The Institute for Ethnographic Research

The Institute for Ethnographic Research (IFER) is a part of the George Washington University, housed in the Department of Anthropology, but includes scholars from other departments and institutions. Its mission is to provide support and resources for scholars and researchers working together on intellectual, ethical, and practical issues in ethnographic theory and method.

Chartered in February, 2001, IFER is a center for collaborative research and teaching and for the publication of anthropological scholarship. It publishes Anthropological Quarterly ("AQ"), a leading refereed journal of sociocultural anthropology. It was founded in 1928 by the Catholic University of America with the title Primitive Man and acquired by IFER in September, 2001. IFER also hosts a distinguished speaker series (see below) and funds field research and other scholarly activity.

The Institute is funded by subscriptions, private donations, and royalty and distribution partnerships. The journal is available in print and online through Project Muse and JSTOR. The Director of IFER is Prof. R. Richard Grinker (Anthropology). Other GW Anthropology faculty who are members of IFER are Attiya Ahmad, Joshua Bell, Alexander Dent, Ilana Feldman, Hugh Gusterson, Joel Kuipers, Stephen Lubkemann, Sarah Wagner, and Erica Wortham.

However, as an "institute" as opposed to a "center," members include researchers outside GW: Mary Jo Arnoldi (Smithsonian's African Ethnology and Arts), Joyce Y. Chung (National Institutes of Health), Igor Krupnik (Smithsonian's Arctic Studies Center), Mary Linn (Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage), William Merrill (Smithsonian's Department of Anthropology), Adrienne Pine (American University Dept. of Anthropology), Paul Taylor (Smithsonian's Asian Cultural History Program), and Susan Terrio (Georgetown University Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology).


Selected IFER Distinguished Lectures

William Claude Reavis Distinguished Service Professor of Human Development, University of Chicago
"Robust Cultural Pluralism in the New World Order: Three Prophecies"

University of Michigan
"Spirit Writing: Materiality, Words, and their Magic"

University of California, Berkeley
"Beyond Bioethics: Global Justice and the Traffic in Human Organs"

Dunbar-Van Cleve Professor of Sociocultural Anthropology Washington University, St. Louis
"Does French Islam Have Borders?"

University of California, Berkeley
"On the Shoulders of Giants: Putting History and Theory into Ethnography"

E-mail the IFER director, Prof. Richard Grinker.