Jieun Cho’s research will take her to Japan this summer, where she will be meeting with refugees and returnees of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. “I will continue to work with the nuclear-affected, as well as scientists, lawyers, and activists, to see how low-level exposure to radiation is made sense of in different fields.” One of Cho’s specific areas of interest is residents living in irradiated environments who are caretakers of children. She plans to work with a group of citizen-scientists studying this sub-… read more about Fellows’ Summer Research Considers the Anthropocene in Madagascar, Japan, and Birmingham, Alabama »

America’s Sacred Spaces A new documentary research initiative poised to tell the stories of 40 essential American places that enhance our understanding of the United States The United States possesses singular places where citizens and others can visit to absorb elements of the nation’s depth of pain, triumph, awe, reverence, disappointments and dreams. “Sacred spaces” in this context refers to understanding America by literally standing in places and taking in layers of meaning that plumb the… read more about America's Sacred Spaces - Bass Connections »

Cultural Anthropology is pleased to present Ambient Thickness: The Atmospheric Materiality of the Anthropocene Gastón Gordillo The atmospheric, elusive, but powerful materiality of the droughts, wildfires, intense rainfalls, and toxic environments that define the Anthropocene cannot be accurately explained by our existing theories about place and space in the humanities. Based on ethnographic research among rural residents in northern Argentina who have been negatively affected by deforestation, agrichemical exposure, and… read more about Ambient Thickness: The Atmospheric Materiality of the Anthropocene »

A talk by Nancy Khalil.  Owing to a common absence of a central religious body to authorize religious clerics, combined with the U.S. secular conception of separation of church and state, Muslim authority in the United States contends with a regulatory vacuum.   The concept of clergy that drives much of how religion encounters our bureaucratic structures in the U.S. liberal-secular context does not sufficiently transpose in the context of Muslim religious authority and service.   In this talk, I… read more about Training the Imam: Locating American Sites of Religious Authority  »

Anne-Maria Makhulu is an associate professor of cultural anthropology and African and African-American studies at Duke. Much of her work, including her current research, focuses on globalization and issues of political economy in South Africa. Makhulu is examining what she deems a broken promise made to a majority black population of South Africa 23 years ago when democracy took hold there following the end of apartheid. Read more... read more about What I'm Working On: Financial Divisions in South Africa »

Monday, February 5, 2018 1:30pm Friedl Building, Room 225   Nadia Abu El-Haj is Professor of Anthropology at Barnard College, Columbia University and Co-Director of the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia.  Her publications include  Facts on the Ground. Archaeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society, and The Genealogical Science. The Search for Jewish Origins and the Politics of Epistemology. Her current work focuses on the field of… read more about The "Military-Civilian Divide:" On War, Citizenship, and Obligation »

A talk by Bill Maurer Dean, School of Social Sciences Professor, Anthropology and Law Director, Institute for Money, Technology, and Financial Inclusion University of California, Irvine Monday, November 27, 2017 1:30 - 3:00PM 225 Friedl Building, East Campus Without using the word, logistics engineers are really worried about the Anthropocene. And they have begun to attract the interest of all sorts of radical thinkers, from regenerative agriculture proponents to technologists embedding smart sensors in… read more about Logistical Visions: Blockchains, Supply Chains, and Anthropological Claims in the Anthropocene »

Video of October 26, 2017  talk by Donna Haraway Watch:  Making OddKin: Telling Stories for Earthly Survival Multispecies environmental and reproductive justice must be practiced against human exceptionalism and in resistance to colonial capitalist divisions of species, landscapes, peoples, classes, genders, populations, races, natures, and societies. Easy to say; hard to do. The language and politics of these categories alone block needed stories, needed practices. But a turn to SF—to string… read more about Video of recent Donna Haraway talk: Making OddKin: Telling Stories for Earthly Survival »

"I had no intention of doing portraits. As Professor Poncho Herrera and I walked up to the group of octogenarians demonstrating quietly in Benito Juárez Park in the middle of the city I had only asked in Spanish if I might make some photographs. I meant the general scene—the signs they were holding demanding their retirement benefits, their banners that told the story of the Braceros, maybe a few groupings of those who had worked in the United States some years between 1942 and 1964. Especially since I had arrived… read more about Faces of Time: The Braceros of Ciudad Juarez »

Duke University junior Ashlyn Nuckols is among 20 students nationwide selected as 2017 Beinecke Scholars. The Beinecke Scholarship supports students of exceptional promise as they attend the graduate school of their choice. Beinecke recipients receive $4,000 in their senior year of undergraduate studies and $30,000 during graduate school. A student must apply as a junior, demonstrate financial need and plan to study arts, humanities or social sciences.… read more about Cultural Anthropology major Ashlyn Nuckols named 2017 Beinecke Scholar »

Gabi Weiss, cultural anthropology major and senior thesis writers, has been awarded a Winfred Quinton Holton Prize for Educational Research by Duke's Program in Education. Gabi's project considers the impacts of elite education on students, finding that the pressure to always succeed inculcates an intense risk aversion in students, among other negative consequences. For more on the award, see: read more about Cultural Anthropology major Gabi Weiss awarded a Winfred Quinton Holton Prize »

Research projects that explore new possibilities for energy storage, reliability, and sustainable development will receive funding in 2017 from the Duke University Energy Initiative’s Energy Research Seed Fund. Seven projects involving 14 faculty members were selected to receive a total of $240,000 from the fund. Cultural Anthropology's Christine Folch received one of these awards. Itaipú Binational Dam is the world’s largest dam in terms of energy production, supplying 18% of Brazil’s electricity and 85% of Paraguay’s.… read more about Energy Initiative Awards Seven New Seed Grants »

Television isn’t a standard jumping-off point for an academic course. But The Wire, the acclaimed HBO series that ran from 2002 through 2008 and that Entertainment Weekly ranked as the best-ever TV show, isn’t standard television. Its layered, engrossing depiction of Baltimore—informed by creator and writer David Simon’s work as a police reporter for The Baltimore Sun—appealed to Anne-Maria Makhulu, an associate professor of cultural anthropology and African & African American studies. After… read more about Bookbag: AAAS/CULANTH 333S The Wire »

“Do you lock your house at night?” That was how Luke, a 19-year-old community college student I’d hired to work with me on a home improvement project, responded when he heard that I wrote a book about the U.S.-Mexico border. His point was that a border without a wall is akin to an unlocked home. Luke, a white Christian from a rural area and likely the most polite young man I’ve ever met, had me pegged me as a liberal weak on security. I know the argument well. Luke’s question may just have summed up the entire debate.… read more about Security comes from strong communities, not border walls »

By Duke Today Staff The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded two grant fellowships to Duke University faculty members for their respective work in humanities-based advanced research programs —one focusing on post-apartheid mobility, while the other is digital catalog connected to an upcoming Duke exhibit. Anne-Maria Makhulu, associate professor in the Department of Cultural Anthropology and African and African American Studies, and Kristin Huffman Lanzoni, instructor in the Department of Art, Art… read more about Two Trinity Faculty Members Receive NEH Grant »

After decades of seeing close-up the desultory record of Western technology-based development projects in West Africa, cultural anthropologist Charles Piot tells his students to take a different approach: Start by exploring the culture and be prepared to fail at first. Now after several years of creative Duke Engage projects in a rural area of Togo, his students are writing about their experiences, successes and setbacks in a new Duke University Press book, “Doing Development in West Africa.” The lessons, Piot said, may… read more about A Togo Model for Student-Led Development Projects: Duke Engage students tackle development in West Africa in new Duke Press book »

This Trinity College Distinguished Teaching Award is one of four that recognizes truly outstanding teaching in the College. Recipients are selected on the basis of their ability to encourage intellectual excitement and curiosity in students, knowledge of a field and ability to communicate it, organizational skills, mentorship of students, and commitment to excellent teaching over time. The award is in the amount of $5,000.” Congratulations Harris!!! read more about Harris Solomon is the recipient of the Robert Cox teaching award, the highest award Duke offers for teaching »

For the 12th straight year, Duke University is one of the top producers of U.S. Fulbright Scholars, with 12 students awarded the latest scholarships, the U.S. Department of State announced Monday. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Read more about the Fulbright Scholars in the following Duke Today article.   read more about Cultural Anthropology major Carlton Lawrence T'15 has been named a Fulbright Scholar »

"Left of Black" host Mark Anthony Neal is joined by Anne-Maria Makhulu to discuss her latest book, “Making Freedom: Apartheid, Squatter Politics, and the Struggle for Home”.  Makhulu is an Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology and African and African American Studies at Duke University.  Watch the interview: Squatter Politics in Post-Apartheid Africa.   read more about Anne-Maria Makhulu Discusses New Book on "Left of Black"  »

Inspired by the events on Duke’s campus, and Rae Paris’ “An Open Letter of Love to Black Students,” the Department of Cultural Anthropoloy collectively authored an open letter to mark its solidarity with calls for fuller accountability on matters of social justice at Duke.  "We're writing to tell you we see you and hear you."  Read the full letter on The Chronicle.   read more about "An Open Letter of Love" to Our Students »

There are varying explanations for the uptick in violence in Israel-Palestine over the past few days, but one explanation that appears to have caught on with the Israeli government and much Western media, according to Duke University cultural anthropologist Rebecca Stein, is incitement through social media. As she notes, the word occupation is nowhere to be found in this new narrative.  Read more read more about Interview with Rebecca Stein: The Intifada, Viral Death, and the Facebook Fallacy »

Carl is one of only two Duke undergraduates to be awarded a Fulbright undergraduate student research grant his year.  His project "Engaging Alternatives in South African Medical Education: A Study of the Hidden Curriculum" will examine the informal messages conveyed at South African medical schools surrounding traditional, complementary, and alternative medicines. Stigmatization of these alternatives has been shown to have negative consequences on patient care, and it is thus essential we explore both… read more about Carl Lawrence, a Cultural Anthropology major, was awarded a Fulbright Student Research Grant »