Anthropology Reunions Celebration 2024

June 10, 2024

Alumni came from near and far to join the department for a celebration of Princeton anthropology's past, present, and exciting future. Chair and Professor João Biehl opened the event by sharing exciting developments in the department: yet another record-breaking crop of anthropology majors, a new group of faculty joining the department, and two new initiatives illuminating Indigenous scholarship at Princeton and bringing an anthropological edge to the inquiry of artificial intelligence. 

Professor Laurence Ralph read a compelling passage from his newest book, SITO: An American Teenager and the City that Failed Him.  His story weaved together the tender complexities of his family's experience with sharp inquiry into the forces that came to bear on Sito, his family, and Professor Ralph himself. Professor Beth Semel presented on anthropology and artificial intelligence, using her ethnographic research and theoretical insights to demystify what society popularly conceives of as "artificial intelligence." 

Professor Ikaika Ramones spoke about the beginnings of Indigenous Studies at Princeton, sharing student projects that delved into the rich archive of former Princeton professor and Native anthropologist, Alfonso Ortiz

Jeffrey Himpele, who directs the department’s VizE Lab, screened his unforgettable award-winning film, Shame On You! The script for this animated documentary was created directly from interviews with victims of debt collection lawsuits, and it reveals how shame about debt enables private debt collectors to prevail in civil courts.  

The event closed with a toast in celebration of Professor Rena Lederman, who will be transitioning to emerita status on July 1, 2024.