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Scholarly Interest Report
Dominic Boyer
Professor of Anthropology
  • M.A. Anthropology (1994) University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • B.A. Anthropology/Literature & Society (1992) Brown University, Providence, RI
  • Ph.D. Anthropology (2000) University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Primary Department
   Department of Anthropology
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Department Affiliations
  • Department of Anthropology
    Research Areas
     Media and knowledge; experts, professionalism and cultures of expertise; intellectuals and identitarian movements; the politics of affect, understanding and belonging; late-, post- and neo-socialism; early and late liberalism; anthropology and sociology of Europe; journalism and publics; universities and higher education; renewable energy and energopolitics; social theory and philosophy as resources for, and objects of, anthropological inquiry.
    Teaching Areas
     Media; Social Theory; Cultures of Expertise; Methodology
    Selected Publications
     Refereed articles

    Dominic Boyer, Cymene Howe ""Aeolian extractivism and community wind in Southern Mexico"." Public Culture, 28(2) (2016) : 215-235.


    Dominic Boyer, Cymene Howe ""Aeolian infrastructures, aeolian publics"." Limn, 7 (2016) : 4598.


    “Energopower: An Introduction.” Anthropological Quarterly 87(2):309-334, 2014.


    “Los márgenes del Estado al viento: autonomía y desarrollo de energías renovables en el sur de México” Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, Special Issue, “Energy, Transition and Climate Change in Latin America.” (with Cymene Howe and Edith Barrera). In press.


     “Simply the Best: Parody and Political Sincerity in Iceland.” American Ethnologist 40(2):276-287, 2013.


    “News Agency and News Mediation.” Social Anthropology 19(1):6-22, 2011.


    “Digital Expertise in Online Journalism (and Anthropology).” Anthropological Quarterly 83(1):73-96, 2010.


    “On the ethics and practice of contemporary social theory: from crisis talk to multiattentional method.” Dialectical Anthropology 34(3):305-324, 2010.


    “American Stiob: Or, what late socialist aesthetics of parody reveal about contemporary political culture in the West” Cultural Anthropology 25(2):179-221, 2010. (with Alexei Yurchak)


    “Thinking through the Anthropology of Experts.” Anthropology in Action, 15(2):38-46, 2008


    “Conspiracy, History, and Therapy at a Berlin Stammtisch.” American Ethnologist, 33(3):327-39, 2006.


    “Gender and the Solvency of Professionalism: Eastern German Journalism before and after 1989.” East European Politics and Society, 20(1):152-179, 2006.


    Ostalgie and the Politics of the Future in Eastern Germany.” Public Culture, 18(2):361-381, 2006.


    “Turner’s Anthropology of Media and Its Legacies.” Critique of Anthropology, 26(1):47-60, 2006.


    “Introduction to Turner Special Issue.” Critique of Anthropology, 26(1):5-13, 2006. (with Steve Sangren)


    “Introduction: Worlds of Journalism.” Ethnography, 7(1):5-17, 2006. (with Ulf Hannerz)


    “The Corporeality of Expertise.” Ethnos 70(2):243-266, 2005.


    “Visiting Knowledge in Anthropology: An Introduction.” Ethnos 70(2):141-148, 2005.


    “Intellectuals and Nationalism: Anthropological Engagements.” Annual Review of Anthropology 34:105-120, 2005. (with Claudio Lomnitz)


    “Censorship as a Vocation: The Institutions, Practices, and Cultural Logic of Media Control in the German Democratic Republic.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 45(3):511-545, 2003.


    " Foucault in the Bush. The Social Life of Post-Structuralist Theory in East Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg.” Ethnos 66(2):207-236, 2001.


    “Media Markets, Mediating Labors, and the Branding of East German Culture at ‘Super Illu.” Social Text 68(Fall):9-33, 2001.


    “Yellow sand of Berlin.” Ethnography 2(3):421-439, 2001.


    “On the Sedimentation and Accreditation of Social Knowledges of Difference: Mass Media, Journalism, and the Reproduction of East/West Alterities in Unified Germany.” Cultural Anthropology 15(4):459-491, 2000. 


    " Energy, Anthropology of” In The International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, J Wright (ed.), Reed Elsevier, 2015.


    “Experts and Expertise, Anthropological Approaches to” In The International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, J Wright (ed.), Reed Elsevier, 2015.


    “Paul Radin” (with Ian Lowrie) In The Sage Encyclopedia of Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology, J McGee and R Warms (eds.) Sage, 2014.


    “On Happiness and Politics: Jón Gnarr’s Best Party (2009-2013).” Perspectives on Europe 42(3):22-28, 2013.


    “On Business Anthropology” Business Anthropology 1(2):251-4, 2012.


    “There are Still Thinkers in Germany” in My Idea of the Land of Ideas: How the World Sees Germany, T Sommer (ed.), pp.44-50. Munich: Droemer Verlag, 2006.


    “The African Crisis in Context: Comparative Encounters with Educational Rationalization.” African Studies Review 45(2):205-218, 2002.


    “The Impact and Embodiment of Western Expertise in the Restructuring of the Eastern German Media after 1990.” Anthropology of East Europe Review 19(1):77-84, 2001.


    Energopolitics (single authored volume of a collaborative ‘duography’ with Cymene Howe titled Winds of Desire: Anthropology in the Anthropocene)


    The Life Informatic: Newsmaking in the Digital Era. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013 (248p.)


    Understanding Media: A popular philosophy. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press, 2007 (103p.) 


    Spirit and System: Media, Intellectuals, and the Dialectic in Modern German Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005 (323p.)

     Editor of books

    Energy Humanities: A Reader, with Imre Szeman (eds.) New York: Wiley. Invited and in preparation.


    Theory can be more than it used to be: Learning Anthropology’s Method in a Time of Transition, Part II, with James Faubion and George Marcus (eds.) Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Under review.

     Book chapters

    Dominic Boyer "Energopolitics." Fueling Culture: Energy, History and PoliticsIn Press


    Dominic Boyer "Revolutionary Infrastructure." Infrastructures and Social Complexity (2016) : 174-186.


    Dominic Boyer "The Necessity of Being a Writer in Anthropology Today." The Anthropologist as Writer: 21-32.


    “Energopolitics” In Fueling Culture: Energy, History and Politics, I Szeman (ed.) Fordham University Press, 2014.


    “Reflexivity Reloaded: from anthropology of intellectuals to critique of method to studying sideways” In Anthropology Now and Next, C Garsten, T H Eriksen, S Randeria (eds.) Berghahn, forthcoming.


    “The Necessity of Being a Writer in Anthropology Today” In The Anthropologist as Writer, H Wulff (ed.) University of Chicago Press, forthcoming.


     “Postcard from Berlin: Rethinking the Juncture of Late Socialism and Late Liberalism in Europe” In The Soviet Society in the Era of Late Socialism, 1964-1985, N Klumbytė and G Sharafutdinova (eds.) Lexington, 2013.


     “Media Anthropology and the Anthropology of Mediation” In The ASA Handbook of Social Anthropology, R Fardon (ed.) Sage, 2012.


    “Parody and Sincerity in Western Political Culture.“ In The Democratic Imaginary in the Era of Globalization, C Mendes (ed.) Educam Editora Universitária Candido Mendes, 2011.


    “Biopower.” In Companion to the Anthropology of the Body and Embodiment, F Mascia-Lees (ed.) Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.


    “The Institutional Transformation of Universities in the Era of Digital Information” In Making the University Matter, B Zelizer (ed.) Routledge, 2011.


    “European Media and the Culture of Europeanness” (with Miklós Sükösd) In Media, Nationalism and European Identities, M Sükösd and K Jakubowicz (eds.) Central European University Press, 2011.


     “Professionalism between Cooperation and Competition.” In Travail Social a l’Epreuve des Coopérations Ouvertes et des Coopération Fermées, H Khabbache (ed.) Fes-Saiss Imprimerie, 2010.


    “From Algos to Autonomos: Nostalgic Eastern Europe as Postimperial Mania.” In Postcommunist Nostalgia, M Todorova and Z Gille (eds.) Berghahn, 2010.


    “Making (sense of) News in the Era of Digital Information.” In The Anthropology of News and Journalism: Global Perspectives, SE Bird (ed.) Indiana University Press, 2009.


    “Of Dialectical Germans and Dialectical Ethnographers: notes from an engagement with philosophy.” In Ways of Knowing, M Harris (ed.), Berghahn, 2007.


    “Ostalgie – oder die Politik der Zukunft in Ostdeutschland,” transl. O Hall. Deutschland Archiv 39(4):690-703, 2006.


    “The Medium of Foucault in Anthropology.” The Minnesota Review 58-60:265-272, 2003.

     Book reviews

    Review of Divided in Unity: Identity, Germany, and the Berlin Police by Andreas Glaeser. Chicago: U Chicago Press, 2000. Ethnography 4(4):556-560, 2003.


    Review of Integral Europe: Fast-Capitalism, Multiculturalism, Neofascism by Douglas R. Holmes. American Ethnologist 29(4):1034-5, 2002.


    Review of Liquid Modernity by Zygmunt Bauman. Malden, MA: Polity, 2000. Modernism/Modernity 9(2):354-6, 2002.


    Dominic Boyer "Crisis of Liberalism." Hot Spots, Cultural Anthropology website


    “Attack on Titan” CENHS YouTube May 6, 2014. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uRVDQbLyR4)


    “Interview with Ulf Hannerz” Public Culture 26(1):187-199, 2014.


    “On the Anthropology of Infrastructure” (with Ian Lowrie) CASTAC blog March 3, 2014. (http://blog.castac.org/2014/03/dominic-boyer-on-the-anthropology-of-infrastructure/)


    "The Rise of Energy Humanities” (with Imre Szeman) University Affairs March:40, 2014.


    “A Gallery of Prototypes: Ethnographic Terminalia 2010” Visual Anthropology Review 27(1):94-6, 2011.


    “A tragédia sincera da política americana” Folha de S. Paulo, 9 August 2011: A3.


    “Energopolitics and the Anthropology of Energy.” Anthropology News May:5,7, 2011.


    " Divergent Temporalities: On the Division of Labor Between Journalism and Anthropology” Anthropology News April:6,9, 2010.


    “What is driving university reform in the age of globalization?” (debate with Elizabeth Rata). Social Anthropology 18(1):74-82, 2010.


    “Why not Neosocialism?” Savageminds.org (http://savageminds.org/2010/02/16/why-not-neosocialism/). Originally posted February 16, 2010.


    “Postsocialist Studies, Cultures of Parody and American Stiob” (with Alexei Yurchak) Anthropology News November:8-9, 2008.


    “Do the Humanities Have to be Useful?” in Do the Humanities Have To Be Useful?, GP Lepage, C Martin, and M Mostafavi (eds.), pp.1-6. Ithaca: Cornell University Office of Publications, 2006.


    " Welcome to the New Europe.” American Ethnologist 32(4):521-523, 2005.


    “Vitaler Stau.” Zeitschrift für KulturAustausch 55(3+4):89-91, 2005.


    “Productivity, Professionalism, and the Academic Labor Market in Anthropology” (with Vilma Santiago-Irizarry) Anthropology News 44(4):20-21, 2003.


    Dominic Boyer "Cultures of Energy podcasts."  (2017)

     Invited Papers

    XXIII Conference of the Academy of Latinity (2011), Annenberg School University of Pennsylvania (2007, 2009), Central European University (2005, 2007), Columbia University (2008), EHESS-Marseilles (2003), Cornell University (2001), Durham University (2014), German Chancellor Fellowship Program Alumni Meeting (2013), Göttingen University (2012), Humboldt University Berlin (2010, 2012), Johns Hopkins University (2002), London School of Economics (2014), Manchester University (2012), McGill University (2004), Miami University of Ohio (2009), New York University (2004), New School University (2005), Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (2011), Reed College (2000), Rice University (2005, 2008), SOYUZ Postsocialist Cultural Studies Conference (2008), Stockholm University (2003, 2007, 2008, 2009), Syracuse University (2005), Temple University (2014), Trinity College (2009), University College London (2013), University of California-Berkeley (2007, 2008, 2012), University of California-Irvine (2007, 2007), University of California-San Diego (2008), University of Chicago (2004, 2005, 2014), University of Fes (2010), University of Frankfurt (2008), University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign (2006), University of Michigan (2006), University of Oslo (2011), University of St. Andrews (2005, 2006), University of Utrecht (2009), Yale University (2003, 2014), ZFP-Wiesbaden Fortbildungsseminar (1998).


    2013    Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Chicago IL: Panel organizer, Anthropology Electric. November.


    Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Francisco CA: Panel co-organizer, Energopower and Biopower in a Time of Transitions. November, 2012.


    Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, New Orleans LA: Panel co-organizer, Exploring Digital Liberalism. November, 2010.


    European Association of Social Anthropologists Conference, Maynooth, Ireland. Panel co-organizer, Intermediate Categories.


    Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington DC: Panel co-organizer, Fantasies of Im/mediation: Unraveling media and desire in the contemporary world. November 2007.


    Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Jose CA: Panel co-organizer, Why has Socialism Failed? November 2006.

    Editorial Positions
     Editor, Cultural Anthropology. (2015 - 2018)

     Other, Critical Discourse Studies. (2003 - 2003)

     Editor for Special Issue, Special issue of Critique of Anthropology (26:1) “For a Critique of Pure Culture: Essays in Honour of Terence Turner” (with Steve Sangren). (2006 - 2006)

     Editor for Special Issue, Special section of Anthropological Quarterly “Energopower and Biopower in Transition". (2014 - 2014)

     Editor for Special Issue, Special issue of Ethnography (7:1) “Worlds of Journalism” (with Ulf Hannerz). (2006 - 2006)

     Editor for Special Issue, Special issue of Ethnos (70:2) “Revisiting the Anthropology of Knowledge". (2005 - 2005)

     Editor for Special Issue, Special section of Anthropology News (May) “Energy and Energopolitics” (with Cymene Howe). (2011 - 2011)

     Editor for Special Issue, Special section of American Ethnologist “Parody and Sincerity in Political Culture Today” (with Angelique Haugerud). (2013 - 2013)

     Editor for Special Issue, nternational Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences. (2014 - 2014)

     Member of the Editorial Board, Signale: Modern German Letters, Cultures, and Thought series. Cornell University Press. (2007 - 2008)

     Member of the Editorial Board, American Ethnologist. (2011 - 2011)

     Member of the Editorial Board, Journal of Business Anthropology. (2011 - 2011)

     Member of the Editorial Board, Dialectical Anthropology. (2008 - 2008)

     Member of the Editorial Board, “World Anthropologies” Section of American Anthropologist. (2013 - 2013)

     Member of the Editorial Board, Journal of Higher Education in Africa. (2003 - 2008)

     Other, Various. (2014 - 2014)

     Other, Ethnos. (2006 - 2010)

     Series Editor, Expertise: Cultures and Technologies of Knowledge. Cornell University Press. (2010 - 2010)

    Awards, Prizes, & Fellowships
     Energy Futures of the High North, National Science Foundation Research Grant #1417570 (2014)

     International Senior Research Fellow , Durham University Institute for Advanced Studies

     Fulbright Senior Specialist, 2009-2014, with grants awarded to visit Morocco and New Zealand

     Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship,