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 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. The journal helps IFER become known as a research center, as a place that can set new research agendas for scholars working throughout the world. 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 with the Johns Hopkins University Press, Project Muse, and Bell and Howell's ProQuest. The Director of IFER is Prof. R. Richard Grinker (Anthropology). Other GW Anthropology faculty who are members of IFER are Catherine Allen, Alexander Dent, Joel Kuipers, and Stephen Lubkemann.

However, as an "institute" as opposed to a "center," members include researchers outside GW: Jon W. Anderson (Catholic University Dept. of Anthropology), Joyce Y. Chung (National Institutes of Health), Jean-Paul Dumont (George Mason University Dept. of Anthropology), John Homiak (Smithsonian's Anthropological Archives), Igor Krupnik (Smithsonian's Arctic Studies Center), William Merrill (Smithsonian's Department of Anthropology), Paul Taylor (Smithsonian's Asian Cultural History Program), Susan Terrio (Georgetown University Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology), and Brett Williams (American University Dept. of Anthropology).


IFER Distinguished Lectures

2010-2011
RICHARD SHWEDER
William Claude Reavis Distinguished Service Professor of Human Development, University of Chicago
"Robust Cultural Pluralism in the New World Order: Three Prophecies"

2008-2009
WEBB KEANE
University of Michigan
"Spirit Writing: Materiality, Words, and their Magic"

2006-2007
LESLIE AIELLO
President, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research
"Diet, Energy, and Human Evolution"

2005-2006
NANCY SCHEPER-HUGHES
University of California, Berkeley
"Beyond Bioethics: Global Justice and the Traffic in Human Organs"

2003-2004
JOHN R. BOWEN
Dunbar-Van Cleve Professor of Sociocultural Anthropology Washington University, St. Louis
"Does French Islam Have Borders?"

2002-2003
MICHAEL BURAWOY
University of California, Berkeley
"On the Shoulders of Giants: Putting History and Theory into Ethnography"

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