Recently, the discipline of anthropology has faced much-needed critique from a chorus of young and dynamic scholars. These critiques emerged in the face of the scandal surrounding the journal HAU. In this Hot Spots series, sixteen anthropologists attend to calls for an open and robust discussion about anthropology and its possible futures, given the power dynamics of racism, elitism, sexism, and violence within the field historically and continuing into the present. Each of the essays in this series responds to all or part of the following question:
In the wake of #HAUtalk and in the face of conversations and debates about decolonization; the #MeToo movement; academic precarity; academic racism, sexism, and elitism; the horrifying state of the planet today; and open-access publishing, what kind of anthropology do you see as important and relevant for the future of the field and the future of training students?
Posts in This Series
Introduction: From Reciprocity to Relationality
On June 11, 2018, I was—as I always am during the North American academic summer—in Papua New Guinea, where I do anthropological work that includes research, te... More
Regenerating Anthropologies with Hau
hau 1. n. A lowland tree (Hibiscus tiliaceus) [. . .] 2. nvs. Cool . . . ice . . . dew, snow . . . a cool breeze [ . . .] 4. [. . .] to offer, as a sacrifice or... More
When I was nine years old, I visited my mother in France, where she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Sorbonne. While in Paris, we went to the cinema to see a fi... More
Hijacking the Elevator
Henry Kissinger is said to have quipped that the fights in academia are so vicious because the stakes are so low. But they’re not, really. The stakes are high w... More
Whose Worlds? Whose Anthropologies?
In reflecting on the kind of anthropology that will be relevant for the future, I find it useful to look back to the world anthropologies proposals of the past ... More
The Future of Anthropology Starts from Within
I write as an anticolonial scholar and educator of color who still believes in the possibilities for research and teaching—the power of knowledge—to foster soci... More
Fugitive Work: On the Criminal Possibilities of Anthropology
“THE ONLY POSSIBLE RELATIONSHIP TO THE UNIVERSITY TODAY IS A CRIMINAL ONE.” So wrote Fred Moten and Stefano Harney (2013, 26), in all capitals, in their influ... More
Theory Isn’t What It Used to Be
A friend in public health who works on topics that intersect with my areas of research (environment, sustainability, resources) recently asked me: “Why don’t an... More
Anthropology after #MeToo
My students have been writing to me about consent forms. In Scotland, summer is when Honors students conduct the research for their fourth-year projects, and ... More
Still Naughty after All These Years?
In the past six years I have had the enormous privilege of welcoming 250 undergraduate students to anthropology. Central to the first lecture that I give are th... More
Melanesian Anthropology Em Nem Nating
In 2015, the Malinowski’s Legacy conference was held in Alotau, Papua New Guinea to commemorate the work of the renowned anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski, wh... More
Beyond the Hot Take
Over two decades, I have watched Warlpiri friends perilously navigate increasingly volatile life circumstances. I observe through what are now conventional fo... More
A is for Anthropology, Affordances, Ambivalence, Aotearoa
The year 2018 marked a significant conjuncture for me as a teacher of anthropology. It is the year I resumed teaching Anthropology 101 after an interval of a de... More
Anthropology Needs You Much More than You Need Anthropology
Dear Prospective Graduate Student, Thank you for contacting me regarding pursuing a PhD in anthropology. I appreciate your interest in working with me and see p... More
Strange person. You arrived one day. From other places. Of other peopleYou said you were seeking knowledge. My friend. AnthropologistBewitched by your strangen... More
Afterword: Why Anthropology?
In considering the future of anthropology, I begin with a few assumptions. I assume that if you are reading this you care about other human beings in all of t... More