Cultural Anthropology

The Cultural Anthropology subfield maintains a focus on the study of power and inequality, analyzed in both local and global contexts, and combining historical and ethnographic approaches. Scholars in the subfield tend to share a critical theoretical approach that integrates political-economic analyses with attention to cultural practices and interpretations and to activism, race and racism, diasporas, coloniality and post-coloniality, media, infrastructures, social movements, and other forces of social and historical change. We also maintain a strong focus on spatial aspects of power through the integration of critical geography with the anthropology of space and place.

In recent years, we have deepened our use and integration of antiracist, decolonial, anticapitalist, and feminist lenses in our thinking about what it means to be human in a world, and on a planet, in crisis. In addition, the subfield boasts robust specializations in medical anthropology, environmental anthropology, abolitionist research, globalization, social justice, human-environment relations, postcolonial studies, humanitarianism, postsocialism, migration, media studies, public, engaged, or protest anthropology, and historical anthropology.

Faculty members maintain research interests in both rural and urban contexts, and in the interaction between the two. Faculty interest in agrarian politics, development, and infrastructures have transformed the program’s foundational reputation in both peasant studies and urban studies, making the program a primary destination for students interested in critical urbanism and agrarian transformations. The program has longstanding proficiency in the anthropology of Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe (East, Central, and West), the United States, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, with additional expertise in Africa and Oceania.

Subfield Coordinator for Cultural Anthropology

Jeff Maskovsky
Professor and Executive Officer (Chair)
The Graduate Center
Room 6406.01
Phone: 212-817-8005

Cultural anthropology faculty