My research interests include Southeast Asia, capitalism, commodities, corporations, international development, extractive industries, and tobacco. I am currently writing a commodity-centered ethnographic account of Sampoerna, an Indonesian subsidiary of Philip Morris International. Provisionally entitled Kretek Capitalism: Making, Marketing, and Consuming Clove Cigarettes in Indonesia, the project follows the social and material trajectory of Sampoerna cigarettes from tobacco and clove seeds to smoke and ash, tracing (1) the subjective experience of farmers, factory workers, marketers, retailers, and smokers whose life worlds are entangled with the commodity; and (2) Sampoerna’s strategies for collecting detailed knowledge about and mobilizing the people, plants, and things that together constitute the kretek economy.
My first book, Enacting the Corporation: An American Mining Firm in Postauthoritarian Indonesia (University of California Press, 2014), applied anthropological theories of personhood and social studies of the state to the corporation, and was based on two years of ethnographic research on a Denver-based gold mining firm, its Indonesian operation, and the Corporate Social Responsibility industry.
I have published articles in American Ethnologist, Cultural Anthropology, Current Anthropology, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, and the Seattle University Law Review. My research has been supported by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, Social Science Research Council, Wenner-Gren, National Science Foundation, Fulbright IIE, and Fulbright-Hays.
Courses I have taught include Cigarette Cultures; Economy, Power, and Inequality; Cultural Diversity and Contemporary Issues; Ethnographies of Development; The Corporation; Power, Culture, and Society in Southeast Asia; and Risk Work.
2014 Enacting the Corporation: An American Mining Firm in Post-authoritarian Indonesia. Berkeley: University of California Press. http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520282315
2018 The Architecture of Cigarette Circulation: Marketing Work on Indonesia’s Retail Infrastructure. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 24(4):669-691. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-9655.12911
2017 Articulating and disarticulating corporation and community. In The Corporation: A Critical, Multidisciplinary Handbook, pp. 449-56. André Spicer and Grietje Baars, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
2016 Notes on the Difficulty of Studying the Corporation. Seattle University Law Review 39: 397-422. http://digitalcommons.law.seattleu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2310&context=sulr
2016 No Ethnographic Playground: Mining Projects and Anthropological Politics. Book review essay in Comparative Studies in Society and History 58(2): 577-586.
2014 Anthropology After the New Order. In Producing Indonesia: The State of Indonesian Studies, pp. 19-23. Eric Tagliacozzo, ed. Ithaca: Southeast Asia Publications, Cornell University.
2012 The Green Revolution’s Ghost: Unruly Subjects of Participatory Development in Rural Indonesia. American Ethnologist 39(2): 389-406.
2011 Corporate Lives: New Perspectives on the Social Life of the Corporate Form. Introduction to Special Issue in Current Anthropology. Marina Welker, Damani Partridge, Rebecca Hardin, eds. 52(S3): S3-S16. http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdfplus/10.1086/657907
2011 Shareholder Activism and Alienation. Current Anthropology. Marina Welker and David Wood. 52(S3): S57-S69. http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdfplus/10.1086/656796
2009 “Corporate Security Begins in the Community:” Mining, the Corporate Social Responsibility Industry, and Environmental Advocacy in Indonesia. Cultural Anthropology 24(1):142-179.