George Marcus is the Chancellor's Professor of Anthropology at UCI. Though Professor Marcus is not generally recognized for engaging the field of STS, he is deeply invested in understanding processes of scientific (social and otherwise) knowledge production and the relations between diverse modalities of expertise. Professor Marcus is interested in how this marginal, incomplete, and belated specialty of the cultural/ethnographic study of elites in anthropology (subsuming the early projects of his career, in Tonga, on capitalist dynasties etc.) has become the means of pursuing an anthropology of contemporary change in most topical arenas. His projects continue to be explicitly collaborative and therefore he has taken an interest in the nature of collaborations at the core of the contemporary practice of diverse ethnographic research. He argues for the necessity of working with experts and counterparts of various kinds as an orientation to fieldwork along with an abiding interest in the conditions of ordinary, often subatlern life that generates the complexities of multi-sited research about which he has written. His own work can be seen as a collaborative attempt at a systematic rearticulation, and in some sense, reinvention, of the norms and forms of the classic modality of research in social/cultural anthropology: fieldwork with the writing of ethnography as outcome.
This PECE essay helps to answer the STS Across Borders analytic question: “What people, projects, and products exemplify how this STS formation has developed over time?”
This essay is part of a broader exhibit on UCI Anthro STS.