1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Kath Weston


Ph.D. Stanford 1988

Kath Weston’s current work focuses on political economy, political ecology and environmental issues, historical anthropology, and science studies.  She has also published widely on kinship, gender, and sexuality.  Before coming to the University of Virginia, she taught at Harvard University and Arizona State University.  She has also served as a Visiting Professor at Cambridge University, the University of Tokyo, Brandeis University, Wellesley College, and Olin College.

Dr. Weston has conducted fieldwork and archival research in North America, India, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.  She is a longtime member of the National Writers Union and the author of multiple books.

Recent Essays & Ongoing Projects

Historical Anthropology and the History of Anthropology
"'Real Anthropology’ and Other Nostalgias”
“Vectors and Limits: Imagining the Offshore as Incarceration”
“Escape from the Andamans: Tracking, Offshore Incarceration, and Ethnology in the Back of Beyond”
“A Political Ecology of ‘Unnatural Offences’: State Security, Queer Embodiment, and the Environmental Impacts of Prison Migration”

Political Ecology
“Political Ecologies of the Precarious”
“A Political Ecology of ‘Unnatural Offences’: State Security, Queer Embodiment, and the Environmental Impacts of Prison Migration”
“Water and War”

Political Economy
“Lifeblood, Liquidity, and Cash Transfusions: Beyond Metaphor in the Study of Finance”
“Biosecuritization: The Quest for Synthetic Blood and the Taming of Kinship”
“The Homeless Readers of Tokyo”
“The Moveable Feast of Economy and Biology: Sex/Gender Four Decades On”

Science Studies
“Entanglement, Really: Taking Scientific Metaphors in the Social Sciences Seriously”
“Biosecuritization: The Quest for Synthetic Blood and the Taming of Kinship”
“Now Where’s the Beef? The National Animal Identification System, Biosecurity, and Emerging Forms of State Surveillance”

Recent Honors

Guggenheim Fellowship (2011)


Political economy; political ecology and environmental issues; historical anthropology; science studies; kinship, gender, and sexuality.

Selected Publications

2008 - Traveling Light: On the Road with America’s Poor. Beacon Press.

2002 - Gender in Real Time: Power and Transience in a Visual Age. Routledge.

1998 - Long Slow Burn: Sexuality and Social Science. Routledge.

1997 - Families We Choose: Lesbians, Gays, Kinship. Beacon Press.

1996 - Render Me, Gender Me: Lesbians Talk Sex, Class, Color, Nation, Studmuffins. Columbia University Press.

1982 - The Apprenticeship and Blue Collar System. California State Department of Education.

Department Faculty

Sonia Alconini
David A. Harrison III Professor of American Archaeology
Ira Bashkow
Goldsmith Family NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor, 2018-2021: Associate Professor
Frederick H. Damon
Eve Danziger
Professor and Director of the Interdepartmental Program in Linguistics
Lise Dobrin
Associate Professor
Gertrude Fraser
Associate Professor
Richard Handler
Professor & Director of Global Development Studies Program
James Igoe
Professor & Chair
Kasey Jernigan
Assistant Professor of Anthropology and American Studies
Adria LaViolette
Professor, Director of Undergraduate Studies
Daniel Lefkowitz
Associate Professor
George Mentore
Associate Professor
Rachel Most
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Programs & Professor
Fraser D. Neiman
China Scherz
Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies
Mark Sicoli
Assistant Professor, Director of Graduate Admissions
Margaret Smith
Director & Curator, The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection
Sylvia Tidey
Assistant Professor
Patricia Wattenmaker
Associate Professor
Kath Weston
Jarrett Zigon
William & Linda Porterfield Chair in Biomedical Ethics and Professor of Anthropology