opinions. Life as Otherwise In the compound disaster of 3/11 in northeastern Japan—earthquake, tsunami, nuclear meltdown—time literally stopped for 16,000 Japanese. Keep reading Anne Allison Professor Cultural Anthropology   COVID-19 and Climate Change Many have remarked on the striking parallels between COVID-19 and… read more about COVID-19 Cultural Anthropology Faculty and Graduate Thought Pieces »

CANCELED:  Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - 5:00pm Speaker(s):  Irma Alicia Velasquez Nimatuj This talk will address the theme of migration from an indigenous perspective within a larger context of racial oppression. Dr. Velasquez states: "My argument stems from a recognition of the need to reflect on issues of migration, race and indigenous peoples simultaneously. This approach turns out to be a complex task, since these are topics that the media, everyday life, institutions and even in academia addressed separately. In addition… read more about CANCELED: Trade, Improvement, Survival  »

Music Provides Instrumental Twist for Ph.D. Candidate's Research After spending nearly a decade studying post-conflict life in northern Uganda, Matthew Sebastian was looking for an NGO that would be comfortable working with him while he studied the effects of humanitarian action on young people and how they navigate the limits and possibilities that intervention creates. While sitting in the meeting room of an NGO in Kampala, he noticed the many guitars, drums, and other instruments lining the walls and asked about them. He… read more about Music Provides Instrumental Twist for Ph.D. Candidate's Research  »