Rena Lederman

Position
Professor of Anthropology
Office Phone
Office
127 Aaron Burr Hall
Office Hours
Monday: 12:00 pm-1:30 pm

Also by appointment

Education

Ph.D. Columbia University, 1982

Bio/Description

Interests
Relationality, agency, expertise, and ethics; the politics of "method" in ethnography, disciplinary knowledges as moral orders (esp. historiography, sociology, psychology, anthropology); past and future of sciences/humanities tensions in popular and academic discourse; bureaucratic and regulatory policies and practices, administrative law and democracy; gendered/sexed experience, meanings, and ideologies; economic experience as culture: exchange, consumption, property, open access/digital commons. Oceania, US.

Short Bio: During 2022/23, Lederman began a two-year “phased” retirement, advising several senior theses, teaching ANT 303 (Economic Life in Cultural Context), and participating in department events.  That included contributing to the department’s extraordinarily successful 10-year external review, participating in the department’s contribution toward building a Native American and Indigenous Studies presence at Princeton, and activities marking the 50th anniversary of the Anthropology Department’s founding. Being in a retirement frame of mind, she was particularly moved by one component of the 50th anniversary: a departmental history including a documentary oral history of the department. Lederman also advanced projects mentioned in last year’s report: First, as anthropologists’ disciplinary ambivalence intensified in recent years, part of her reassessment of the ethical/epistemological making of anthropology included a teaching-focused contribution to an American Ethnologist forum “what is the value of anthropology”.  Second, she completed an ethnographic critique of Maussian gift theory, bringing out its significance to contemporary academic and scholarly ethics-thinking (among other things).   

Unwrapping the Sacred Bundle: Reflections on the Disciplining of Anthropology American Ethnologist: Anxious Borders Between Work and Life in a Time of Bureaucratic Ethics Regulation

Selected Publications

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Course Syllabi
» ANT 203: Economic Life in Cultural Context

» MAKING GENDER: BODIES, MEANINGS, VOICES (ANT 209)

» ETHNOGRAPHER'S CRAFT (ANT 301)

» PACIFIC CULTURES (ANT 352)

» DECEPTION IN MAGIC AND SCIENCE (ANT 360)