Kathryn Dudley

Kathryn Dudley's picture
Professor of American Studies and Anthropology
10 Sachem Street, Room 227

Questions about what ethnography is and does—as an aesthetic genre, political practice, and interpersonal field of knowledge construction—are at the center of my teaching and scholarly work. Trained as an anthropologist, I am committed to a transdisciplinary vision of ethnography as a mode of inquiry at the cutting edges of queer theory, black, indigenous, and ethnic studies, environmental studies, and public humanities. In this spirit, my courses are conducted as writing workshops that focus on social problematics at the intersection between anthropology and cultural studies, including historical, literary, and psychoanalytic styles of analysis. I presently teach seminars on ethnographic writing, affect and materiality, inequality in America, and multispecies worlds. My books explore the production of embodied knowledge and social trauma under regimes of labor marginalized by transformations in global capitalism. The End of the Line: Lost Jobs, New Lives in Postindustrial America and Debt and Dispossession: Farm Loss in America’s Heartland are community studies, respectively, of deindustrialization and the demise of family farm agriculture. My short documentary film “Black Land Loss” examines African American farmers’ class action lawsuit against the USDA. And Guitar Makers: The Endurance of Artisanal Values in North America chronicles the rise and precarity of the countercultural lutherie movement in the United States and Canada. My current research tracks the unfolding impact of federal policy, anthropogenic climate change, and industrial resource extraction on wild horses on America’s public lands. Among other honors, I received the Margaret Mead Award of the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology for writing that reaches broadly concerned publics.