News

The Department of Cultural Anthropology mourns the loss of Dr. Paul Farmer, who died today in Rwanda. A 1982 graduate of our program, Dr. Farmer generated a vision for bridging anthropology, social justice, and global health that has inspired our students and our discipline. His is a model for how scholars can make the world a more just and equitable place. We join others in expressing our profound condolences to his family. read more about Dr Paul Farmer, a renowned American physician and co-founder of Partners in Health @PIH, has died aged 62. »

How can anthropology cultivate attention—not to what ethnographic listening is, for it undoubtedly varies, but to what ethnographic listening could be? How might this change how we, anthropologists, teach and practice listening?  Read more.    read more about "Ten Ways to Listen" »

How a Twitter debate about race rejected classical music norms and created space for new forms of appreciation. “Ok, who had the #BeethovenwasBlack on their 2020 plot twist bingo card?” read one tweet. “Allegedly #Beethoven used to powder the f*** out of his skin and used body doubles for portraits. Hopefully he was finessing to get paid the dollars he deserved and it wasn’t from self-hate,” claimed another. “That ‘Beethoven was black!’ thing hasn’t got much convincing evidence. Stop repeating it,” retorted a third.… read more about Anthropology News "Black Beethoven" »

When Michaeline Crichlow moved from her native St. Lucia to upstate New York, she had a lot to learn — and not just in the graduate program she attended at Binghamton University. “I became a Black person not in the Caribbean, but in the United States,” said the professor and interim chair of African & African American Studies. Race wasn’t often discussed in St. Lucia, where the vast majority of the population is Black. The rare times it was, the conversation wasn’t about Black and white, but the Indo-Caribbean peoples… read more about What Decolonization Means »

THE AFTERMATH of the Israel-Hamas war of May 2021 left many unanswered questions but one decisive assessment: the wartime footage shot by Palestinians had been unprecedented. The sense of a media watershed was near universal, from the Twitter feeds of anti-occupation activists to the pages of right-wing Israeli newspapers. Some pundits stressed the newfound velocity of the eyewitness footage, now circulating at unprecedented speeds. Others emphasized videographic volume, including footage shot by Gazans in the very midst… read more about Viral Occupation: Palestine and the Video Revolution »

In December 2020, to the tune of rousing cheers, the first health care workers began getting vaccinated against Covid-19. A year later, the cheers have died down, vaccination rates have plateaued, and the Omicron wave has hit the U.S. with one million daily cases registered during the first week of January 2022. Yet despite the hard work and sacrifices of health care workers, many of them haven’t seen pay raises. As 2022 begins with another wave of infections, it remains imperative to shine a light on working… read more about Omicron Magnifies the Distress in the Health Care Labor System »

One day between his first and second years as a master’s student, Joseph Hiller found himself in Calle Donceles, the historic downtown center of Mexico City, hopping among the many old used bookstores the area was known for. These were the kind of places that had 10-foot-tall bookcases with dusty shelves, collections with endless categories, and stacks of old, unexpected gems—the kind of places he had read about in The Savage Detectives, Chilean novelist Roberto Bolaño’s work about poets in 1970s Mexico City… read more about Latin-American Literary Treasure Hunt? »

Students in “Amazon.com and the Cybereconomy” in Fall 2021 learned more about the e-commerce giant from guest speakers including Amazon executives, warehouse workers, and social critics.  They did their own research to produce a website that explores the many dimensions of Amazon’s empire from AWS to the mythologies around founder Jeff Bezos and labor conditions at Amazon fulfillment centers:  https://sites.duke.edu/theamazonproject/ read more about The Amazon Project: Students Produce Website about Amazon.com »

From the November 2021 issue of PHDigest, a monthly e-newsletter focused on doctoral students in the social sciences. Student Spotlight: Hannah Borenstein Hannah is a PhD candidate in the Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. Her dissertation research is an ethnographic project investigating the lives of Ethiopian women long-distance runners navigating a transnational network of coaches, agents, and sponsorship companies. She explores the relationships that emerge between… read more about Student spotlight with Hannah Borenstein »

Online symposium "Frantz Fanon, Sixty Years After" Friday, December 3  12:00PM East You can register via Zoom to attend the symposium online: https://duke.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0sdO2uqjstHNBRoiiFOk__h56L7xtfP87s Frantz Fanon's work has profoundly influenced militants of the Global South and Black Power struggle, factions of the Andean Indigenous guerrillas of the 1980s, and continues to be a vital reference in today’s social movements such as Black Lives Matter.… read more about Frantz Fanon, Sixty Years After »

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS The American Society of Ethnohistory annually recognizes the outstanding scholarship and contributions of our exceptional members whose lifetime of hard work and dedication to ASE, their outstanding scholarship, and their mentoring of young scholars have been crucial in establishing and maintaining our organization. Although we can never thank them sufficiently for their contributions we hope that recognizing them at our annual meeting will be a partial thank you for their hard work.… read more about Professor Emerita of Cultural Anthropology Irene Silverblatt receives Lifetime Achievement Award »

There are times when a Duke author has knowledge to share but it just won't work as a scholarly publication. The books below all address large issues, from fighting tyranny to facing death, but they come through the personal stories of the authors.  These books, along with many others, are available at Duke University Libraries, the Gothic Bookshop or the Regulator Bookshop. No Cure for Being Human (and other truths I need to hear), by Kate… read more about 10 Duke-Authored Memoirs Have Stories to Tell »

SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR Rebekah Alvarenga is a junior majoring in Visual & Media Studies and Cultural Anthropology with a Documentary Studies certificate. As a first-generation Latina, Rebekah is interested in visual storytelling and the educational experiences of first-generation students. The mediums of storytelling she focuses on are documentary photography, artists books, and film. At Duke, she is the co-president of Duke KSAC and is a photographer for The Chronicle. Rebekah loves strolling the gardens or… read more about Duke Arts featuring cultural anthropology major Rebekah Alvarenga ‘23 »

Sarah Bruno Emotional Dexterity: Afro-Puerto Rican Resistencia in Bomba's Batey and the Digital Space 4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. EST Wednesday, November 10, 2021 Ahmadieh Family Lecture Hall (C105, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse) or online via Zoom Registration required. In-person attendance is limited to current Duke faculty, students, and staff. Please register to attend in-person here à https://duke.is/rwnsu Please register for the livestream… read more about Sarah Bruno Emotional Dexterity: Afro-Puerto Rican Resistencia in Bomba's Batey and the Digital Space »

RESPONSE-ABILITY: Anthropology and Activism A conversation with faculty and graduate students on political commit/meants Cultural Anthropology professors Christine Folch, Anne-Maria Makhulu, and Ralph Litzinger, and graduate students, Naledi Yaziyo, Joe Hiller, and Hannah Borenstein In person Monday, November 8, 2021 1:30pm Friedl Building, Room 225 And Join Zoom Meeting Registration Required  https://duke.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0tduyoqDksH904p_8XLIBekuNLXRjBIfcT "Response-ability is about both absence and… read more about Response-Ability: Anthropology and Activism »

Ethnomusicology Lecture Yana Stainova (McMaster University) "Sonorous Worlds: Musical Enchantment in Venezuela" Friday, November 5 4 pm — Online. Register in advance for this meeting: https://duke.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAude6orzIpE9KRHWM3laMe1jT-UbW-z32D After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Yana Stainova, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at McMaster University, is interested in art, urban poverty, social inequality, migration,… read more about Yana Stainova "Sonorous Worlds: Musical Enchantment in Venezuela" »

A new faculty-led Trinity College project, which examines the politics and histories of intercollegiate athletics and athletes, will include a Cultural Anthropology course this Spring. “Race and the Business of College Sports(CULANTH 290) is part of the new “Black in Blue: The Sports and Race Project” – a project that includes classes, public events, workshops and podcasts as it critically studies race and sports at Duke, within its geographic placement, and beyond. “Race and the… read more about Course on Race and College Sports Offered this Spring »

This summer a coalition of seventeen media organizations published a series of articles indicting the NSO Group, an Israeli cyberespionage company. The consortium of journalists, working in conjunction with civil society organizations like Amnesty International, alleged that thousands of dissidents, human rights workers, and opposition politicians around the world had been targeted by the NSO’s Pegasus spyware. Outrage over what a U.S. White House spokesperson condemned as “extrajudicial… read more about Sophia Goodfriend: "Cyberespionage with Benefits" »

Rebecca L. Stein Oct 20, 2021 Screen Shots State Violence on Camera in Israel and Palestine STANFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 2021 In the last two decades, amid the global spread of smartphones, state killings of civilians have increasingly been captured on the cameras of both bystanders and police. Screen Shots: State Violence on Camera in Israel and Palestine (Stanford UP, 2021) studies this phenomenon from the vantage point of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Here, cameras have… read more about Rebecca Stein's new book "Screen Shots" featured on New Book Network »