Samuel C. Dobbs Professor of Anthropology
Emory University, Atlanta
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My research combines cultural and political economic analysis across a range of developing countries, and comparatively. In today’s world, as also historically, culture relates integrally to formations of social inequality and political control or domination. Across various geographic and temporal scales, I am concerned with the critical and comparative theorization of social and cultural change, including in relation to imposed disempowerment, civil strife, and endogenously or internally generated inequality. My publications have addressed issues of modernity and marginality, social and critical theory, politics and violence, projective states of consciousness, and gender and sexuality.
Geographically, my research was originally been based in rainforest Papua New Guinea among the Gebusi people, who I have restudied several times and continue to visit. During the past fifteen years, I have also conducted extensive project work supported by the Ford Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation; this work has investigated and practically brought together engaged scholars, civil society leaders, and policy makers in and between a range of developing countries in West and East Africa and in Asia across the Himalayas, inner Asia, and Myanmar/Burma. For a description of the States at Regional Risk Project (SARR) and the Comparative Post-conflict Recovery Project (CPRP), both of which I have directed, click here. See also the newsletter article, “Moving Forward, Postconflict.” For other articles, click here. For greater specification of theoretical and empirical interests, see “Description of Interests.”
During my years at Emory, I have mentored student interests across a broad range of world areas, topics, and disciplinary perspectives. Drawing on my work in the Himalayas and other parts of Asia, I have also developed a significant interest in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, meditation, and practice, including in relation to alternataive social and political formations.
My eight books include The Gebusi: Lives Transformed in a Rainforest World (Waveland Press, 4th edition, 2016); Mongolians After Socialism: Politics, Economics, Religion (Admon Press, 2012); Critically Modern: Alternatives, Alterities, Anthropologies (Edited, Indiana University Press, 2002); Exchanging the Past (University of Chicago Press, 2002); and Genealogies for the Present in Cultural Anthropology (Routledge Press, 1996).
[Updated August 2015]
Contact information for Bruce Knauft:
1557 Dickey Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322; USA