“I've spent most of my life since I was 13 working very hard to learn other people's languages,” says J. Lorand Matory. He has just come from a midterm exam in his advanced undergraduate Chinese language and culture class, Chinese being the most recent of the numerous languages he has studied. “I find it liberating to think in the terms of others who grew up thousands of miles away and have a totally different cultural history, and to try on their ways of thinking,” he says. “How can you understand other people's point of… read more about J. Lorand Matory’s “The Fetish Revisited” Wins J. I. Staley Prize »

The twentieth-century encounter between Protestant Christianity and the upland peoples in the China-Southeast Asia borderlands has been one of the most significant historical developments in the region, and has reshaped both the communal life of ethnic minorities and their relations to the valley civilization. The vigorous expansion of Christian communities among the peripheral peoples has also been part of the modern transformation of Christianity as its center of gravity shifted away from the global north to the global… read more about Christianity, Modernity, and Ethnicity in the China South-East Asia Borderlands »

A Duke alum, Assistant Professor Tracie Canada joined the Department of Cultural Anthropology this fall. Her research and teaching interests lie in race, sport, kinship and the performing body, and her in-progress book manuscript, “Tackling the Everyday: Race, Family and Nation in Big-Time College Football,” describes and theorizes the lived experiences of Black college football players. We spoke with Canada about her work, returning to Duke, how sports shape everyday lives and her hopes for… read more about Canada Navigates the Worlds of Black College Athletes »

IN 2019, THE video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare rolled out its first single-mode playable woman character. Grab your controller, and you get to grow up as Farah Karim—fighting off attackers with a screwdriver as a young girl, struggling through graphic waterboarding, and then wielding an AK-47 against extremist invaders as a leader of the fictional Urzikstan Liberation Force. Farah’s resilient and brave. More importantly, though, Farah’s a good woman fighting for a good cause: freedom. Read more.  read more about Doctoral Student Summer Steenberg on Women and War »

Courtney Lewis wants to teach a class about “alternative economies” even though she doesn’t really like the term. “I don't like the idea of making a juxtaposition against capitalism,” she says. “But… because we live in this particular American society, we’re made to feel like capitalism is our only choice. “Actually, there are ways we can live with a mentality of an economy of abundance, instead of a mentality of an economy of scarcity. So, for example, how do other corporate forms give back to the community? This is… read more about Growing Businesses in Challenging Times: Courtney Lewis Examines Native American Economic Sovereignty »

Anne-Maria Makhulu received the Howard D. Johnson teaching award.  Award recipients were selected for equitable and inclusive teaching, an ability to spark excitement about learning, the ways they encourage a deep dive into disciplinary ways of thinking, efforts to make connections beyond their courses, and for teaching innovations.  Congratulations Professor Makhulu!   read more about Anne-Maria Makhulu among 2022 recipients of the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences Teaching Awards »

The Arts & Sciences Council’s Committee on Undergraduate Teaching has announced this year’s recipients of awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching. Each recipient was recognized at the council’s Sept. 8 meeting, where Committee Chair Connel Fullenkamp expressed appreciation for the many nominations across all three Trinity divisions that included “creative and inspiring” portfolios. “It made our decision very difficult because there are so many varieties of excellence that we see in our community at Duke,” he… read more about Four Trinity Faculty Honored with 2022 Undergraduate Teaching Awards »

The honor recognizes Graduate School alumni for career accomplishments, promising endeavors, and support of graduate education at Duke. AYŞE GÜL ALTINAY Ph.D.’01 Cultural Anthropology Altınay is a professor of anthropology at Sabancı University and former director of SU Gender (Sabancı University Gender and Women’s Studies of Excellence) in Istanbul, where she has engaged in cutting-edge research and social-impact projects at the intersections of academia, activism, and well-being. Altınay’s 2001 cultural anthropology… read more about Cultural Anthropology Ph.D Ayşe Altinay Wins Few-Glasson Alumni Award »

At the start of every school year, cultural anthropologist and human rights professor Robin Kirk takes an informal snapshot of her students’ values. Barring violence, she asks her classes, what is the worst thing a Duke student could do in this class? Over the past couple of years, students have listed these worst-case scenarios: being a racist, using the wrong pronouns, and being disrespectful to a person in the class, said Kirk, co- director of the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute. Twelve… read more about Abortion Debate Illustrates How human Rights Are Not Absolute, But Evolving, Professor Says »

Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Duke University Position Type: Tenure-track faculty Position Location: Durham, NC 27708 Subject Area: Cultural Anthropology Appl Deadline: October 15, 2022 The Department of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in the area of medical anthropology, beginning July 1, 2023. Area of expertise is open. The successful candidate should have a strong and ethnographically… read more about Cultural Anthropology invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in the area of medical anthropology, beginning July 1, 2023. »

After initially fumbling its monkeypox response, the U.S. government is making vaccines more widely available for people in gay men’s sexual networks, who remain the most affected by the disease. Yet a deeper uncertainty persists. We know the Jynneos vaccine produces an antibody response that can protect against smallpox and may provide similar protection against monkeypox. But precisely how effective this vaccine will be against this current outbreak of monkeypox remains unclear. Read more.      read more about Our monkeypox vaccine plan is an experiment. That requires better care. »

Few college students would volunteer to spend a Sunday afternoon in a graveyard, but members of the Fieldwork Methods class in the Department of Cultural Anthropology arranged this trip themselves. They are in Wilmington, North Carolina, visiting the sites of one of the darkest events in the state’s history: the white supremacist coup that destroyed the city’s prosperous Black community in 1898. Their class is part of America’s Hallowed Ground, a multi-year project developed by professor Charlie Thompson and actor and… read more about Cultural Anthropology Students Learn From a Buried Past »

Throughout their learning, children are taught a lot about their rights, but they often don’t hear about the stories behind how these rights that benefit all of us, were established. In a new book, “Righting Wrongs,” Robin Kirk goes a step further and tells the stories about the people who helped make those rights established part of our lives. Kirk, faculty co-chair of the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute, introduces young readers to 20 activists from around the world. Few of them are well-… read more about The People Behind the Rights We Cherish »

Associate Professor Courtney Lewis (Ph.D., UNC Chapel Hill, 2012) is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation, who has established herself as a rising star in Native American Studies as well as a dynamic program builder.  Her research explores the themes of native sovereignty, economic justice, and the ethnography of tribal capitalism, focusing on small businesses in the Cherokee Qualla Boundary in the North Carolina mountains. By contrast to the feathers-and-beads mythologies of native peoples as stuck in a buffalo-… read more about Meet Our New Faculty: Associate Professor Courtney Lewis »

Assistant Professor Tracie Canada (Ph.D., University of Virginia, 2020) is a cultural anthropologist with research and teaching interests in race, sport, kinship, and the performing body. Her dissertation and in-progress book manuscript, Tackling the Everyday: Race, Family, and Nation in Big-Time College Football, describes and theorizes the lived experiences of Black college football players. She moves off the gridiron into the daily lives of the young Black athletes who sustain this American sport. Informed by… read more about Meet Our New Faculty: Assistant Professor Tracie Canada »

“May’s issue opens with #CiteBlackWomen, a searing colloquy in which Anne-Maria B. Makhulu, Christen A. Smith, Faye V. Harrison, Savannah Shange, and Bianca C. Williams analyze the race and gender politics of citation, and further spell out what our discipline stands to gain by correcting the ongoing, systemic invisibilization of Black women anthropologists’ enduring contributions to it.”Read more.    read more about #CiteBlackWomen :: Anne-Maria B. Makhulu, Christen A. Smith, Faye V. Harrison, Savannah Shange, and Bianca C. Williams  »