Research and teaching in the Department of Anthropology focus on socio-cultural anthropology, one of the four traditional subfields of the discipline. Since its establishment, the department has helped to lead debates on many of the issues that have shaped the field. Our current faculty has field research experience in the Americas, South and East Asia, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa. We work on themes such as the everyday, the state, religion, media, law, ethics, infrastructure, ecology, climate, and health. In our teaching and research on these themes, we build on interdisciplinary dialogues across the humanities, social sciences, and health sciences.
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 provoke questions of ethics, politics, and life that exceed existing disciplinary boundaries. Spanning the humanities and social sciences in a unique manner, anthropology has taken a leading role in shaping critical engagements with such questions.
Our research in the Department of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins is oriented toward the investigation of crosscutting themes of trans-regional concern. We embrace non-European anthropological traditions as crucial to the character and reach of the discipline, and we take field research as productive of theories of knowledge, rather than as a mode of data collection alone. In extending this vision of field research, we place ethnography in a mutually productive dialogue with philosophy, history, and social theory.