Anthropological Inquiry

The Anthropological Inquiry working group is a project that calls for a critical engagement with what can be broadly described as practices in contemporary societies. This working group foregrounds the ethnographic phenomena across the social sciences and the humanities and invites graduate students and scholars to an intellectual conversation across the disciplines as well as topical and geographical interests.

We are concerned with the relation of grounded research and the theoretical knowledge, and explore the possibilities of qualitative research in studying contemporary social phenomena. We provide a forum for graduate students and scholars to present their on-going research and in doing so engage the question of conceptualization and translation of social phenomena and knowledge production.

We strive to create a space where students and faculty from diverse disciplines can regularly meet to review these questions critically, exchange on their current research projects and support each other in the development of new modes of exploration, including non-traditional forms (film, poetry) as well as new kinds of topics. The working group is grounded in the Berkeley Anthropology Department, where these questions are addressed by socio-cultural-, medical- and linguistic anthropologists, but it also cultivates a dialogue with researchers from other departments, such as rhetoric, comparative literature, history, sociology, as well as various area studies such as the German Department and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

Meetings, and events for the upcoming semester will be announced soon, along with a solicitation for papers/presentations. 

If you have any questions, please contact Julia Sizek ( or Max Waterman ( 

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