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Catherine Lutz

Catherine Lutz

+1 401 863 2779
111 Thayer Street, Room 208


Downloadable CV

Catherine Lutz

Thomas J. Watson, Jr. Family Professor of International Studies
Professor of Anthropology


Professor Lutz is the author or co-author of many books and articles on a range of issues, including security and militarization, gender violence, education, and transportation.  Writing and speaking widely in a variety of media, she has also consulted with civil society organizations as well as with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the government of Guam. She is past president of the American Ethnological Society and was selected as a Guggenheim Fellow and a Radcliffe Fellow.


Professor Lutz's research has focused on the transformations of war, as well as on peacekeeping and gender, military basing and anti-basing social movements, photographic representations of the world of nations, and car cultures and political economy.

She is currently leading a large interdisciplinary project on the human, social, and financial costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The Costs of War project has brought together over 45 scholars and practitioners from across the social sciences with expertise in these areas, and their research output is available at costsofwar.org.

Current Projects

Re-Examining Global Policy Agendas via Interactive, South-Initiated North-South Dialogues

Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Peacekeeping

Costs of War


The Brightest Will Rise, and Other Errors. Cultural Anthropology Fieldsites, no. February 2018, 02/01/2018, Peer Reviewed, Published.

Bureaucratic Weaponry and the Production of Ignorance in Military Operations on Guam. Current Anthropology, vol. 60, no. S19, 12/01/2018, Peer Reviewed, Published.

War and Health: The Medical Consequences of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New York: New York University Press, in press (edited with Andrea Mazzarino). 

The Politics and Aesthetics of Military Maps.  In Securing Spaces. Setha Low and Mark Maguire, eds. New York: New York University Press, 2018, in press.

Roboeducation. In Robo-Humans: How Algorithms are Remaking Social Life, Hugh Gusterson and Catherine Besteman, eds. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018, in press (with Anne Fernandez).

Afterword: Producing States of Security. Anthropological Theory, 2017, 17 (3): 421-25.

What Matters. Cultural Anthropology, 2017, 32 (2): 181-191.

Schooled: Ordinary, Extraordinary Teaching in an Age of Change (with Anne Fernandez). New York: Teachers College Press, 2015.

The U.S. Car Colossus and the Production of Inequality. American Ethnologist, 2014, 41 (2): 232-45.

Talks & Media

The War in Afghanistan Might Not Be Effective -- But For Some, It's Profitable. Pacific Standard, September 6, 2017.

How Did Guam Become a Target of North Korean Missiles? Common Dreams, August 18, 2017. 

Trump’s Budget Puts Lives at Risk. US News and World Report, May 23, 2017, with William Hartung.

Donald Trump and US Foreign Policy. Okinawa Times, November 14, 2016. 

What the People of the United States Need to Know about their Bases in Okinawa. Ryukyu Shimpo, March 15, 2015.

US Reconstruction Aid for Afghanistan is Focused on Weapons; Much is Siphoned Off by Corruption. Global Post, February 13, 2015. 

Review of Ian Morris, “War: What is it Good For? Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots.” San Francisco Chronicle, July 14, 2014.

News|Recent News

NYC line, people waiting with masks on to be screened

Fighting a virus with the wrong tools (written by Catherine Lutz)

March 30, 2020 The Hill

In this article, Catherine Lutz writes, "America isn’t ready for this pandemic because our government has been spending money on the wrong things. Instead of putting money towards fighting disease or alleviating suffering, the U.S. spent enormous sums over the past couple of decades on war and war preparation."


Post-9/11 War on Terror costs $6.4 trillion plus 801,000 deaths (Catherine Lutz and Costs of War report cited)

November 18, 2019 Digital Journal

Cited in Digital Journal, "The two reports were prepared by the Costs of War Project at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. Catherine Lutz, Costs of War co-director and a Brown Professor who authored the projects' report on deaths said: "These reports provide a reminder that even if fewer soldiers are dying and the U.S. is spending a little less on the immediate costs of war today, the financial impact is still as bad as, or worse than, it was 10 years ago."


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