• Faculty

  • Hugh Raffles

    Professor of Anthropology and Director, Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography, and Social Thought


    Office Location
    Albert and Vera List Academic Center

    Download vCard

    Hugh Raffles


    Hugh Raffles is Professor of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research and Director of the Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography and Social Thought (GIDEST). His work is a sustained ethnographic exploration of relations between humans, animals, and things. Hugh is completing his new book, an anthropology of stone that draws on fieldwork in China, Japan, Iceland, and Scotland to raise questions about the practice of substance, place, and temporality through close accounts of objects that range in scale from landscapes to monuments to pebbles.

    Hugh’s essays have appeared in a wide variety of venues, including Granta, Public Culture, Cultural Anthropology, the New York Times, Cabinet, and Orion. He is the author, most recently, of Insectopedia (Pantheon, 2010), a New York Times Notable Book, and was a recipient of a 2010 Whiting Writers’ Award.

    Ethnography; nature; writing and other forms of representation and expression.

    Degrees Held

    DFES 1999, Yale University

    Recent Publications

    Insectopedia  (2010)
    New York Times Notable Book, Winner of the 2012 Ludwik Fleck Prize of the Society for Social Studies of Science, Winner of the 2011 Orion Book Award, Winner of a Special Prize for Extending Ethnographic Understanding from the Society for Humanistic Anthropology, shortlisted for the 2012 de Groene Waterman Prize.

    In Amazonia, A Natural History (2002)
    Co-Winner, 2003 Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing of the Society for Humanistic Anthropology; Honorable Mention, 2004 Sharon Stephens First Book Prize of the American Ethnological Society; a Choice/American Library Association Outstanding Academic Title.

    Earthquake,” Orion (2015)

    "Foundations,” Cabinet (2014)

    "Twenty-five Years is a Long Time," Cultural Anthropology (2012)

    "A Conjoined Fate," Orion (2010)

    "Jews, Lice, and History," Public Culture (2007)

    "Cricket Fighting," Granta (2007)

    "The Language of the Bees: An Interview with Hugh Raffles by Sina Najafi," Cabinet (2007)

    "Fluvial Intimacies," in Waterscapes: The Cultural Politics of a Natural Resource, ed. Amita Baviskar (2005)

    "Towards a Critical Natural History," Antipode (2005)

    "Jungle," in Patterned Ground: Ecologies of Nature and Culture, ed. Stephan Harrison, Steve Pile, and Nigel Thrift (2004)

    "Further Reflections on Amazonian Environmental History: Transformations of Rivers and Streams," (with Antoinette WinklerPrins) Latin American Research Review (2003)

    "Intimate Knowledge," International Social Science Journal (2002)

    "The Uses of Butterflies," American Ethnologist (2001)

    "Landscape Change in Tidal Floodplains Near the Mouth of the Amazon River," (with D.J. Zarin, V.F.G. Pereira, M. Pinedo-Vásquez, F.G. Rabelo, and R.G. Congalton)

    Forest Ecology and Management (2001)

    "Social Memory and the Politics of Place-making in Northeastern Amazonia," UC Berkeley Working Papers in Environmental Politics (2000)

    "The Amazon: A Natural Landscape?" Seminar (2000)

    "Local Theory: Nature and the Making of an Amazonian Place," Cultural Anthropology (1999)
    [Co-Winner, 2003 Junior Scholar Award of the Anthropology & Environment Section, American Anthropological Association]

    "Exploring the Anthropogenic Amazon: Estuarine Landscape Transformations in Amapá, Brazil," in Várzea: Diversity, Development and Conservation of Amazonia's Whitewater Floodplain, Christine Padoch, J. Márcio Ayres, Miguel Pinedo-Vásquez, and Anthony Henderson, eds. (1999)

    "Engineers of Amazonia," Natural History (1997)

    Research Interests

    Human/non-human/non-animal relations.

    Awards And Honors

    Whiting Writers' Award

    Current Courses

    Independent Study

    Independent Study

    Independent Study

    Ind Senior Project

  • Take The Next Step

Submit your application


To apply to any of our undergraduate programs (except the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs) complete and submit the Common App online.

Undergraduate Adult Learners

To apply to any of our Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.


To apply to any of our Master's, Doctoral, Professional Studies Diploma, and Graduate Certificate programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.