The Rutgers Graduate Program in Cultural Anthropology offers training at one of the country’s top comprehensive research universities in the major areas of cultural/linguistic anthropology, including economic, environmental, feminist, historical, legal, medical, political, postcolonial, psychological, symbolic, and urban anthropology. The Program was rated as one of the top ten graduate programs in anthropology in the nation by Academic Analytics in 2007.

 The Graduate Program has one of the strongest feminist anthropology faculties in the country; many of its members are also on the Graduate Faculty in Women's and Gender Studies. Other members are on the faculty of the Department of Human Ecology at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies, giving the program emphases in political ecology, medical anthropology, and Latino studies.

Faculty are affiliated with a range of institutes and programs across campus with which many also have leadership roles, including the Center for African Studies, Center for Latin American Studies, Collective for Asian American Scholarship, Institute for Research on Women, South Asian Studies Program , and Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution and Human Rights


The Cultural Anthropology faculty are committed to engaged anthropology. Today, they lead the discipline in forging a new synthesis of critical theory and fine-grained ethnography to offer fresh insights into the conditions, challenges, and opportunities of the 21st century, with particular attention to global transformations. Their social inquiry theorizes and analyzes the production and uses of knowledge, practices, discourses, symbols, and policies that produce and sustain inequalities and injustices while placing the politics and ethics of ethnography and fieldwork at the center of their studies. Faculty also actively negotiate the boundaries between scholarship, advocacy, and constructive intervention, discovering ways to put theory and ethnography to work for the benefit of those with whom they conduct research.  To signal these commitments, the Graduate Program in Cultural Anthropology is referred to as the “Program in Critical Interventions in Theory and Ethnography” or “CITE.”

The CITE faculty undertake field research in Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China, Dominican Republic, Israel, Kenya, Mozambique, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Tanzania, Trinidad, the United States, and Zimbabwe as well as conduct  multi-sited fieldwork, allowing them to track interconnections among peoples and places resulting from global flows.   


Faculty conduct research, offer courses, and train students in the following intersecting areas of expertise:

  • Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Anthropology: Given its strength in feminist anthropology, the CITE Program is at the forefront of research on the production of difference (gender, sexual, “racial,” ethnic, class, linguistic, and cultural) and marginalization historically and currently. CITE faculty explore how these differences shape and are shaped by people’s everyday lives and the processes that construct and perpetuate inequality and structural oppression. They are equally concerned with how diversely positioned people across the globe and in the United States creatively contest and resist power through cultural practices, political engagement, and collective social action.
  • Globalization and Economic Justice: CITE faculty analyze political, economic, and cultural dimensions of capitalism in historical and contemporary settings. They study how market relations transform societies today as well as under colonialism, imperialism, and empire; how commodities alter human consciousness and shape desires; and how global financial and trade institutions create new forms of economic injustice, social inequality, and resistance. Attention centers as well on capitalism as a particular form of embodied material culture, and on how sensory, aesthetic, and emotional experiences of capitalism’s materialities are connected to power, politics, and ideology. Their work reveals how economic structures and policies intersect with global flows to present people with new challenges, restructure their everyday lives, reformulate their subjective experiences of wealth and poverty, and open up possibilities for political and social transformation.
  • Politics and Aesthetics: Members of the CITE Program interrogate the politics of aesthetic regimes and the aestheticization of politics and the relationship of both to violence, oppression, and resistance, on the one hand, and imagination, affect, and emotions on the other. They analyze the social, political, and policy implications of a wide range of cultural and aesthetic expressions in ways that critically highlight the complexity of lived environments, communities, and institutions.  Whether focused on embodiment, religious ritual, contemporary consumer culture, conventional understandings of nature and the landscape,  parodic protest movements, struggles for ethnic nationalism, or vigilante justice they reveal the politics of taste and style embedded in a wide spectrum of aesthetic regimes including those of beauty, disgust, satire, the pure and impure, the sublime, and the spectacular.
  • Politics, Law, and Society: CITE scholars study how power is institutionalized in formal political and legal systems and how it is expressed in informal, day-to-day social relationships across the globe. Their work offers fresh approaches to traditional political questions about the state, sovereignty, civil society, citizenship, and modern democracy while at the same time focusing on a wide range of issues of particular concern in the contemporary moment: cultural identity and recognition, diasporic and medical citizenship, humanitarianism, human and women’s rights, legal justice, migration, contestations over diagnostic practices in medicine and mental health, racialization, resistance and collective action, security and insecurity, urban transformation, and violence. The program’s focus on political ecology is reflected in the work of CITE faculty who investigate how political, economic, and social factors affect environmental issues and how environmental representations, practices, and policies are embedded in systems of power.
  • Media and Popular Culture: CITE faculty study people’s engagements with media at mass, grass roots, and indigenous levels and how it makes a difference in their daily lives. Drawing on research and theory in the social sciences and humanities, faculty take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the influence of global media on the transnational movements of people, goods, capital, and ideas and the profound consequences of the deep re-structuring of media organizations that is underway today. CITE focuses on the politics of cross-cultural representation and the relationship of the production, circulation, and consumption of media forms and practices to cultural identity, cultural diversity, and processes of self creation. The Program provides new insights into the relationship of media to other aspects of popular culture including commodified rituals, body practices, popular writing, resistance and collective action, tourism, and performance. Several of CITE’s faculty members make documentary films.

The CITE Faculty