News

When a disaster happens it quickly makes the news but just as quickly can disappear from mainstream media. When Fukushima happened in 2011 the world paused and took notice but what about the aftermath? How were people coping and particularly, how were parents raising children after such a disaster? What were the risks of an unhealthy environment due to radiation? Living in the ruins of nuclear risk is a demoralizing situation for all parents involved.  Jieun Cho, Ph.D. candidate in cultural anthropology at Duke University… read more about How are families raising healthy children in post-nuclear Japan? »

Last year, a dozen Duke University doctoral students used Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grants (GSTEG) to acquire new skills, knowledge or experiences that will… read more about Doctoral Students Gain New Perspectives on Their Research »

When Professor Anne-Maria Makhulu returned to South Africa to start her research in the late 1990s, the South African Truth & Reconciliation Commission was just beginning to start its work. She says that while the newly established transparency was important for understanding the workings of… read more about South Africa After the Rainbow [POLICY 360 PODCAST] »

Acclaimed physician and global health worker Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, is the winner of the 2017 MacLean Center Prize in Clinical Medical Ethics, the largest such award in the field. Farmer, who co-founded the pioneering international medical non-profit Partners In Health, will receive the award Nov. 10 during the 29th annual Dorothy J. MacLean Fellows Conference on Clinical Medical Ethics. After receiving the $50,000 prize, he’ll deliver a lecture about bioethics and the 2013-2106 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The MacLean… read more about Anthropology alumnus Paul Farmer '82 wins Prestigious Maclean Center Ethics Prize »

December 3, 2020 When Professor Anne-Maria Makhulu returned to South Africa to start her research in the late 1990s, the South African Truth & Reconciliation Commission was just beginning to start its work. She says that while the newly established transparency was important for understanding the workings of the government during apartheid, the commission's function was largely symbolic. "It concretely didn't address the needs of the vast majority of South Africans who had suffered forms of systemic and structural… read more about South Africa after Rainbow [Policy 360 podcast] »

Professor Ralph Litizinger participated in the launch event of a new book, Dying for an iPhone, by Jenny Chan, Pun Ngai and Mark Seldon.  His commentary begins at minute 23, and throughout the Q and A.  Professor Litzinger teaches the department’s popular, Global Apple course.  He is also the guest editor of the special issue, The Labor Question in China: Apple and Beyond Fighting Foxconn: Lessons learned from online and offline activism in China.  Watch event.    read more about Professor Litzinger participated in launch event of new book Dying for an iPhone »

When I arrived for my first Native American Sweat Lodge Ceremony in 2016, I was greeted and warmly embraced by Marty, a person of mixed tribal ancestry. He had long black hair and wore a T-shirt that read “Veteran’s Sweat Lodge.” When, earlier, I had contacted him and asked about attending a ceremony, I worried that I might not be welcome as a White man. I also had concerns that my status as an anthropologist, with the field’s long and problematic history with Indigenous people, might make some uncomfortable. He assured me… read more about How Sweat Lodge Ceremonies Heal War’s Wounds »

Things I Have Withheld by Kei Miller (US Grove Atlantic September 14/UK Canongate, May 6) Naledi Yaziyo, curator, Rofhiwa Book Café, Durham, North Carolina: “As a new bookstore that endeavors to capture, in its selection, the vastness of the Black imagination across geographies. Jamaican poet, novelist, and essayist, Kei Miller is the writer who came immediately to mind. With Things I Have Withheld, Miller promises a lyrical collection of essays in which he ‘examines the experience of… read more about The 10 Most Anticipated Books of 2021 featuring Rofhiwa Book Cafe »

When Anne-Maria Makhulu tells her family history, it sounds as if she is paging through a well-worn textbook in her mind, memories written in the margins next to dates and city names. And in a way, she is. Makhulu is a cultural anthropologist who teaches at Duke University. Her research work is autobiographical, she says, based on her experiences as a child of an English mother and a South African father growing up in Europe and Africa. read more about How Global Issues At The Dinner Table Made A Cultural Anthropologist: Meet Anne-Maria Makhulu »

When it comes to racial history, the U.S and South Africa (and the U.K.) “are all knit together by anti-Black racism,” said Anne-Maria Makhulu at the Duke event: ‘"A Luta Continua" (The Struggle Continues): Anti-Racism in South Africa and the US.’ Anne-Maria Makhulu is Associate… read more about Duke's Anne-Maria Makhulu Speaks About Anti-Black Histories in U.S. and South Africa »

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 »