August Carbonella


PhD, City University of New York, 1998




Phone: (709) 864-8860
Office: Queen's College, QC-4008

Research Interests:

Keywords: historical anthropology, the anthropology of labour, the state, social movements, social inequality, nationalism and imperialism, war and popular memory

At the center of my research and training is a longstanding engagement with historical anthropology; the anthropology of labour, the state, social movements, and social inequality; and the intersections of nationalism and imperialism, and war and popular memory. My training at the City University of New York was firmly grounded in anthropology, political economy, and critical theory with a focus on understanding the multifaceted processes of uneven proletarianization and particular constellations of labour in the Americas. My doctoral research was based on long-term fieldwork focused on histories of labour, ethnicity, and social conflict in northern New England and generated a lasting concern with issues of power, culture and social memory. I further developed these interests in my research on the conflict-laden social construction of the memory of the Viet Nam War in the United States, and its political ramifications, during a fellowship year at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the CUNY Graduate Center.

While at Memorial University of Newfoundland, I have deepened my understanding of the historical origins and evolution of the labour question and its relevance for contemporary popular protest. My current research on the webs of connection among 19th century US abolitionism, British Chartism, and transatlantic labour and cooperativist movements represents both a continuation of my interest in the labour question and a new turn towards mapping its multifaceted, cross-border origins and articulations.

My research interests are reflected in the courses I teach including War, Violence, and Society; The Anthropology of Labour; Urban Anthropology; as well as graduate and undergraduate seminars on Critical Social Theory.

For the past 14 years, I have served on the editorial board of the journal Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology. I was an editor of the journal Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power from 2009 to 2012. Since 2003, I have been an editor of the Berghahn Press book series Dislocations devoted to providing a forum for politically and theoretically engaged responses to the widespread displacements and dispossessions engendered by neoliberal globalization.

Selected Publications:

  • In Blood and Fire: Toward a Global Anthropology of Labour: Berghahn Press, 2014.

  • Looking Back and Ahead: Roundtable on E.P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class at Fifty. Labour/Le Travail (72), 2013.

  • Structures of Fear, Spaces of Hope, Anthropologica Vol. 51, No. 2, 2009.

  • Home Front: The Culture of US imperialism from Viet Nam to Iraq, in I. Susser & J. Maskovsky, Rethinking America: A Reader on Imperialism and Inequalities in the Contemporary United States. Paradigm Press, 2009.

  • Dispossession and the Anthropology of Labour, Critique of Anthropology, Vol. 28, No. 1, 2008.

  • Beyond the Limits of the Visible World: Re-mapping Historical Anthropology, in D. Kalb and H. Tak, Anthropology and History: Pathways beyond the Cultural Turn. Berghahn Press, 2005.

  • Towards an Anthropology of Hope, Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology, no. 42, 2003.