Faculty Q&A: Watson Professor Catherine Lutz discusses racism and the National Geographic magazine's apology for its past
March 21, 2018
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.
Bureaucratic Weaponry and the Production of Ignorance in Military Operations on Guam. Current Anthropology, 2018, in press.
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.
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.
March 21, 2018 C-SPAN
During a Senate debate on the Yemen War Powers Resolution on March 20, 2018, lawmakers discussed the extent of U.S. force abroad and Congress's role in making decisions about where the U.S. goes to war. Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) cited new Brown University Costs of War project data showing that the U.S. is taking military action against terrorism in 76 countries. "How often," he asked, "has Congress debated whether those military actions were authorized?"
March 21, 2018 NPR
Catherine Lutz, a professor of anthropology, called National Geographic's past coverage "a kind of white view of the world ... it's safe, and it's basically free of problems." The magazine's forthcoming issue will confront its own racist past.
March 19, 2018 Chicago Tribune
Professor Catherine Lutz comments on National Geographic's recent admission of its racist past. “There was a lot of ways that the racism was complex more than just captions saying, ‘These are savages.’”
January 4, 2018 The Dig Podcast with Daniel Denvir
Professor Cathy Lutz joined Daniel Denvir on his The Dig Podcast to discuss troop veneration, John Kelly's recent diatribe, and President Trump's attack on protesting NFL players.