- Professor, Cornell Law School, Cornell University
- Academic Director, Cornell Law School, Cornell University
- Professor, Anthropology (ANTHR), College of Arts and Sciences
As an anthropologist, I am attracted to those subjects that seem most resistant to ethnographic study, and as a lawyer, I am committed to anthropology's unique contribution to contemporary legal, political and epistemological debates. Ethnographic subjects that interest me include bureaucracies and institutions, law, markets, theories (from law to economics, science and gender) and modern knowledge of all kinds. This interest emerges for me out of my engagement with the remarkable contributions of feminist anthropology, the anthropology of science, and Melanesian anthropology to the anthropology of the contemporary. My first book, The Network Inside Out, concerned knowledge practices among UN bureaucrats and NGO activists working on "gender issues" in the Pacific. There, the problem was a set of practices (networking, debating the nature of a "gender perspective") that overlapped with anthropology's own methods of analysis. A later edited collection, Documents: Artifacts of Modern Knowledge, concerned how to bring documents and documentary practices into view as ethnographic subjects, and what these subjects might tell us about the state of anthropological theory and its engagement with kindred disciplines at this moment. After ethnographic work in Fiji, I conducted ten years of fieldwork among financial regulators and lawyers in Japan. My latest book, Collateral Knowledge: Legal Reasoning in the Global Financial Markets , is an ethnographic rendition of legal theory, and legal technicality as constitutive of markets. I also write about financial markets regulation on my blog, http://blogs.cornell.edu/collateralknowledge/ . In addition, I founded and currently direct Meridian 180, an online venue for a new genre of experimental ethnographic project in which ethnographers and experts collaborate to produce and reflect together on particular transnational fields of inquiry. It currently operates in three languages (English, Chinese, Japanese). For more about my views on the anthropology of law, see a short essay recently published in the Anthropology Newsletter and posted at http://www.aaanet.org/apla/fromf2.htm .
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other Cornell affiliations
- David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future (ACSF) Faculty Fellow