Professor Ralph Litzinger’s conversation with former Duke undergrad Aydin Anwar on the Xinjiang camps in China, forced labor, labor transfer programs, surveillance and incarceration, missing relatives, genocide, and questions of complicity is now live on Duke’s You Tube channel.           read more about Live on Duke's You Tube channel - Professor Ralph Litzinger’s conversation with Aydin Anwar '19 »

The Dean of the Social Sciences at Duke University invites applications for a one-year residential postdoctoral fellowship focused on race and sports. The fellow will be appointed in one of four departments: Cultural Anthropology; African and African American Studies; Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies; or Education.   Applications must be submitted online.   Apply here.   read more about Postdoctoral Fellowship in Race and Sports »

After the declaration of a public health emergency following the outbreak of coronavirus, it became clear to me that this was a vitally important time to learn about infectious disease control, medical management and the role of care-providers in delivering proper healthcare to the people who are most likely to need it and least likely to have it. The mission of my project, Sustainably Improving Neurosurgical Patient Outcomes in Uganda, is to focus on all these aspects of healthcare. The goal of the research is three-fold… read more about Bass Connections: Maria Pita, Cultural Anthropology '21 »

 In this covid moment, death has altered the social landscape. How is this taking place and how do anthropologists deal with death as a concept and a method ethnographically: a vital event in our collective life? In this session, the speakers draw upon their own research —on mass graves in Hart Island, digital economies and media communication, and (dis)locations of silence—to consider how death can bring us beyond the sense(s) of finality to shape lives in inalterable ways.  Read more.  Please register here.  read more about Deathscapes: Ethnography of/beyond Senses »

As part of its event series tgiFHI, the Franklin Humanities Institute is conducting interviews with its faculty speakers in order to familiarize broader audiences with the diversity of research approaches in the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences at Duke University. Dr. Lee Baker is Mrs. A. Hehmeyer Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, and African and African American Studies. In this edited and condensed interview, he describes how science and society shape one another, the racist underbelly… read more about Meet Your Humanities Faculty: Lee Baker »

This month, we present a collection of 10 Duke-authored books detailing the history of Black life in America. While this is not a comprehensive list of all Duke scholarship on Black history, it is intended to be an introduction to the multifaceted work of Duke scholars in public policy, history, documentary studies, religious studies, African and African-American studies, cultural anthropology, sociology, art, art history, and visual studies.  These books, along with many others, are available at Duke University Libraries,… read more about 10 Duke-Authored Books on Black History »

It was 1968, and I was an 11-year-old white boy in Appalachian Virginia imagining I was Hank Aaron. Home from school for the summer, a small group of us gathered for mornings in our backyard to play Whiffle ball — with a plastic bat and ball, and bases made from scraps of wood. A forsythia hedge, some 75 feet from the back steps where we batted, was the outfield fence. The innovation we came up with was to pretend to be major league players, reading stats and biographical facts about our favorite players from their baseball… read more about Being Hank Aaron, Just For a Moment, Beyond that Forsythia »

This month we offer a collection of Duke-authored works that reflect human experiences through fiction.  These books along with many others are available at the Duke University Libraries, the Gothic Bookshop or the Regulator Bookshop.   A Life of Adventure and Delight by Akhil Sharma WHAT IT'S ABOUT: In "A Life of Adventure and Delight," Professor Akhil Sharma delivers eight stories that focus on Indian protagonists at home and abroad. A young woman in an arranged marriage… read more about 10 Works of Fiction from Duke Authors »

The Senior Book Prize is awarded biennially for a book by a senior scholar. The prize goes to a work that speaks to contemporary social issues with relevance beyond the discipline and beyond the academy.  The 2020 Senior Book Prize award committee presents the prize to Deborah Thomas for Political Life in the Wake of the Plantation: Sovereignty, Witnessing, Repair, and to J. Lorand Matory for The Fetish Revisited: Marx, Freud, and the Gods Black People Make.  Read more.      read more about Randy Matory Joint Winner of 2020 AES Senior Book Prize  »

The Office of Global Affairs has selected two winners for the inaugural campus Global Service Award – Christine Folch, assistant professor of cultural anthropology and environmental science and policy, and Anne Sjostrom, associate dean of undergraduate admissions.  “We had so many great nominations that the selection committee decided to give one award to a faculty member and another to staff,” says Eve Duffy, associate vice provost of global affairs. Each year, the Office of Global Affairs will offer the Global Service… read more about Christine Folch and Anne Sjostrom Win First Global Service Award »

NEW YORK (Tuesday, January 19, 2021) - Harlem Stage today announced that Eric Oberstein has been named as the performing arts center’s new managing director, effective January 4, 2021. In this capacity, Obertstein will have oversight of institutional operations and Harlem Stage staff. Patricia Cruz will assume the new role of artistic director and CEO, having led the organization as executive director for 23 years. “I'm deeply honored to be joining Harlem Stage, a forward-thinking cultural organization I’ve long admired… read more about Cultural Anthropology alumnus Eric Oberstein named Harlem Stage New Managing Director »

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? »

Lee Baker, a professor of Cultural Anthropology, was interviewed in the Washington Post about what lessons we can take from 2020. He discussed the way recent events "amplified existing race, class and political divisions, and how we might address those divisions in order to move forward as a society." read more about What 2020 Taught Us About Race and Class in America »

Eight Duke University faculty groups shared updates on the work supported by their 2019 Intellectual Community Planning Grants (ICPG). Although many groups’ plans were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, they logged a number of accomplishments and intend to further their collaborations. Big Data and Social Interactions Jillian Grennan (lead), Chris Bail, Ines Black, Ofer Eldar, Sarah Gaither, Sharique Hasan, Rachel Kranton, David Robinson The group held a kick-off event featuring Amir Goldberg of… read more about From Marine Medicine to the Economics of Education, Faculty Build New Collaborations »

Last year, a dozen Duke University doctoral students used Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grants (GSTEG) to acquire new skills, knowledge or experiences that will enhance their original research. In these excerpts from their reports, students reflect on what they learned. Jacqueline Allain, Ph.D. in History Birthing Imperial Citizens I used my GSTEG grant to attend the Caribbean Philosophical Association (CPA) Summer School. During this week-long program, I attended seminars led by important scholars of critical… 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 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 violence, not the… 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 Professor of Cultural Anthropology and African and African American Studies at Duke University, and the author of "Making Freedom" and co-editor of "Hard Work, Hard Times." She is also co-chair of the Concilium on Southern Africa (… read more about Duke's Anne-Maria Makhulu Speaks About Anti-Black Histories in U.S. and South Africa »

Anne-Maria Makhulu, an associate professor of Cultural Anthropology, joined WUNC's The State of Things to discuss her life and career, describing her autobiographical research, her upbringing with an English mother and South African father and her time living in England, Switzerland and Botswana. Listen to the interview at the WUNC website. read more about How Global Issues At The Dinner Table Made A Cultural Anthropologist: Meet Anne-Maria Makhulu  »

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, and Vice Provost Ed Balleisen spearheaded the effort to identify virtual opportunities. Experiential fellowships with eight host organizations and research assistantships with more than 20 Duke units provided summer funding and career development for all 59 Ph.D. students in need. Every student who responded to Duke’s end-of-summer evaluation would… 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 »