Unravelling the Politics of Silencing

In: Public Anthropologist
Laura Nader University of California, Berkeley

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Over the 50 years plus that I have been at Berkeley, I have received many letters from fellow anthropologists and students of anthropology reporting silencing techniques. Such techniques are intended to directly, or perhaps unknowingly, silence their voices. The complainants are often pushing the boundaries of an acceptable anthropology, an acceptability which to me defeats the basic purpose of our discipline. Anthropology intends to challenge assumptions in the face of evidence, and in the process to enlighten the public about the controlling processes in our lives. 1 Sometimes the silencing comes from funding sources, publishers, or the tenure review process.

A good example of how controlling processes work is Dimitra Doukas’s book, Worked Over – The Corporate Sabotage of an American Community, 2 an ethnography that covered 100 years of regional capitalism in upper New York State. She dealt with the takeover by the big trusts thereby delineating a corporate capitalism. It brought the need to recognize that there are many kinds of capitalism (regional capitalism, corporate capitalism and penny capitalism) to my attention. Capitalism is not one big thing. 3 Doukas taught in Canada for a short time, had temporary positions in the United States, but no serious job offers in the United States. Why? Because she challenged the dominant power structure through the lens of a people’s history.

More recently, Brian McKenna wrote “How Anthropology Disparages Journalism” in Counterpunch. 4 He asks, “Is there a career danger for an anthropologist wanting to be relevant, a publically engaged writer? …Too many academic anthropologists are marooned in the coffin-boxes of university classrooms, their pearls of wisdom echoing wistfully off of hermetically, sealed-walls.” McKenna refers to academic unwritten rules as a “type of border control.” In other countries, such as France, Spain and Mexico, anthropologists are more publically involved.

In personal communication with me in 2012, Gary Downey, professor of technical studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, noted that he believes that “academic scholarship is worthwhile only to the extent that it makes a significant difference beyond the academy. Seeking affirmation only from other academic peers is incestuous.” Downey is a mechanical engineer turned cultural anthropologist and a pioneer in energy related research. Most anthropologists have probably never read his work, although his work on radioactive waste management is especially relevant. Anthropologists are sometimes not very nice to innovators in the discipline because of the social and political, direct and indirect control. When I started work on energy for the National Academy of Science, the chair of my department, instead of encouraging me, said, “Laura, you aren’t going to get promoted for this energy work in our department. Why don’t you drop it?” I was the only anthropologist of 300 scientists invited to work on the prestigious conaes study – the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Study because, as they said when they invited me, “We need an anthropologist on this study.” (See Energy Choices in a Democratic Society 5 ).

When it comes to students, the silencing strategies are often direct. Just read Anthropology’s Politics – Disciplining the Middle East. 6 Often social scientists are persuaded to separate the “academic” from the “political,” to emphasize anthropological knowledge as devoid of political stance.

Teaching anthropology of the Middle East taught me a good deal about what was and what was not acceptable anthropology. It is hard to believe that in 2017 some scholars still believe that some people are political advocates while others are not. What one does not say is as political as what one says – it’s a matter of speech categories. All culture is full of politics and there is no such thing as apolitical.

The history of how such unwritten rules of silencing came about in the American academy was explored in depth by prize winning historian Mary Furner in her book Advocacy and Objectivity: A Crisis in the Professionalization of American Social Science. 1865–1905. 7 Public advocacy was considered important before the Civil War, but with the rise of the big trusts the move to objectivity over advocacy was increasing. Lack of objectivity was used to penalize advocates in academic freedom cases of the 1880s and 1890s, marking limits of acceptable behavior for academic social scientists, visible at least to a historian: the power of objectivity as control.

How Does Silencing Work?

It was 1952. The President of my college sat me down to explain disciplinary boundaries. My honors thesis dealt with Mexican Revolutionary novels, but a week before graduation the Department of Literature would not accept my thesis. They said it was not literary criticism; it was sociology. They sent me to the Sociology Department, but they would not accept it because I had never taken a course in sociology. I ended up in the President’s office, where after explaining disciplinary boundaries, he invented a special field so I could graduate. I still did not understand. My older brother, a major in anthropology at the University of Toronto sent me a book to help – Mirror for Man by Clyde Kluckhohn. 8 I went to Harvard to study with Kluckhohn, and for my PhD dissertation on the Rincón Zapotec of México I collected law cases in the court system.

The study of law was highly respected in anthropology, because many 19th century anthropologists such as Sir Henry Maine and Lewis Henry Morgan were lawyers. 20th century anthropologists had also produced excellent ethnographic work on the subject of law among the colonized in Africa, the Pacific, and the United States. In 1965, the American Anthropological Association published The Ethnography of Law, 9 a special issue that I edited; it brought together what had been a scattered field. Thus far, my efforts at research and collaboration were in the traditional mode of building on the work of others.

During the 1960s at Berkeley, the Free Speech Movement brought together contrarian movements that had been building – the civil rights movement, the Red movement, the feminists and consumer movements, the anti-Vietnam war movement, and more. It was not surprising that Dell Hymes brought a group of anthropologists together for the volume Reinventing Anthropology. 10 I contributed the article “Up the Anthropologist – Perspectives Gained from Studying Up.” The door was now open for violating academic rules. Thomas Kuhn had written his book on paradigm shifts 11 in which he distinguished “normal science” from non-hegemonic science or a paradigmatic – open ended science (and for which he did not get tenure at Berkeley). For us, the usual rules were made to be broken. With the publication of Reinventing Anthropology, we were not odd-balls, single irreverent researchers – we had company.

Three Centuries, Three Contrarians

But what happens if you don’t have company? I highlight odd-ball anthropologists, in my work on Sleep Walking Through the History of Anthropology, 12 a history in which anthropologists’ confrontations with dominant social beliefs would be avoided or guided into muddy waters by other anthropologists, publishers or government agencies. For example, ethnologist Charles Royce’s studies of Indian Land Cessions in the United States, completed in 1885, passionately argued for the removal of whites from Indian territory. But the work lay untouched until it finally appeared in 1899. The Smithsonian appears to have been uneasy with the work of other ethnologists as well, such as Frank Hamilton Cushing, who called into question the ethics of condoning the living conditions on Zuni reservations.

In the 1890s, John Wesley Powell of the Smithsonian institution in Washington d.c. provided James Mooney, a self-trained first generation son of Irish immigrants, with funds to conduct fieldwork among the Sioux Indians. This research, combined with Mooney’s own research, resulted in The Ghost Dance Religion and the Sioux Outbreak of 1890. 13 In it, Mooney detailed the Ghost Dance movement among many Native American tribes in the last decades of the nineteenth century, which culminated in the massacre of over 200 Sioux at Wounded Knee in 1890. He documented the greatest aboriginal revival the country had ever seen, a religion that promised a return to a time without the white man. Mooney made the connection between religious revivalism and the enormous losses at the hands of the white invaders of their land. It was the beginnings of a revitalization theory.

Prompted by fear that Mooney’s work would alienate both the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Congress with which the Smithsonian needed to work, Mooney’s supervisors at the Smithsonian wished that he had avoided comparisons with European religions and had not made connections between the Ghost Dance and the conditions of misery of conquered native people. Mooney’s American Indians were not heathens or barbarians; they were part of the human race, including the “civilized” human race. Later, Mooney was barred from conducting further research on the reservations by the Commissioner of Indian affairs, who did not appreciate the ethnologist’s references to religious freedom and scientific truths as justification for his peyote research. 14 Mooney as ethnologist, advocate, and public citizen was regarded as a political time bomb.

A few decades later, across the waters in Great Britain, young Edmund Leach wrote a letter to his parents trying to explain what life was like for the young of his generation (circa 1929). It was the Depression, and the brilliant Leach was not doing well at Cambridge. He tried to explain to his dad how the rapid changes since the end of wwi had affected his generation – what is to look forward to between the terrible tyranny that is typified by American business and the “deadly efficient machine that is aimed at by the Russian Soviet.” Not knowing quite what the future would hold, Leach majored in engineering, only later did he come to anthropology. 15

As an anthropologist, Leach was imponderable. His book, Political Systems of Highland Burma, 16 critiqued ideas that primitive society existed in some sort of stasis while ignoring changing power dimensions. He was provocative and quirky, unpredictable. In his paper “Glimpses of the Unmentionable in the History of the British Social Anthropology” 17 he addressed the impact of one’s class origins on work done. Some of my colleagues commented that he must have been going senile. I thought it was a good piece on the sociology of knowledge. His rethinking of ethnographic writing as fiction also raised ire; he was polemical.

His most extreme arguments came earlier when the British Broadcasting Corporation (bbc) asked him to deliver the Reith Lectures in 1967 – A Runaway World? 18 the only anthropologist to have ever been invited. Once again, he returned to the tensions between generations and the 1960s form of youth rebellion. He took a shot at English class values and the virtues of the “family,” as a masquerade. The British educational system was a machine for picking out the clever conformist, not versatile sorts and not people needed for long term survival. He wanted to shake his listeners out of their smugness and non-action in the face of a dangerous, looming world. He was attacked by journalists and academics, but was appreciated by the general public, as demonstrated by the hundreds of letters he received. His book was not widely read nor circulated. Nevertheless, time proved Sir Edmond Leach prescient. He had captured the feeling that many people had of living through a period of very rapid change.

Fast forward a few more decades to the United States in the 21st century. A young David Graeber came from a blue-collar family. His mother was a union organizer for New York garment workers and his father fought in the Spanish Civil War. Graeber went to the University of Chicago for graduate work. He carried out his first major fieldwork in Madagascar. After Chicago, he was an assistant professor of anthropology at Yale, from 1998–2007, author of Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value 19 and Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology. 20 Although he was a prolific and clear writer, his contract was not renewed at Yale. During his time at Yale, he did fieldwork on anarchism in New York, participant observing, and eventually became one of the founders of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. He described himself as a scholar in New Haven, an activist in New York. But after Yale, Graeber has not been able to get a job in the United States.

In 2013, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article which listed the 17 positions Graeber had unsuccessfully applied, in spite of his recognized academic worth. The usual excuses were recounted such as loss of funding, did not fit the job description, but not political, of course! However, whispers in the hallways repeated gossip about his being a trouble-maker, a sexist, not collegial, political. Having read most of his published work and having been asked for a letter by the Yale Department, which at one point did make a retention difference, I still asked myself what were the reasons for Graeber’s u.s. job situation. He applied at Berkeley, and I remember Elizabeth Colson noting that while she did not agree with all he said, “He made you think.”

Although he describes himself in academic exile, David Graeber is presently a professor at the London School of Economics. After publishing Debt – The First 5000 Years, 21 he became world famous in and out of academia. People everywhere were interested in debt for personal reasons of increasing inequalities. He went on to publish The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy. 22 His work is as a public intellectual interested in movements. But the question remains what unwritten rules did he violate, if any? Was it about decorum? Intolerance of political outspokenness? Contentiousness? The power elite? Interestingly, all three of my examples are public anthropologists.

Public Intellectuals

In the context of the previous examples, what does it take to be a public intellectual in anthropology? Perhaps all anthropology is contrarian, compared to other disciplines and the wider society. After all, we examine premises, unstated assumptions about rationality such as in Evans Pritchard’s work on Witchcraft, Oracles, and Magic Among the Azande 23 or Franz Boas on his observation that there is no necessary correlation between Race, Language, and Culture. 24 But Boas was censored in 1920 by the American Anthropological Association for his 1919 Nation article on the use of “Scientists as Spies.” 25 He made anthropology’s dirty linen public. So there are limits of tolerance.

Within anthropology and in the larger society there are trends and trendiness. Functionalists were fashionable, so were Marxists and the Interpretive anthropologists. Then came European social philosophers like Michel Foucault, or Jacques Derrida, or quantitative anthropology. Or in the wider society there is political correctness, Islamophobia, American exceptionalism, love of technology for its own sake. Trendiness (dominant positions) can be intimidating, leave to one side concerns with tenure, funding, or publishing or even election to honor societies like the National Academy of Science. As one of my colleagues once said to me “I know when to keep my mouth shut.” Indirect controls are most powerful because they are normalized.

With the above in mind, and with the possibility of encouraging frontier work in a more public anthropology, I decided to publish selected essays of my work over the past half century, especially in recognition of a contemporary context of self-censorship among younger anthropologists. 26 When I was growing up our parents encouraged us to think critically. For example, most of the feminists in my life were men – an attempt to decouple feminism from gender, a relatively recent coupling in spite of men who argued “but my mother, my sister are women?” Clyde Kluckhohn’s Mirror for Man, 27 describes anthropology as a study that helps us see ourselves. In what follows, I want to recall what happened as I took the challenge of Mirror for Man literally in topics as different as studying power, women in comparative perspective, and energy scientists.

Initial Reactions

Before the publication of “Up the Anthropologist – Perspectives Gained from Studying Up,” I delivered the paper to a large audience at a national meeting of anthropologists in New York. The immediate response to the podium was uttered by sociologist Irving Goffman: “No, no, no we don’t know how to do that kind of work.” To which I responded, “You mean we can go to New Guinea, avoid being eaten by the cannibals, learn the language but we don’t know how to study power?” What followed at that meeting was shunning. I was just saying what to me was obvious – study both the colonizer and the colonized.

Anthropology changed dramatically because of Reinventing Anthropology. We did begin to study the colonizer as well as the colonized, and we did begin to examine power both in the United States and along with the globalization of finance. The usual controls no longer worked in some areas of power. Yet, the diamond mines are still owned by the British in post-colonial Sierra Leone.

On the subject of women, reactions to frank talk and writing inspired similar negations. My article on “The Subordination of Women in Comparative Perspective” 28 was only published because the editor disagreed with the reviews that were forked. It is permissible to write about the subordination of women one example at a time, but comparison between us and them may be threatening. Some kind of comparison is more counter-hegemonic than we think. In fact, people get irritated with me when I ask, “as compared to what?” Sometimes one has to publish contrarian views outside the country, as with many of my essays. I submitted “Orientalism, Occidentalism, and the Control of Women” 29 to two major journals in the United States. One editor suggested I remove the comparison and stick to Moslem women. In another journal, the reviewer said the piece was written in journalistic style and challenged my remarks about the wealth of Euro-American literature on the Middle East, while few Middle Easterners had written about the West. My retort to the second turn-down was “When the reviewer doesn’t know the literature, it’s one thing, but when the editor doesn’t know either it’s pretty bad.” Whereupon the editor suggested he would send it out again. I told him that the article had been accepted by Cultural Dynamics, a Belgium publication – almost as fast as submitted.

In some quarters, it is still not acceptable to describe Euro-American women as living in patriarchies. All states today are dominated by males – no exception. But, on the other hand, Moslems often use the data published by American feminists to make their case for being better – “You think it’s bad here? Look West or East, as it may suit the observer, to see that you are better off.” Goodness, in 2016 an average of 3 women in the United States were killed every day by their partners. Is that honor killing? “Orientalism, Occidentalism and the Control of Women” is still debated, has been translated into French and Arabic, and reprinted elsewhere.

Compared to my work on energy or research on women, the response to my research on law was more mixed. It helped that I was working during the decades that the Law and Society Association was launched. As noted earlier, it also helped that there were numbers of 19th century first generation anthropologists who were lawyers and anthropologists (i.e. Morgan, Maine, Bachofen). In the 20th century, joint work between a law professor and anthropology professor Karl Llewellyn and E. Adamson Hoebel 30 called attention to the Cheyenne people as well as to the Realist movement in law, and to the public at large.

To start with, I tangled with those who thought that an early Wenner-Gren volume should be titled Law and Culture and Society rather than Law in Culture and Society, illustrating opposite paradigms – law as autonomous, or law as a mirror of the society and culture in which it was embedded. Furthermore, if one sees Euro-American law as imperialist then the law and development movement takes on another meaning. At the World Bank, I made this point in “Promise or Plunder? A Past and Future Look at Law and Development.” 31 The main objection at the Bank was my reference to a Tanzanian jurisprudence professor, Issa Shivji, who made the point of rejecting Euro-American law as a law not of rules but of force, asking us to consider a planetary rule of law that takes the best from all cultures for a planetary culture.

Law and development is fueled by the concept of lack, a powerful concept. We have what they lack, and what they need for development. When I delivered my paper “Law and the Theory of Lack” 32 at a Hastings law school meeting, lawyers from the third world thanked me; American professionals were not antagonistic, rather puzzled. Did the Other not lack? The online version received widespread attention. Similarly, in the conclusion to my book on Harmony Ideology, 33 I noted that harmony and conflict are neither good nor bad. It depends upon the context. After all, without conflict we might not have had the American Revolution. Earlier, in 1976, I had received an invitation by the Chief Justice of the u.s. Supreme court, Warren Burger, to attend the Pound Conference on the “Popular Causes for the Dissatisfaction with American Law.” It was in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Chief Justice Burger was to launch what became known as the anti-law movement, a move away from the courts to mandated mediation or reconciliation. Before Harmony Ideology was published in 1990, I had already written a good deal on what I called coercive harmony, something I distinguished from organic harmony. But most Americans in high places had bought into Justice Burger’s argument about there being too much litigation in u.s. society- civil rights litigation, environmental and consumer litigation. Following the anti-law movement in the u.s., came the move to extend harmony ideology or adr (Alternative Dispute Resolution). Transnationally, a move that is still expanding into trade deals of the Trans-Pacific sort in support of interests of corporate entities.

Of course, those who suffered from such anti-law rhetoric complained, but to whom? Early on, in Canada, at Windsor Law School they welcomed a public anthropologist and published my 1989 analysis of the rhetoric of Chief Justice Burger, “The adr Explosion – The Implications of Rhetoric in Legal Reform,” a rhetoric that was mostly propaganda. Surprisingly, my commentary from the 1976 Pound Conference (some 40 years after) was recently reprinted in a law textbook on Civil Procedure.

The most outwardly angry and emotional response was by professors reviewing the manuscript that Ugo Mattei and I wrote in 2008. 34 The Rule of Law cannot be illegal! The manuscript was circulated to a number of publishers before Wiley Blackwell accepted it – hardly a radical publisher of a manuscript that had been turned down by at least two u.s. university presses. Yet, after publication it was translated and published in six different languages including Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Italian, Romanian, and possibly more as I write. The book covered 500 years of Western colonialism in which Western Rule of Law ideology was used to justify the take. Public anthropology has its rewards.

A related work on Human Rights “In a Woman’s Looking Glass – Normative Blindness and Unresolved Human Rights Issues” 35 first delivered at the American Anthropology meetings, and later at the Rothko Chapel in Houston. It was not accepted for publication in the United States, but it was published in Brazil and appeared in Portuguese and Spanish.

On the subject of energy, the reactions were more mixed depending on the audience. “Barriers to Thinking New About Energy,” first delivered at the mitre Corporation, generated widespread response and demand. It was reprinted in Physics Today, in Chem Tech, and about 40 years later reprinted again in part in the Industrial Physicist. The central point was to include energy scientists as part of the energy problem. The response from Physics Today was enormous. I received over 100 phone calls and letters. I include here two sample letters from two Nobel Laureates:

March 16, 1981

Dear Professor Nader

I was on the point of discarding my most recent copy of Physics Today unread when I came across your stimulating article. I have a deep personal and professional concern about the use of human ingenuity in the improvement of the human condition. It’s clear that when a group of people think alike most of their brains are redundant. Group thinking has become (maybe it’s always been, I don’t know) so common in the “educated” parts of our society that it’s almost funny.

Consider the statement: “Since a minority of experts in the field have expressed strong reservations about possible long term health hazards its use ought to be avoided.” The almost universal agreement (or disagreement) with that statement, (depending on whether “it” refers to nuclear power or marijuana) in one “culture” is exactly reversed in the opposite one.

As far as I can tell, the educational process does little to enhance original thinking and a great deal to stop it. I’m sure that I’m not the only parent who has noticed that the childish habit of asking endless questions disappears shortly after kids start school. When these kids come out of the other end they have acquired a great many tools, but sense of independent intellect they must have in order to make use of them.

As a manager of a research enterprise, I try to help create an environment in which creativity can flourish. There isn’t all that much that I can do, but that doesn’t keep me from looking for ways to help the process along.

One point in your article that struck a personal resonance was your observation of the lack of diversity among the scientists at a meeting. Some time ago, a friend of mine claimed that if there had been a black man of the Ford Board of Directors, they would have never gone through with the Edsel. At the time I argued with him, my experience in the intervening years has made me see that he was right.

Your view of physical scientists paints a harsh picture, but the message contained therein is something we must listen to. We don’t have to agree with all of it in order to learn from it. I’m very glad that Physics Today saw fit to bring it to the attention of a wider audience. If you have any further published material in this area I would very much appreciate a copy.

Best Wishes

Arno Penzias

Dear Laura,

I just read your magnificent article in Physics Today. It’s great that they ran it, and just there, however tardily.

Yes, that’s the way it is, and well guided by an unexpressed but well guided understood system of rewards and punishments.

But things have run down badly in the enterprise of science. That has changed entirely since just after wwii.

In the first half of this century we had a generation of monumental physicists – Einstein, Bohr (both of whom I knew), Heisenberg Pauli, Schrödinger – and on and on, all of whom knew that what physics is about is reality, and that physics (science) can explore only part of reality, and by far the smaller part. That kind of thought is now virtually forbidden in scientific literature…

George Wald

The letters from physicists were from heads of laboratories, heads of departments and individual professors who cared about free and open science. The chemists were more lukewarm, but not vitriolic. However, the engineering readers of the Industrial Physicist were outraged, that a non-scientist, a woman, would dare to utter such words and asked why was the piece republished.

In an energy talk at Stanford University on the subject of barriers to thinking new, which was being televised at some of the national labs, the first outcry came from a physicist: “You’re awful, you’re terrible. You didn’t show us any numbers. You treat scientists as if they were like anybody else.” To which I replied, “You just made my point. Social scientists all agree that humans, all humans, make mistakes. Plug that into your technology.” Then I mentioned the first nuclear accidents in Idaho and Alabama – human errors. In Idaho, a worker enraged about his wife’s adultery was going to blow up the whole state of Idaho, while in Alabama when the electricity went out a worker lit a candle. “Barriers to Thinking New” is still circulating more so now that people are concerned with planetary climate change dubbed Anthropocene, and the role of non-renewables as causative agents of climate change.

Out of the Choir

In the wake of the 2016 u.s. Presidential election, many anthropologists, within and outside of the u.s., wondered why American Anthropologists did not foresee Donald Trump’s victory and how can anthropology contribute in promoting a deeper, public understanding of that victory. 36

These are questions that not only interrogate the pertinence of some of anthropology’s priorities today, but also test anthropologists’ capacity to play a role in the current political arena.There are many anthropologies, along with American, British, and French – Italian, Brazilians, Mexicans, Indians, Pakistanis, Japanese, Chinese, etc. Some anthropologists are crossing boundaries, moving against the grain, anthropologists are following their curiosity in spite of academic trends, asking questions like: can we understand mental illness without understanding the gut, or the cultural illness around us? Can we understand homosexuals without including straights; can we consider the possibility of gay lesbian movements as a part of Western cultural imperialism. Can we go against the grain in discussing biology and culture? Can we understand one’s own culture without experiencing other cultures? Is the concept of the couple solely a Western phenomenon? The study of humankind is only barely beginning. Anthropologists need to frank talk with the public frequently – it stimulates the mind, and moves us away from writing for the choir.


Nader, L. (1996). “Coercive Harmony: The Political Economy of Legal Models” Kroeber Anthropological Society Papers. 80: 1–12.


Doukas, D. (2003). Worked Over: The Corporate Sabotage of an American Community. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.


Sol Tax’s work on penny capitalism in Guatemala also makes this point: Tax, S. (1953). Penny Capitalism: A Guatemalan Indian Economy. Washington: us Gov. Print Office.


McKenna, B. (2009). “How Anthropology Disparages Journalism.” Counterpunch. Online.


Nader, L. (1980). Energy Choices in a Democratic Society. The Report of the Consumption, Location, and Occupational Patterns Resource Group Synthesis Panel of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems National Research Council, Washington, d.c.: National Academy of Sciences, (April 21).


Deeb, L. and Winegar, J. (2015). Anthropology’s Politics: Disciplining the Middle East. Stanford: Stanford University Press.


Furner, M. (1975). Advocacy and Objectivity: A Crisis in the Professionalization of American Social Science. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky (Organization of American Historians).


Kluckhohn, C. (1949). Mirror for Man: the Relationship of Anthropology to Modern Life. New York: Whittlesey House.


Nader, L. (1965). “The Ethnography of Law” American Anthropologist, Special Issue: Laura Nader, ed., 67(6): 3–32.


Hymes, D. ed. (1972). Reinventing Anthropology. New York: Pantheon Books.


Kuhn, T. (1962). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Nader, L. (2002). “Sleepwalking Through the History of Anthropology: Anthropologists on Home Ground” In: Merrill, W.L. and Goddard, I. eds., Anthropology, History, and American Indians: Essays in Honor of William Curtis Sturtevant, Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology, (44): 47–54.


Mooney, J. (1896). The Ghost Dance Religion and the Sioux Outbreak of 1890. Washington d.c.: g.p.o.


Moses, L.G. (1984). The Indian Man: A Biography of James Mooney. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.


Tambiah, S. (2002). Edmund Leach: An Anthropological Life. New York: Cambridge University Press.


Leach, E.R. (1954). The Political Systems of Highland Burma: A Study of Kachin Social Structure. Cambridge, Harvard University Press.


Leach, E.R. (1984). “Glimpses of the Unmentionable in the History of British Social Anthropology” Annual Review of Anthropology, 13: 1–24.


Leach, E.R. (1967). “A Runaway World?” The Reith Lectures. The British Broadcasting Corporation.


Graeber, D. (2001). Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our Dreams. New York: Palgrave.


Graeber, D. (2004). Fragments of An Anarchist Anthropology. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press.


Graeber, D. (2012). Debt: The First 5,000 Years. New York: Melville House Publishing.


Graeber, D. (2015). The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy. Brooklyn: Melville.


Evans-Pritchard, E.E. (1976). Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Boas, F. (1940). Race, Language and Culture. New York: Free Press.


Boas, F. (1919). “Scientists as Spies.” The Nation, 109(2842): 797 [Letter to the Editor].


Nader, L. (2018). Contrarian Anthropology. The Unwritten Rules of Academia. New York and Oxford: Berghahn.


Kluckhohn, C. (1949). Mirror for Man.


Nader, L. (1987). “The Subordination of Women in Comparative Perspective.” In: A.S. Barnes, ed., Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic ­Development, Special Issue: Women in the Americas: Relationships, Work and Power, 15(3–4): 377–397.


Nader, L. (1989). “Orientalism, Occidentalism and the Control of Women.” Cultural Dynamics, 2(3): 323–355. (Reprinted and transl. “Orientalisme, Occidentalisme et contrôle des femmes" Nouvelles Questions Feministes– Revue internationale francophone sexism et racism: le cas francais, 25(1): 12–24, 2006). (And reprinted and translated in the Arabic version of Culture and Dignity (Nader 2013)).


Llewellyn, K.N., and Hoebel, E.A. (1941). The Cheyenne War: Conflict and Case Law in Primitive Jurisprudence. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.


Nader, L. (2006). “Promise or Plunder? – A Past and Future Look at Law and Development.” In: Palacio, A. ed. The World Bank Legal Review: Law, Equity and Development, Volume 2, Washington d.c.: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, pp. 87–111. (reprinted in Global Jurist, 7(2), Article 1 (Frontiers): 1–24, 2007). Nader, L. (2013). Culture and Dignity.


Nader, L. (2005). “Law and the Theory of Lack.” Hastings International and Comparative Law Review, 28(2): 191–204.


Nader, L. (1990). Harmony Ideology: Justice and Control in a Zapotec Mountain Village. Stanford, ca: Stanford University Press. (Reprinted in Paperback, 1991. Spanish translation: Ideologia armónica: Justicia y control en un pueblo de la montaña Zapoteca, Oaxaca, Mexico: Instituto Oaxaqueño de las Culturas, Fondo Estatal para la Cultura y las Artes, 1998).


Mattei, U. and Nader, L. (2008). Plunder. When the Rule of Law is Illegal. Malden: Blackwell.


Nader, L. (1999). “In a Woman’s Looking Glass – Normative Blindness and Unresolved Human Rights Issues.” (Portuguese title, “Num espelho de mulher: cegueira normativa e questóes de direitos humanos nâo resolvidas.”) Horizontes Antropológicos, Special Issue: Cidadania e Diversida de Cultural, 10: 61–82.


Bessire, L., Bond, D. ed. (2017) The Rise of Trumpism.; (2017) Brexit, Trump, and Anthropology: Forum.; Stoller, P. (2017) "More on the Anthropology of Trump."Anthropology Now, 9(1): 58–60.

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