Tyler Adkins— B.A. Duke University, Slavic and Eurasian Studies, MSC The London School of Economics, Social Anthropology
I am a PhD student in Princeton’s department of Anthropology, where I study southern Siberia (specifically Altai Krai and Altai Republic) as well as the anthropology of food and eating, kinship, and anthropological theory. At this juncture in my research, I’m interested in how people in southern Siberia experience and respond to the unpredictable, recalcitrant nature of the material “stuff” in their lives, especially the ever-changing organic matter of food and drink. Along these lines, I am curious about the ways in which people respond to the material qualities of food by storing, fermenting, drying, smoking, salting, freezing, selling, sharing, discarding, and—of course—eating it. Relatedly I am also interested in the anthropology of the senses, especially questions of how such intimately private, subjective experiences as taste, touch, and smell affect human sociality. On a theoretical level, I am interested in contemporary materialist and realist philosophical projects, as well as early twentieth century materialisms, especially those articulated by Soviet and French avant-garde movements. I am similarly intrigued by the imbrications between psychoanalysis (particularly in the object-relations tradition), continental philosophy, and ethnographic theory in thinking about—as well as actually carrying out— the ethnographic process.