Photo credits:
Stewen Quigley

Alisse Waterston

Non-resident Long-term Fellow for Programmes in Transnational Processes, Structural Violence,
and Inequality, SCAS.
Presidential Scholar and Professor of Anthropology, the City University of New York

Alisse Waterston is presidential scholar, professor and past chair at the John Jay College of Criminal
Justice, City University of New York. She is a cultural anthropologist who studies the human
consequences of structural and systemic violence and inequality in the areas of urban poverty and
policy issues in the US related to destitution, homelessness and substance abuse, health, welfare
and migration. Her most recent cross-cultural work focuses on the processes and aftermaths of
political violence, ethnic and religious conflict, displacement and transnationalism, remembering,
diaspora, cultural trauma and identity formation.

Waterston is the author or editor of seven books, including the award winning My Father’s Wars:
Migration, Memory and the Violence of a Century
. “Intimate Ethnography and the Anthropological
Imagination: Dialectical Aspects of the Personal and the Political in My Father’s Wars” is the most
downloaded 2019 article in American Ethnologist. Her latest book is a graphic novel, Light in Dark
Times: The Human Search for Meaning
with illustrator Charlotte Hollands published in the innovative
series, ethnoGRAPHIC of the University of Toronto Press, 2020. Her previous titles are Street Addicts
in the Political Economy
; Love, Sorrow, and Rage: Destitute Women in a Manhattan Residence; An
Anthropology of War: Views from the Frontline
; Anthropology off the Shelf: Anthropologists on
Writing
; and Gender in Georgia: Feminist Perspectives on Culture, Nation, and History in the South
Caucasus
.

Waterston served as President of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in 2015-17. She is
the founding editor of Open Anthropology and served as editor of North American Dialogue. An Inter-
national Scholar of the Open Society Institute, Tbilisi State University (2012-15), she received an
honorary doctorate from the Ilia State University, Tbilisi, in 2018.

Alisse Waterston serves as editor of the book series, Intimate Ethnography (Berghahn Books). Recent
publications are “Making Light in Dark Times: The Comic Strip” (Anthropology News 2021), “Imagining
World Solidarities for a Livable Future,” (kritisk etnografi – Swedish Journal of Anthropology 2020),
and the short story, “Interiors” (Ethnographic Fiction, Anthropology Now 2020). A Tenth Anniversary
Edition of My Father’s Wars is in process for release in 2024.


This information is accurate as of the academic year 2022-23.