Catherine Lutz is a professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. Her work has focused on questions of power, knowledge, and culture in the United States and the Pacific. She is the author of Homefront: A Military City and the American Twentieth Century (Beacon Press, 2001), Reading National Geographic, with Jane L. Collins (University of Chicago Press, 1993), and Unnatural Emotions: Everyday Sentiments on a Micronesian Atoll and Their Challenge to Western Theory (University of Chicago Press, 1988).
While a Radcliffe fellow, Lutz will write a book on contemporary car culture in the United States. Based on ethnographic research in a wide variety of settings, the book will focus on contradictions between the values people have come to expect to enact through the car and the realities of living with it. The book will explore these contradictions in the context of the larger material, regulatory, political, and economic system centered on the automobile.
Lutz received her BA from Swarthmore College and her PhD from Harvard University, and she is the immediate past president of the American Ethnological Society. She has won the Anthony Leeds Prize in Urban Anthropology, the Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing, and the Stirling Prize for the best published work of psychological anthropology and is a recipient of research grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Compton Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.