This profile was current as of 2017, when he was part of the on-campus Kellogg community.

Stuart Kirsch (PhD, University of Pennsylvania), a fall 2016 Kellogg visiting fellow, is professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan. With interests in environmental politics and indigenous rights, he has carried out long-term ethnographic fieldwork in Papua New Guinea as well as short-term research elsewhere in the Pacific and in the Amazon.

At Kellogg, he will complete the book manuscript “Anthropology beyond the Text,” which considers a range of questions about the politics of engaged research. In particular, he looks at the role anthropologists play as public intellectuals, expert witnesses, and advocates for marginalized communities, drawing on his own experience as an engaged scholar. This includes work as an advocate on behalf of people living downstream from a destructive mining project, evaluation of a conservation project, mediation of a dispute over the repatriation of human remains, independence movements and the politics of representation, and expert testimony for legal claims.

Kirsch is the author of Reverse Anthropology: Indigenous Analysis of Social and Environmental relations in New Guinea (Stanford University Press, 2006) and Mining Capitalism: The Relationship between Corporations and their Critics (University of California Press, 2014).

He has participated in collaborative research projects on cultural property rights at the University of Cambridge and resource conflicts in Latin America at the University of Manchester. A recipient of the Royal Anthropological Institute fellowship in “Urgent Anthropology,” he was also a member of the Program in Agrarian Studies at Yale University.

Thematic Interests

Cultural property rights; Environmental politics; Indigenous rights

Current Research

The Politics of Engaged Research:  Anthropology Beyond the Text