Elizabeth Povinelli

Elizabeth A. Povinelli is Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies at Columbia University where she has also been the Director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender and the Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Law and Culture.[1] She is the author of numerous books and essays as well as a former editor of the academic journal Public Culture.

Povinelli’s work has focused on developing a critical theory of late liberalism that would support an anthropology of the otherwise.[2] This critical task is animated by a critical engagement with the traditions of American pragmatism and continental immanent theory and grounded in the circulation of values, materialities, and socialities within settler liberalisms. Her first two books examined the governance of the otherwise in late liberal settler colonies from the perspective of the politics of recognition. In particular, they focused on impasses within liberal systems of law and value as they meet local Australian indigenous worlds, and the effect of these impasses on the development of legal and public culture in Australia. Her second two books, The Empire of Love: Toward a Theory of Intimacy, Genealogy, and Carnality and Economies of Abandonment: Social Belonging and Endurance in Late Liberalism, examine formations of the Late Liberal Anthropocene from the perspective of intimacy, embodiment, and narrative form.[3]

Povinelli has also explored these questions in the short film, Karrabing, Low Tide Turning, selected for the 2012 Berlinale International Film Festival, Shorts Competition.[4] Karrabing was co-directed with Liza Johnson and written with the Karrabing Indigenous Corporation.[5] Povinelli also appeared in the documentary film Apparition of the Eternal Church (2006), directed by Paul Festa, about the French composer Olivier Messiaen's organ work.[6]

She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Yale University in 1991.[7]

She was the recipient of the German Transatlantic Program Prize and Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin for Fall 2011.

Selected bibliography

  • Economies of Abandonment: Social Belonging and Endurance in Late Liberalism. Duke University Press. Duke University Press, 2011.
  • "Interview with Elizabeth Povinelli by Kim Turcot DiFruscia, Alterites Femmes, 7.1: 88-98.
  • "Digital Futures." Vectors Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular, 3.2.2009.
  • The Empire of Love: Toward a Theory of Intimacy, Genealogy, and Carnality. A Public Planet Book. Duke University Press, 2006.
  • "Technologies of Public Form: Circulation, Transfiguration, Recognition." In Technologies of Public Persuasion, Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar and Elizabeth A. Povinelli, eds. 15(3): 385-397, 2003.
  • The Cunning of Recognition: Indigenous Alterities and the Making of Australian Multiculturalism. Durham: Duke University Press, 2002.
  • "Radical Worlds: The Anthropology of Incommensurability and Inconceivability." The Annual Review of Anthropology. Volume 30: 319-34, 2001.
  • "Thinking Sexuality Transnationally." Special Issue glq 5(4). Edited with George Chauncey, 5(4), 1999.
  • Labor's Lot: The Power, History and Culture of Aboriginal Action. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1994.


External links

  • Elizabeth Povinelli Website
  • Columbia University Faculty Bio
  • Public Culture Author Page
  • School for Social and Policy Research, Charles Darwin University
  • Digital Futures Interactive Essay

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