What Are You Reading? Responses to the Election and Inauguration

Like many anthropologists, we responded to this postelection moment by turning to books. But confronted by the long lists of readings in crowdsourced syllabi, we were both impressed and paralyzed by the impossibility of reading such a vast number of pages. To help us figure out what to read first—and to help the readers of Cultural Anthropology do the same—we asked a number of scholars, including early-career scholars in our Contributing Editors Program, to reflect on a text (or a few) that has helped them to understand the current political moment. We’ve compiled their responses here.

This is an ongoing, community-built project: if you would like to submit a post to this series, please email Ned Dostaler (ned.dostaler@gmail.com) or Julia Sizek (jsizek@gmail.com) with your contribution of approximately 350–450 words, discussing a small number of texts. We welcome a wide range of submissions, from personal narratives to more academic takes on the issues of the day.

Posts in This Series

Pierre Bourdieu and Antonio Gramsci

Octavia Butler

John Hartigan

Zora Neale Hurston and Gerald Berreman

Michel Foucault

Cheryl Harris and Robin D. G. Kelley

Iris Marion Young and Ernst Kantorowicz

Ashis Nandy, Teju Cole, and Zadie Smith

Ari Ne’eman, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Hortense Spillers, and Elizabeth Povinelli

Anna Tsing and Michael Taussig

Edward Casey and Mary Watkins

Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Maureen N. McLane