Happy World Anthropology Day! Duke University Press joins the American Anthropological Association to recognize the research and achievements of anthropologists around the world. Celebrate the rich contributions of anthropology and the exciting possibilities for the discipline’s future with our new and recent titles.
In the timely new book Avian Reservoirs, Frédéric Keck traces how the anticipation of bird flu pandemics has changed relations between birds and humans in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan, showing that humans’ reliance on birds is key to mitigating future pandemics.
Macarthur “genius” grant winner Julie Livingston shows how the global pursuit of economic and resource-driven growth comes at the expense of catastrophic destruction in her latest book, Self-Devouring Growth, thereby upending popular notions that economic growth and development is necessary for improving a community’s wellbeing.
In another newsworthy recent work, Fencing in Democracy, Margaret E. Dorsey and Miguel Díaz-Barriga argue that border wall construction along the U.S.–Mexico border manifests transformations in citizenship practices that are aimed not only at keeping migrants out but also enmeshing citizens into a wider politics of exclusion.
Also examining the experiences of migrants, Decolonizing Ethnography, co-authors Carolina Alonso Bejarano and Daniel M. Goldstein team up with Lucia López Juárez and Mirian A. Mijangos García, both immigrant workers themselves, to show how to integrate ethnography with activist work. Their fieldwork in a New Jersey center for undocumented workers shows how anthropology can function as a vehicle for activism and as a tool for marginalized people to theorize their own experiences.
In A Possible Anthropology, Anand Pandian offers an ethnography of anthropologists at work: canonical figures like Bronislaw Malinowski and Claude Lévi-Strauss, ethnographic storytellers like Zora Neale Hurston and Ursula K. Le Guin, contemporary scholars like Jane Guyer and Michael Jackson, and artists and indigenous activists inspired by the field. In their company, Pandian explores the moral and political horizons of anthropological inquiry, the creative and transformative potential of an experimental practice.
Political Life in the Wake of the Plantation by Deborah A. Thomas uses the 2010 military and police incursion into the Kingston, Jamaica, Tivoli Gardens neighborhood as a point of departure for theorizing the roots of contemporary state violence in Jamaica and other post-plantation societies.
Savannah Shange traces the afterlives of slavery as lived in a progressive high school set in post-gentrification San Francisco in Progressive Dystopia. Despite the school’s sincere antiracism activism, she shows how it unintentionally perpetuated antiblackness through various practices.
Focusing on Costa Rica and Brazil, Andrea Ballestero examines the legal, political, economic, and bureaucratic history of water in the context of the efforts to classify it as a human right, showing how seemingly small scale devices such as formulas and lists play large role in determining water’s status in A Future History of Water.
In A Revolution in Fragments Mark Goodale uses contemporary Bolivia as an ideal case study with which to theorize the role that political agency, identity, and economic equality play within movements for justice and structural change.
In Otaku and the Struggle for Imagination in Japan, Patrick Galbraith examines Japanese “otaku,” their relationships with fictional girl characters, the Japanese public’s interpretations of them as excessive and perverse, and the Japanese government’s attempts to co-opt them into depictions of “Cool Japan” to an international audience.
In Ethnography #9, Alan Klima examines moneylending, gambling, funeral casinos, and the consultations of spirits and mediums to predict winning lottery numbers to illustrate the relationship between contemporary Thai spiritual and financial practices and global capitalism’s abstraction of monetary value. Klima uses an unconventional, distinctive, and literary form of storytelling in this experimental new work.
Check out our full list of anthropology titles, and sign up here to be notified of new books, special discounts, and more. Share your love of anthropology on social media with the hashtag #AnthroDay today.