Elana Shever is a cultural anthropologist with interests in natural resources and materiality, corporations, neoliberalism, globalization, and capitalism. Her work has examined the relationship between large-scale political-economic processes and intimate transformations in personhood. She has conducted research in Argentina, Colombia, and the United States.
Her book, Resources for Reform: Oil and Neoliberalism in Argentina
(Stanford University Press, 2012) explores how people’s lives intersect with the global oil industry through a close look at Argentina’s experiment with privatizing its national oil company in the name of neoliberal reform. This study has led to continued involvement in developing the critical ethnography of corporations.
Her current research project examines how public scientific knowledge is created within the contemporary United States through an ethnographic study of people’s engagements with dinosaurs, and their multiple interpretations of them. Dinosaurs offer an especially clear lens to study public knowledge of science because of their widespread popularity and frequent use in both education and entertainment. The project explores how various groups of people interact with, and understand, dinosaur artifacts, including fossils, casts, and models. It aims to uncover how knowledge is created through the interactions among people, and between people and things.
AB, Brown University, 1999; MA (2001), PhD (2008), University of California at Berkeley
Peer-Reviewed Articles and Chapter
- “‘I am a Petroleum Product’: Making Kinship Work on the Patagonian Frontier,” Vital Relations: Modernity and the Persistence of Kinship, Susan McKinnon and Fenella Cannell, Eds. Santa Fe, NM: SAR Press, 2013.
- "Engendering the Company: Corporate Personhood and the 'Face' of an Oil Company in Metropolitan Buenos Aires," Political and Legal Anthropology Review, 2010, 33(1).
- "Neoliberal Associations: Property, Company and Family in the Argentine Oil Fields," American Ethnologist, 2008, 35(4).
- Review of Living with Oil: Promises, Peaks, and Declines on Mexico's Gulf Coast. Lisa Breglia. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2013. American Ethnologist, 41(3):598-99.
- "When the State Takes Stock," The Huffington Post, May 4, 2012.
- "Adeline Cohnfelt Lust." Jewish Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia. Paula E. Hyman and Deborah D. Moore, eds. p. 880. New York, NY: Routledge, 1998.
- David M. Schneider Paper Prize, American Anthropological Association, 2007
- Phi Beta Kappa of Northern California Dissertation Fellowship, 2006
- University of California, Berkeley Human Rights Center Fellowship, 2006
- Fulbright Fellowship for Research in Argentina, 2005
- University of California, Berkeley Dissertation Research Award, 2005
- Center for Latin American Studies Tinker Research Grant, 2002
- National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2000
- Regents of the University of California Pre-Dissertation Humanities Fellowship, 2000
- Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies (declined), 2000
Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Colgate University 2011-Present
See the course offerings website for current courses.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Union College 2009-2011
- Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (ANTH 102)
- The Craft of Anthropological Inquiry (ANTH 211)
- Nature, Culture and Politics (ANTH/SOCI 245)
- Corporations and Power (ANTH 339)
- Globalization and Social Change in Latin America (ANTH/ALST 363)