Dr. Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi does research in Gujarat, India


Dr. Daniel Goldstein in Belgium


Recently graduated anthropology major continues her work and studies


Dr. Dorothy Hodgson and Maasai activist Ndini Kimesera Sikar at the U.N. in NYC


Student discusses honors poster on “Undocumented Mexican Women in New Brunswick”


Dr. David Hughes at Fukushima Workshop, Tokyo


Graduate student meets orangutan as a T.A. in Borneo with Rutgers Study Abroad "Primates, Ecology and Conservation in Indonesia"


Student discusses Honors work at historic site in Trappe, PA with Chair, Dr. Craig Feibel

Warren Shapiro

alt(PhD, Australian National U, 1969; Prof Emeritus, SAS) Kinship, pseudo-procreative theory, the ethnographic study of human nature, history of anthropology, primitivism; Aboriginal Australia, lowland S America warshap7@aol.com


Professor of Anthropology
Department of Anthropology
Ruth Adams Building 312
Phone: (732) 932-1139
Ph.D. Australian National University, 1969

Research Interests

Anthropology and social theory (especially primitivist thought), history of anthropology, kinship, anthropology of religion (especially pseudo-procreative thought), the ethnographic study of human nature; Aboriginal Australia, Lowland South America

Most of my current research is in kinship studies, particularly with a view to an extended critique of the so-called "performative" kinship studies inspired primarily by David Schneider and more recently taken up by Marshall Sahlins. I believe that the performativists are demonstrably wrong in arguing that criteria such as commensality, co-residence, and early nurturance have the same semantic status as procreative criteria, that the last-named nearly always provide a model for other means of establishing kinship, and that, throughout the world, kinship is based on the nuclear family. Moreover, I am concerned with the sloppiness of performativist analyses, their hegemonic aspirations in the current academic environment, and their subscription to antediluvian Durkheimian and Marxist models of human sociality - all of which, I believe, bode badly for the future of higher education. I argue that these models provide a critique of Western Civilization that is largely unwarranted, that lends itself to authoritarian and utopian thinking, and that is therefore fundamentally at odds with a free society. Those interested in a more extended treatment of these theses are directed to my recent article in ACADEMIC QUESTIONS, "Anti-Family Fantasies in 'Cutting-Edge' Anthropological Kinship Studies. Also pertinent is my essay "What Human Kinship Is Primarily About: Toward a Critique of the New Kinship Studies," published in SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY 2008, and a lengthy critique of Sahlins' new book on kinship currently in press.

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Ruth Adams Building, 3rd Floor
131 George Street
New Brunswick, New Jersey  08901-1414

P  848-932-4193
F  732-932-1564
maydelle@rci.rutgers.edu  undergraduate 
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