Our contemporary world has been marked by profound restructurings of global politics, economics, and social life, and by emergent concerns relating to religion, health, and security. At the same time, developments in the health sciences and social sciences are provoking complex sets of questions relating to ethics, politics, and life itself that exceed existing disciplinary boundaries. Spanning the humanities and social sciences in a unique manner, anthropology has emerged as a discipline crucial to shaping critical engagement with these diverse questions. Our research work in the Department of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins is oriented toward the investigation of crosscutting themes of trans-regional concern. We take non-European anthropological traditions as definitive of the discipline itself, instead of defining a distinctive break between dominant anthropologies and world anthropologies. We take field research as productive of theories of knowledge, rather than as a mode of data collection alone. And due in part to this vision of field research, we place ethnography in a mutually productive dialogue with philosophy and social theory.