Professor of Anthropology
Coordinator, International Studies
Ph.D. Anthropology, University
of California, Berkeley, 1986
M.A. Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, 1981
B.A. Anthropology and Sociology, Macalester College, St. Paul, 1979
My scholarly research and writing is centered on the cultural politics of nationhood in Europe, with particular attention to practices of dehumanization and inhumanity, whether under the colonial, imperialist, fascist, and cold-war capitalist or contemporary security state. Corresponding areas of specialty and interest include the political anthropology of the body, racial formations, regimes of exclusion, violence and genocide, the politics of memory and suffering, and human rights.
With a focus on the aberrant conditions of modernity and global capitalism, my research brings to light how national sovereignties produce borders, subjects, and militarized geographies by a reliance on imaginaries of otherness and difference. My work investigates the accompanying politics of gender, race, sexuality, and space, and the specific forms of violence (physical, symbolic, judicial) that are thereby produced and sustained. Based on extensive fieldwork in Europe, with long term projects in Germany, my goal has been to develop an innovative analytic approach to the articulations of modern governmentality, fields of power, hegemonies of media and visual culture, the normalization of racial aesthetics and violence, and cultural practices of exclusion.
I have written extensively on violence, genocide, and social suffering. My major publications include the following books: Cultures of Fear: A Critical Reader (as co-editor); German Bodies: Race and Representation After Hitler; Blood and Nation: The European Aesthetics of Race; and Denying Biology (as coeditor). I have published dozens of essays and articles that appeared in edited volumes and scholarly journals, including Comparative Studies in Society and History, Journal of Anthropological Theory, Anthropology Today, American Anthropologist, History and Anthropology, Transforming Anthropology, and New German Critique.
Among my recent works are ‘Gendering Europe-Europeanizing Gender’ in The Handbook of Postwar European History (Oxford University Press 2010), ‘The Limits of Empathy’ in Genocide (Duke University Press 2009), and ‘Contact Zones: Rethinking the Sensual Life of the State’ (Anthropological Theory 2006). In a related book manuscript in preparation, I take a look at the social worlds of racialization and the sensual life of the state in an attempt to rethink the operation of the political apparatus through the memory of the senses. My current projects include an exploration of European border militarism and black masculinities, forthcoming in Europe in Black and White (Intellect, 2010).
In addition to national and international speaking engagements, I have held faculty positions at the University of Toronto (Canada), the Central European University in Budapest (Hungary), Rutgers University (USA), and the University of Tuebingen (Germany). My research has been made possible by various fellowships and grants, including a Regents Fellowship (UC Berkeley), a Phi Beta Kappa graduate scholarship, the Social Science Research Council (Berlin program), the National Science Foundation, and support from the Harry Frank F. Guggenheim Foundation.
2009 (as coeditor) Cultures of Fear: A Critical Reader. London: Pluto Press.
1999 German Bodies: Race and Representation after Hitler. New York: Routledge.
1999 Blood and Nation: The European Aesthetics of Race. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
1996 (as coeditor) Denying Biology. Lanham: UPA.
n.d. Off the Edge of Europe: Border Regimes, Visual Culture, and the Politics of Race. In Senses and Citizenships. Christine Dureau, Julie Park, and Susanna Trnka, eds. (forthcoming).
2012 Mobile Imaginaries, Portable Signs: The Global Consumption of Iconic Representations of Slum Life. Tourism Geographies 14 (special issue: Slum Tourism, edited by Ko Koens and Fabian Frenzel): in press.
2012 Gendering Europe—Europeanizing Gender: The Politics of Difference in a Global Era. In: The Oxford Handbook of Postwar European History. Dan Stone (ed). Pp. 401-443. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2011 Technologies of Othering: Black Masculinities in the Carceral Zones of European Whiteness. In: Europe in Black and White (Manuela Ribeiro Sanches, Fernando Clara, Joao Ferreira Duarte, and Leonor Pires Martins, eds.). Chicago: Intellect/The University of Chicago Press, pp. 123-142.
2011 Review: Anthropology at War: World War I and the Science of Race in Germany by Andrew D. Evans (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010). In: Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 17 (3): 676-677.
2010 Body-Shock: The Political Aesthetics of Death. Social Analysis: The International Journal of Social and Cultural Practice 54 (2/Summer): 80-98.
2010 Fortress Europe: Globalization, Militarization, and the Policing of the Interior Borderland. TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, No. 23/24, November (special double issue: Cultures of Militarization, edited by Jodie Berland): 100-120.
2010 Review: Beyond the Gymnasium: Educating the Middle-Class Bodies in Classical Germany by Heikki Lempa. In The American Historical Review 115 (February): 310-311.
2009 (with Danielle T. Smith) Fear: A Conceptual Framework. In Cultures of Fear: A Critical Reader. U. Linke and D. T. Smith, eds. Pp. 1-17. London: Pluto Press.
2009 The Limits of Empathy: Emotional Anesthesia and the ‘Museum of Corpses’ in Post-Holocaust Germany. In Genocide: Truth, Memory, and Representation. Alexander L. Hinton and Kevin O' Neill, eds. Pp. 147-191. Durham: Duke University Press.
2009 Touching the Corpse. In The Anatomy of ‘Body Worlds’: Critical Essays. T. Christine Jespersen, Alicita Rodríguez, and Joseph Starr, eds. Pp. 232-256. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press.
2009 (with Danielle T. Smith) War and Terror: The Global Displacement of Populations. In Peace, Justice, and Security Studies. Timothy A. McElwee, B.Welling Hall, Joseph Liechty, Julie Garber, eds. London: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
2008 Die Sprache als Koerper (Language as Body). In Empirische Kulturwissenschaft: Eine Tuebinger Enzyplopaedie. Reinhard Johler and Bernhard Tschofen, eds. Pp. 669-683. Tuebingen: TV Verlag.
2008 Desire for the Other: The Figure of the Primitive in Western Critiques of Modernity (review). Anthropology and Humanism 33 (2).
2008 New Religions and the Nazis by Karla Poewe (Routledge). Book Review. Ethnos 73 (4): 567-568.
2007 Dismembering and Remembering the Civilizing Process in German History. In H-Net Book Review, November: H-German@h-net.msu.edu.
2007 Why Did They Kill? Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide by Alexander L. Hinton (University of California Press, 2005). Book Review. Journal of Genocide Research 9 (4): 24-26.
2007 (with Danielle T. Smith) Curricular Strategies: Teaching about War and Terror. In Teaching the Sociology of Peace, War, and Military Institutions. 4th Edition, Morten G. Ender, Lynne Woerhle, and Ryan Kelty, eds. Washington DC: ASA Teaching Resource Center.
2006 Art for Art’s Sake? Anthropology Today 22 (6): 23.
2006 Symptoms of Modernity: Jews and Queers in Late-Twentieth-Century Vienna by Matti Bunzl (University of California Press, 2004). Book review. American Anthropologist 108 (4): 890-91.
2006 Contact Zones: Rethinking the Sensual Life of the State. Journal of Anthropological Theory 6/2 (June): 205-225.
2006 Spirit and System: Media, Intellectuals, and the Dialectic in Modern Germany by Dominic Boyer (University of Chicago Press, 2005). Book review. American Ethnologist 33 (2): 2 pages (online).
2006 Theatrum anatomicum: Zur gesellschaftlichen Dramaturgie einer Körperöffentlichkeit. In Verführerische Leichen - Verbotener Verfall: ‘Körperwelten’ als gesellschaftliches Schlüsselereignis. Liselotte Hermes da Fonseca and Thomas Kliche, eds. Pp. 140-182. Perspektiven Politischer Psychologie, Bd. 1. Berlin: Pabst Science Publishers.
2005 Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory by Andreas Huyssen (Stanford University Press, 2003). Book review. CLIO: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History 35 (1): 137-144.
2005 Touching the Corpse: The Unmaking of Memory in the Body-Museum. Anthropology Today 21 (5): 15-19.
2005 The Theft of Blood, the Birth of Men: Cultural Constructions of Gender in Medieval Iceland. In Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism, Vol. 75 (Jelena Krstovic, ed.), pp. 344-375. Thomson Gale.
2004 Shame on the Skin: Post-Holocaust Memory and the German Aesthetics of Whiteness. In Colors 1800/1900/2000: Signs of Ethnic Difference. Birgit Tautz, ed. Pp. 183-211. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
2004 Ethnolinguistic Racism: The Predicaments of Sovereignty and Nationhood under Global
Capitalism. Journal of Anthropological Theory 4 (2): 205-228.
2004 Ethnic Masquerade on Stage. In H-Net Book Review, October: H-German@h-net.msu.edu.
2004 Creating Germans Abroad: Cultural Policies and National Identity in Namibia by Daniel Joseph Walter (Ohio University Press), book review. American Anthropologist 106 (3): 639.
2003 Volks–Körper–Kunde: Ueberlegungen zu einer wissenschaftlichen Amnese [Nation-Body-Science: Reflections on the Unmaking of Memory in the Academy]. In Unterwelten der Kultur. Kaspar Maase and B. J. Warneken, eds. Pp. 65-94. Cologne: Boehlau.
2003 ‘There is a Land Where Everything is Pure’: Linguistic Nationalism and Language Politics in Germany. In: Race, Nature, and the Politics of Difference. Donald S. Moore et al., eds. Pp. 149- 174. Durham: Duke University Press.
2003 Dresden: Paradoxes of Memory in History by Elizabeth A. Ten Dyke (Routledge). Book Review. American Anthropologist 105 (1): 212.
2002 Archives of Violence: The Holocaust and the Politics of German Memory. In Annihilating Difference. Alexander Hinton, ed. Pp. 229-271. Berkeley: University of California Press.
2002 Die Sprache als Körper: Linguistischer Nationalismus und deutsche Sprachpolitik [Language as Body: Linguistic Nationalism and German Language Politics]. In Inspecting Germany. Thomas Hauschild and Bernd Jürgen Warneken, eds. Pp. 290-320. Muenster: LIT-Verlag.
2002 The Violence of Difference: Anti-Semitism and Misogyny. In Sacrifice and National Belonging in Twentieth Century Germany (Walter Prescott Webb Memorial Lectures, 34). Greg Eghigian and Matthew T. Berg, eds. Pp. 148-195. Arlington: Texas A&M University Press.
2002 Culture and the Human Body by John W. Burton (Waveland Press). Book review. American Anthropologist 104 (3): 972-73.
2001 The Anthropology of Collective Memory. In International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences 3.1 (article 42). London: Elsevier.
2001 The Politics of Blood: Anti-Semitic Imaginaries after 1945. In ‘Das Flüstern eines kleinen Wehens’: Beiträge zur Kultur und Lebenswelt europäischer Juden. Freddy Raphael, ed. Pp. 167-82. Constance: Constance University Press.
2001 Even in Sweden: Racism, Racialized Spaces, and the Popular Geographical Imagination by Allan Pred (University of California Press). Book Review. American Ethnologist 24 (4): 944-45.
2000 The New Racism in Europe: A Sicilian Ethnography by Jeffrey Cole (Cambridge University Press). Book review. American Ethnologist 27 (3): 772.
1999 Formations of White Public Space: Racial Aesthetics, Body Politics, and the Nation. Transforming Anthropology 8 (1/2): 129-161.
1998 Fantasizing Violence. City and Society (Annual Review 1997): 135-58.
1997 Gendered Difference, Violent Imagination: Blood, Race, Nation, History. American Anthropologist 99 (2): 559-73.
1997 Memory, Alterity, and Identity in German Political Culture. European Studies in Education 5: 171-85.
1997 Colonizing the National Imaginary: Folklore, Anthropology, and the Making of the Modern State. In Cultures of Scholarship . Sally Humphreys, ed. Pp. 178-223. Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press.
1996 The Origin of Poetry: Narratives of Masculinity and Female Disempowerment in Medieval Iceland. In Denying Biology. W. Shapiro and U. Linke, eds. Pp. 130-165. Lanham: University Press of America.
1996 (with John Borneman) Germany: German anthropology. In European Anthropologies. Vol. I: Ethnography, Ethnology, and Social/Cultural Anthropology. Susan Carol Rogers et al., eds. Pp. 21-22. Washington, DC: American Anthropological Association and Society for the Anthropology of Europe.
1996 Die Anderen und Ich: Vom sich Erkennen, Erkannt- und Anerkanntwerden (Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft). Book Review. American Ethnologist 23 (1): 153-54.
1996 The History of Everyday Life: Reconstructing Historical Experiences and Ways of Life by Alf Luedtke, ed. (Princeton University Press). Book Review. American Ethnologist 23(1): 152.
1995 Power and Culture Theory: Problematizing the Focus of Research in German Folklore Scholarship. In Folklore Interpreted. Regina Bendix and Rosemary Levy Zumwalt, eds. Pp. 417-48. New York: Garland Publishing.
1995 Murderous Fantasies: Violence, Memory, and Selfhood in Germany. New German Critique 64 (Winter): 37-60.
1995 Power Matters: The Politics of Culture in German Folklore Scholarship. History and Anthropology 9 (1): 1-26.
1992 The Theft of Blood, the Birth of Men: Cultural Constructions of Gender in Medieval Iceland. In From Sagas to Society. Gisli Palsson, ed. Pp. 265-88. London: Hisarlik Press.
1992 Manhood, Femaleness, and Power: A Cultural Analysis of Prehistoric Images of Reproduction. Comparative Studies in Society and History 34 (4): 605-646.
1992 Medieval Iceland: Society, Sagas and Power by Jesse L. Byock (University of California Press). Book Review. Journal of American Folklore 105 (418): 503-505.
1990 Folklore, Anthropology, and the Government of Social Life. Comparative Studies in Society and History 32 (1): 117-48.
1989 Women, Androgynes, and Models of Creation in Norse Mythology. The Journal of Psychohistory and Psychoanalytic Anthropology 16 (3): 231-62.
1988 The Language of Resistance: Political Rhetoric and Symbols of Popular Protest in Germany. City & Society: The Journal of the Society for Urban Anthropology 2 (2): 127-33.
1988 (with Alan Dundes) More on Auschwitz Jokes. Folklore 99 (i): 3-10.
1987 (with Alan Dundes) Postscript: More on Auschwitz Jokes. In Cracking Jokes: Studies in Sick Humor Cycles and Stereotypes. Alan Dundes, ed. Pp. 29-38. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press.
1987 Translation from German of ‘Ahasver: A Mythic Image of the Jew’ by E. Isaac-Edersheim. In The Wandering Jew: Essays in the Interpretation of a Christian Legend. Hasan-Rokem and A. Dundes, eds. Pp. 195-210. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
1987 Translation from German of ‘Ahasver, the Eternal Wanderer: Psychological Aspects’ by S. Hurwitz. In The Wandering Jew: Essays in the Interpretation of a Christian Legend. G. Hasan-Rokem and A. Dundes, eds. Pp. 211-26. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
1986 Aids in Africa. Science 231 (January): 203.
1985 Blood as Metaphor in Proto-Indo-European. The Journal of Indo-European Studies 12 (3/4): 333-376.
1982 Caste and Class in Germany: A Study of the Power Politics of Labor Migration 1955-1980. The Kroeber Anthropological Society Papers 61/62: 78-87.
- Global Cities
- Cultural Images of War and Terror
- Global Sexualities
- Bodies and Culture
- Visual Anthropology
- Anthropology of Mass Media
- Divided Europe
- Cultural Anthropology