Browse Curated Collections




After the words “America” and “United States,” President Donald Trump mentioned sovereignty more than any other topic in his speech to the UN General Assembly in September 2017. Trump linked sovereignty to global prosperity, calling for what might alternately be called noninterference or American isolationism. Recently, other countries have also invoked national More...




Precarity is an emerging abandonment that pushes us away from a livable life. In a growing body of scholarship centered on social marginalization, the concept of precarity has come to name “the politically induced condition in which certain populations suffer from failing social and economic networks . . . becoming differentially exposed to injury, violence, and death” (Butler 2009, More...



Reclaiming Hope

Has hope become a word that betrays you? In an escalating “war on words” (van Eekelen, Gonzalez, Stotzer, and Tsing 2004, 1), has hope bulldozed over our dreams? During the 2008 U.S. presidential election, “hope” became yet another vacuous political slogan (Kirksey 2012, 20). Shortly after Barack Obama was elected, many people who had dared to harbor dreams of political More...



Everyday Islam

This collection gathers together five articles previously published in Cultural Anthropology, by Naveeda Khan, Hayder Al-Mohammad, Carolyn Rouse and Janet Hoskins, Kenneth George, and Arzoo Osanloo. The collection also includes interviews with the authors, who reflect on their work, as well a commentary on the whole collection from Charles Hirschkind. The articles engage with everyday aspects of More...



Affect, Embodiment and Sense Perception

Editorial Introduction: Recent trends in social theory have placed great importance on “affect” for both analytic and political reasons, but the term is somewhat vague and ambiguous. For example, it has been described as felt bodily intensity that is: different from emotion and language; pre-social, but not asocial; material—or somehow pertaining to matter; dynamic and More...




Editorial Introduction: Infrastructures are the systems that enable circulation of goods, knowledge, meaning, people, and power. In Splintering Urbanism (2001), Stephen Graham and Simon Marvin argue that we can see the role of public infrastructures and new technologies in facilitating the mobility of people, goods, and utilities when old forms decay. As Brian Larkin (2008) notes, the More...


Ethnographies of Science

In a 2001 themed issue of Cultural Anthropology, "Anthropology and/in/of Science," editor Daniel Segal noted a scarcity of ethnographically grounded accounts of the practices of scientists.  In this collection we aim to highlight ethnographies of science, with particular attention to those that are concerned with the tools and epistemic objects of the sciences and are grounded by research More...


Literature, Writing, and Anthropology

What is the work that stories do? Our Curated Collection on “Literature, Writing, and Anthropology” seeks to address this question by creating a space in which fiction and anthropology converge, collide, and collapse into one another. This collection, a collaboration between Cultural Anthropology and the literary journal American Short Fiction, features articles, More...


The Digital Form

Editorial Intoduction Digital technology has been celebrated in recent years for its capacity to foment political change - as evidenced by the role of social media networks in the “Arab Spring” - and spur development – as indicated by the popularity of ICT4D [Information and Communication Technologies For Development] projects throughout the world.  Such events offer potent More...


Subaltern Studies

In the preface to the inaugural issue of Subaltern Studies, published in 1982, Indian historian Ranajit Guha called for more academic work on subaltern themes and critiques of elitism.  Almost 30 years later, his call has been answered in variety of ways.  Moving beyond the focus on South Asia, the Subaltern Studies Collective has influenced the nature of research all over the world and More...




What roles might the concept of ritual play in the study of contemporary society and culture? As one of the founding concepts of our discipline, ritual has long been a cornerstone of anthropological thought: from the works of Emile Durkheim through Gregory Bateson, Claude Levi-Strauss, Mary Douglas, and Victor Turner, countless classics have been built upon this infinitely perplexing and thus More...



This virtual issue of Cultural Anthropology engages longstanding anthropological themes such as politics, religion, and consumption through the prism of youth.  By selecting articles that are meant to generate discussions of broad disciplinary interest and that speak to contemporary concerns, including media, popular culture, and migration, we also want to invite new interlocutors to More...




Editors' Introduction Cultural Anthropology is excited to present six essays that it has published in recent years as part of its third virtual issue for 2010 on the theme of Cosmopolitanism. From belly-dancing in contemporary Istanbul to blood donation among Gujaratis in Houston; from the “Ghost Worlds” of Bollywood to the creation and maintenance of “Recursive Publics” More...



Editor's Introduction By Ashley Carse We encounter water no matter where we live and work. It trickles across forest floors and consolidates in rivers.  It collects behind dams, runs under cities, and is diverted into irrigation systems.  It is pumped from wells and travels in plastic bottles.  It makes up our bodies and shapes our institutions.  However, a search of More...


Business Cultures

Editor's Introduction By Esra Ozkan In response to the increasing encounters between global commodities and local markets, the recent economic crisis that has affected millions globally, the collapse of major financial institutions, and the escalating volatility of the corporate landscape, this Virtual Issue brings together five essays published by Cultural Anthropology which More...




Editor's Introduction In response to the often-deafening debates concerning the marriage equality movement in the US, clandestine polygamous marriages in Italy, transnational adoptions, and expanding global access to medicalized reproduction, this Curated Collection draws together five recent essays to be published by Cultural Anthropology which critically examine the topic of kinships. Through More...



Editors' Introduction From terrorism to swine flu, to the current economic crisis, issues of security, broadly defined and experienced, seem to be taking front and centre stage in our contemporary moment. In light of this, Cultural Anthropology has decided to focus a special virtual issue on the theme of “security.” The virtual issue spotlights five articles from Cultural More...