HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory

HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, is an international peer-reviewed, partly open-access journal that appears in both digital and print format. It aims to take ethnography as the prime heuristic of anthropology, and return it to the forefront of conceptual developments in the discipline.

The journal is motivated by the desire to reinstate ethnographic theorization in contemporary anthropology as an alternative to explanation or contextualization by philosophical arguments--moves which have resulted in a loss of the discipline's distinctive theoretical nerve. By drawing out anthropology’s potential to critically engage and challenge its own cosmological assumptions and concepts, HAU aims to provide an exciting new arena for evaluating ethnography as a daring enterprise for worlding alien terms and forms of life, exploring  their potential for rethinking humanity, self, and alterity.

HAU takes its name from a Māori concept, whose controversial translations—and the equivocations to which they gave rise—have generated productive theoretical work in anthropology, reminding us that our discipline exists in tension with the incomparable and the untranslatable. Through their reversibility, such inferential misunderstandings invite us to explore how encounters with alterity can render intelligible a range of diverse knowledge practices. In its online version, HAU stresses immediacy of publication, allowing for the timely publication and distribution of untimely ideas. The journal aims to attract the most daring thinkers in the discipline, regardless of position or background.

HAU welcomes submissions that strengthen ethnographic engagement with received knowledges, revive the vibrant themes of anthropology through debate and engagement with other disciplines, and explore domains held until recently to be the province of economics, philosophy, and the sciences. Topics addressed by the journal include, among others, diverse ontologies and epistemologies, forms of human engagement and relationality, cosmology and myth, magic, witchcraft and sorcery, truth and falsehood, science and anti-science, art and aesthetics, theories of kinship and relatedness with humans and non-humans, power, hierarchy, materiality, perception, environment and space, time and temporality, personhood and subjectivity, and the metaphysics of morality and ethics.

Free access journal
The University of Chicago Press publishes one free-access journal: HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory. This model provides one month of free access after the release of each new issue, and then requires a subscription for continuous access to content. All HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory content published from 2011-2017 is open access.



In memoriam Bruno Latour


We mourn the death of Bruno Latour in Paris on the 9th of October. A prolific, unclassifiable and ceaselessly inventive author, Bruno Latour produced work that sits at the crossroads of philosophy, anthropology, sociology, and art – and is always grounded in detailed empirical descriptions of the ways in which humans interact with each other, with ideas, with institutions, and with surrounding non-human entities in given contexts. Though he is best known for his groundbreaking essay We Have Never Been Modern (1993) – probably the most implicitly quoted book in all contemporary social science – and for his revolutionary studies of science and technology (Laboratory Life, with S. Woolgar, 1979; Aramis ou l’amour des techniques, 1992; The pasteurization of France, 2001), Latour also wrote about sociology and what it should be (La sociologie en action, 1989; Reassembling the Social, 2005), the production of law (La fabrique du droit, 2002), faith and religious discourse (Jubiler, 2002), the work of the public in democracy (Le public fantôme, 2008), and a neglected philosophical magnum opus An Inquiry into Modes of Existence (2012). Driven by his deep concern over the current climate crisis, Latour spent the last decade inventing new ways of getting people to engage in the front of political ecology, from theatrical performances, via exhibitions and experimental workshops in rural communities, to his final books (Face à Gaïa, 2015; Où atterrir? 2017; Où suis-je? 2021). His work has been widely translated, and most of his books have been published in English by Harvard University Press. Bruno Latour’s many friends across the world will remember above all his boundless generosity of spirit, his love of scientific practice, and his enthusiastic embrace of all forms of creativity.


Posted: 2022-10-11 More...
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Vol 12, No 3 (2022)

Cover Page

Table of Contents

Editorial Note

A treasury of ideas
Andrew B. Kipnis, Louisa Lombard, Raminder Kaur, Luiz Costa

Currents: The Re-starting of History: Life in Changing Spheres of Russian Influence

Louisa Lombard
Louisa Lombard
Ainur Begim
Jennifer J. Carroll
Dace Dzenovska
Monica Eppinger
Volodymyr Ishchenko, Oleg Zhuravlev
Ilmari Käihkö

Special Section: Elementary Words of Political Life

Anastasia Piliavsky, Judith Scheele
Joel Robbins
Claudio Sopranzetti
Judith Scheele
Ward Keeler
Piers Vitebsky
Ana Chiriţoiu
Harry Walker


Guido Sprenger
Chris Vasantkumar
Diego Villar
Ian McGonigle
Samuele Poletti

Forum: Big Mouth: Sexual Violence, Evidence, and Ambiguity

Bremen Donovan, Nomi Dave
Adrienne J. Cohen
Bremen Donovan
Nomi Dave
Carrie Rentschler
Jesse Weaver Shipley

Book Symposium

A perspective on science, ontology, and reflexivity
Katherine Pratt Ewing
Marshall Sahlins, where are you? From the intellectual to the existential
Gordon Mathews
Life-giving and death-dealing powers
Marilyn Strathern
Untamed Amazonia: Comments on an enchanted book
Carlos Fausto
At the track: Gambling on the science of anthropology
Frederick Henry, Peter Sahlins

Film Symposium

Catharsis after the hangover: A focus on Unwritten Letters
Raminder Kaur
Brotherhood at times of war: Reviewing the film Unwritten Letters
Eda Elif Tibet
Reflections on Unwritten Letters and the neorealism of contingency
Estella Carpi
Reflections on the healing power of collaborative filmmaking: The case of Unwritten Letters
Christian Suhr
Time, grief, and hope on film
Yasmin Fedda
Relational filmmaking: Reflections in response to comments on Unwritten Letters
Max Bloching, Abd Alrahman Dukmak