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Celebrating Diane Nelson Diane Michele was born in Oxford, Ohio in 1963 to Donald N. and Lois E. (Genn) Nelson. In 1980, Diane began her lifelong relationship with Latin America as an AFS exchange student in Mexico. At Wellesley, as a National Merit Scholar and cultural anthropology major, she first visited Guatemala, where she would continue to study for over four decades. As a Ph.D. student in anthropology at Stanford, she continued her focus on indigenous Guatemalan life-worlds. Diane joined the anthropology faculty at… read more about Celebrating the Work of Professor Diane Nelson, 1963-2022 »

Monday, September 18 1:30 – 3:00pm Room 225, Friedl Building This talk, based on years of research with Indigenous women migrants, explores the role of trauma and emotion in the embodied experience of anthropological field research and knowledge production. Shannon Speed (Chickasaw) is Paula Gunn Allen Chair and Professor of American Indian Studies, Gender Studies, and Anthropology at UCLA, where she also serves as Director of the American Indian Studies Center and Special Advisor to the Chancellor on Native American and… read more about Shannon Speed: Grief and an Indigenous Feminist’s Rage: The Embodied Field of Knowledge Production »

Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology Emily Lim Rogers joins the Duke faculty this year. (John West/Trinity Communications) While the COVID-19 pandemic delayed or derailed fieldwork for many up-and-coming scholars, Emily Lim Rogers’ research never slowed down. Working as a medical ethnographer researching myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), social distancing practices were already the norm for the communities she was engaging with. “For my interlocutors… read more about Emily Lim Rogers Champions Those the Healthcare System Leaves Behind »

Marla Frederick, a leading ethnographer and scholar focused on the African American religious experience, will become dean of Harvard Divinity School on January 1, President Claudine Gay announced Thursday. Frederick is currently the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Religion and Culture at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. Prior to her appointment at Emory, she served on the Harvard faculty from 2003 to 2019, including as an assistant professor in the Department of African and African American Studies, with a… read more about Ph.D. alumna Marla Frederick named next dean of Harvard Divinity School »

Dr. Courtney Lewis, the Crandall Family Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University, is on a mission to reshape the academic landscape by bolstering the University’s commitment to Native American studies. Inspired by her pioneering father, who was the first American Indian to earn a Ph.D in social work and played a pivotal role in passing the Indian Child Welfare Act, Dr. Lewis has dedicated her career to promoting cultural understanding and economic self-sufficiency within Native communities. Read more… read more about Dr. Courtney Lewis cultivates cultural bridges with Native American Studies Initiative »

The Langford Lecture series was established by the Office of the Provost in 2000 as a tribute Thomas Langford, former Divinity School faculty member, Dean, and Provost. Langford embodied the highest university values of scholarship, teaching, collegiality, and the promotion of faculty excellence and community. This annual lecture/luncheon series is designed to provide Duke’s faculty with an opportunity to hear about the ongoing scholarly activities of their recently promoted or hired colleagues. The Committee on… read more about Rebecca Stein Wins Thomas Langford Lectureship Award »

MY FIRST DAY OF work in an Amazon warehouse I was nervous. I was beginning undercover anthropology fieldwork—and worried about being found out. Plus, I’d read horror stories about soul-crushing work demands inside the company’s giant facilities. I’m a longtime Amazon shopper. But I’ve also felt guilt about patronizing a company accused of putting local bookstores out of business, underpaying its taxes, and treating workers badly. A coalition of anti-Amazon groups called Athena wants us to kick the habit.… read more about The Anthropology Professor in an Amazon Warehouse »

The first day of the inaugural Duke Climate and Sustainability Teaching Fellows’ weeklong workshop series is wrapping up when Alex Glass assigns homework to the assembled faculty participants: “Before tomorrow, I challenge you to come up with a topic from your course that you think doesn’t relate to climate change at all. Tomorrow we’ll discuss ways it does.” The Climate and Sustainability Teaching Fellows Program may be new, but for its three faculty co-leads — Charlotte Clark, Associate Professor of the Practice of… read more about For the Climate and Sustainability Teaching Fellows, the Connections are Myriad »

Michelle Liang’s senior distinction project might have turned out very differently if it hadn’t been for COVID-19. The Cultural Anthropology and Biology major was taking a class about food cultures during the spring that the pandemic began. “The class piqued my interest in the politics around food and eating practices, and food and different cultures. This was fueled by what was happening at that time with COVID. I wrote a paper that centered around how COVID reignited this fear of eating Chinese food that was present in U… read more about Eating Chinese/American: Michelle Liang Explores the Racialization of Food »

When Preetha Ramachandran went to Togo last summer with Professor Charlie Piot’s Duke Engage program, she wasn’t expecting to experiment with a new methodology for fieldwork. She was looking for a way to combine her two majors, Cultural Anthropology and Neuroscience, into a research project that drew on her interests in both disciplines. The result is her senior distinction project, “Entangled Madness: Walking, Talking and Caring for Folie in Farendé, Togo.” “I wanted to think about the psychiatry apparatus as it… read more about “Walking” Madness: Preetha Ramachandran’s Research in Togo Experiments With an Alternative Methodology for Fieldwork »

We, faculty in the Department of Cultural Anthropology, acknowledge the right of Duke graduate students to form an employer-recognized union. We will not penalize graduate students in any way for engaging in unionizing efforts nor will we endorse any disciplinary measures directed at graduate students who have participated in such efforts or against those who have not. We strongly believe in free discussion, and we urge both student and university leaders to engage in a constructive dialogue. read more about Faculty Statement in Support of the Right to Unionize »

Anne Allison, professor of Cultural Anthropology, has spent decades researching political economy and everyday life in modern Japan. Being Dead: Otherwise, released by Duke University Press in March, examines emerging practices surrounding death and burial as the Japanese adapt to an aging society where birthrates are falling, prices are rising and people are living longer than ever. We caught up with Allison to ask what her research reveals about shifting mortuary practices in Japan, and how these innovations in… read more about Grave Friends and Automated Tombs: “Being Dead: Otherwise” Examines Emerging Burial Practices in Japan »

Anyone who knew doctoral candidate Samar Zora deeply understood that she was an intellectual force to be reckoned with, with an ability to connect with people from all walks of life. “She was a teacher to all of us … we all learned something very different from her,” said one of Zora’s best friends, Demi Vrettas. “Being together with her friends is kind of like a mirror of all her pieces together.”  Zora, who was born in Kuwait but moved to Canada when she was five years old, moved back to Kuwait during her sophomore… read more about Samar Zora remembered for outgoing nature, intellectual curiosity »

Please join Cultural Anthropology as we celebrate recent publications by our colleagues Anne Allison, Harris Solomon, and Katya Wesolowski. Readings from all three books will be followed by a conversation about ethnographic writing. Monday, April 3 :: 1:30-3:00PM :: 225 Friedl read more about Celebrate Recent Publications by our colleagues Anne Allison, Harris Solomon, and Katya Wesolowski »

In Capoeira Connections: A Memoir in Motion, Katya Wesolowski—a capoeirista and Duke lecturing fellow of cultural anthropology and dance—explores her personal journey from novice to instructor as well as her research in Brazil, Angola, Europe, and the United States. Watch the video. Wesolowski will teach her next Capoeira: Practice and Culture course (CULANTH221/AAAS221/DANCE235) in Fall 2023.  read more about Katya Wesolowski on Capoeira Connections »

  In Capoeira Connections: A Memoir in Motion, Katya Wesolowski — a capoeirista and Duke lecturing fellow of Cultural Anthropology and Dance — explores her personal journey from novice to instructor as well as her research in Brazil, Angola, Europe, and the United States. "My relationship to capoeira is as a researcher, but also just as importantly as a practitioner and now also as an instructor," says Wesolowski.  She will teach her next Capoeira: Practice and Culture… read more about Katya Wesolowski on Capoeira Connections »

As a Duke undergraduate, Tracie Canada took The Anthropology of Sport with Professor Orin Starn — a course she remembers as formative to her engagement with anthropology and eventually leading to her Ph.D. at the University of Virginia. Today, Assistant Professor Tracie Canada focuses her ethnographic research on the experiences of athletes, and Black college football players, in particular. And in Fall 2022, she got the opportunity to teach the Duke course in which she was once enrolled, tweaking the syllabus to include… read more about Sports and Society Course Applies Anthropological Practice to our Obsession with Athletes »

Celebrate the renewal of spring with a book from a Duke author. This season of new and upcoming books that cover a variety of times, places and subjects from the arts to computer science. The writings include studies of body shaming in the theater, civil defense in Japan, intellectual conformity in higher education and a cautionary look at the future of brain hacking. Many of the books, including new editions of previous titles, can be found on the “Duke Authors” display shelves near the circulation desk in Perkins… read more about Spring Books from Duke Authors from Wittgenstein to Capoeira »