In this recording from the Society for Economic Anthropology’s 2022 annual conference in Copenhagen, Aneil asks conference organizer Matthew Archer, Assistant Professor in Sustainability at the University of York, what economic anthropology means to him. Matthew outlines how he moved at the beginning of his PhD from an economics track to economic anthropology. An early mentor, Karen Hébert, told him that economics is full of assumptions, and anthropology is very good at questioning these assumptions. Matthew describes a moment in his masters program in environmental economics when he realized that the prices used in economics are deeply flawed. In his subsequent research on tea supply chains and sustainable finance, Matthew continues to question data driven sustainability solutions, to try to imagine and support alternative approaches.
In this recording from the Society for Economic Anthropology’s 2022 annual conference in Copenhagen, Aneil asks Cindy Isenhour, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Climate Change at the University of Maine, what economic anthropology means to her. Cindy gives both a personal and an academic response to the question.
Her personal response charts her journey from graduate school to becoming a professor and economic anthropologist, which was guided by welcoming and supportive mentors in the Society for Economic Anthropology. Cindy’s academic response emphasizes that economic anthropology allows researchers to focus on movement. Much of economic anthropology centers on how ideas, people and things are exchanged and move from place to place and this allows us to understand culture change and societal shifts.
Aneil’s second recording from the Society for Economic Anthropology’s 2022 annual conference in Copenhagen is with Brie Berry, an economic and environmental anthropologist at the University of Maine’s Center for Sustainability Solutions. Brie charts her career journey towards economic anthropology, and how the sub-discipline informs her research on the circular economy. For Brie, economic anthropology allows her to make sense of the complex relationships between people and stuff, and how they create livelihoods and lives that achieve wellbeing. Economic anthropology allows Brie to make sense of social and environmental values that traditional economics can ignore.
Aneil’s first recording in this series is with Daniel Souleles, one of the organizer’s of this year’s meeting and an economic and political anthropologist at Copenhagen Business School. Recorded at Dan’s most recent field site, the Massachusetts Capitol Building, Aneil and Dan talk about his take on economic anthropology and the perspective that guides his past research on financiers in private equity and his current project on how bills get passed in Massachusetts.