Faculty - Visual Anthropology/Creative Writing
Elizabeth Davis is Associate Professor of Anthropology and a Behrman Faculty Fellow in the Humanities. Her research and writing, grounded in the European horizons and the Ottoman history of the Greek-speaking world, focus on the intersections of psyche, body, history, and power as areas for ethnographic and theoretical engagement. Her particular interest is in how the ties that bind people to communities and states are yielded and inflected by knowledge: that is, how certain kinds of truths mediate conceptions of self and conceptions of others – as psychiatric subjects, for example, or as subjects of history. Her first book, Bad Souls: Madness and Responsibility in Modern Greece (Duke University Press, 2012), is an ethnographic study of responsibility among psychiatric patients and their caregivers in the “multicultural” borderland between Greece and Turkey. She is currently working on her second book, The Good of Knowing: War, Time, and Transparency in Cyprus (forthcoming from Duke University Press), a collaborative engagement with Cypriot knowledge production about the violence of the 1960s-70s in the domains of forensic science, documentary film, and “conspiracy theory.”
Through his ethnographic research, Morimoto aims to create a space for and language to think about nuclear things and other contaminants as part and parcel of what it means to live in the late industrial and post-fallout era, rather than as alien species that must and should be held at a distance from humans. Morimoto is currently working on a book project, tentatively titled The Nuclear Ghost: Atomic Livelihood in Fukushima’s Gray Zone. This book integrates environmental anthropology, recent Japanese history, and science and technology studies to understand the uses and applications of technologies in social processes whereby certain sensory-cognitive experiences are (im)materialized. Morimoto uses the term “nuclear ghost” to analyze the struggles of representing and experiencing low-dose radiation exposure in coastal Fukushima, where individual, social, political and scientific determinations of the threshold of exposure are often inconsistent.
Serguei Oushakine has conducted fieldwork in the Siberian part of Russia, as well as in Belarus and Kyrgyzstan. His research is concerned with transitional processes and situations: from the formation of newly independent national cultures after the collapse of the Soviet Union to post-traumatic identities and hybrid cultural forms. His first book The Patriotism of Despair: Loss, Nation, and War in Russia focused on communities of loss and exchanges of sacrifices in provincial post-communist Russia. His current project explores Eurasian postcoloniality as a means of affective reformatting of the past and as a form of retroactive victimhood. Oushakine’s Russian-language publications include edited volumes on trauma, family, gender and masculinity. Prof. Oushakine is Director of the Program in Russian and Eurasian Studies at Princeton.
Carolyn Rouse is a professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology at Princeton University. Her work explores the use of evidence to make particular claims about race and social inequality. She is the author of Engaged Surrender: African American Women and Islam, Uncertain Suffering: Racial Healthcare Disparities and Sickle Cell Disease and Televised Redemption: Black Religious Media and Racial Empowerment. Her manuscript Development Hubris: Adventures Trying to Save the World examines discourses of charity and development and is tied to her own project building a high school in a fishing village in Ghana. In the summer of 2016 she began studying declining white life expectancies in rural California as a follow-up to her research on racial health disparities. In addition to being an anthropologist, Rouse is also a filmmaker. She has produced, directed, and/or edited a number of documentaries including Chicks in White Satin (1994), Purification to Prozac: Treating Mental Illness in Bali (1998), and Listening as a Radical Act: World Anthropologies and the Decentering of Western Thought (2015). As an extension of her commitment and training in visual anthropology, in the summer of 2016 she created the Ethnographic Data Visualization Lab (VizE Lab) to work with students and colleagues on ways to visualize complex ethnographic data. One project she is currently working on through the lab brings together 60 years of biological data with 60 years of social scientific data to study epigenetic effects on physical development.
Jeff directs the Anthropology Department’s VizE Lab, an innovative hub for researchers interested in visualizing anthropological knowledge through documentary video and data visualization. He is author of Circuits of Culture: Media, Politics, and Indigenous Identity in the Andes, and is a prize-winning documentary filmmaker.