The Department of Anthropology is pleased to announce that Amiel Bize was hired to be an Assistant Professor in Economic Anthropology at Cornell University. Bize is an anthropologist whose work explores social and economic transformations at capitalist margins, with particular research and teaching interests in value, rural spaces, and financial and environmental risk.
Bize’s current book project, Risk, Rent, and Remainder: Values and Margins in Post-Agrarian Rural Kenya, examines value and ‘post-agrarian’ rural life in East Africa, where decades of austerity have produced new configurations of accumulation and social life. Examining the entangled and shifting roles of road, land, and forest as resources for rural residents, the manuscript focuses on three modes of accessing value: ‘risk’, ‘rent’, and ‘remainder’.
She is working on two new projects that extend these themes in different directions. First, an investigation of gleaning – an ancient form of redistribution, organized around harvest leftovers – considers the ongoing significance of the concept of remainder in moral-economic life. Second, Bize is conducting research on climate-sensitive pastoralist insurance. This project examines the imbrication of development and financialization, while also considering the complexities of both pastoralists and ‘the environment’ as uncertain objects of knowledge and governance.
Bize's work has been supported by Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education (FLAS). She received a PhD in Anthropology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Literature, both from Columbia University. She is currently employed as Akademische Rätin at the University of Bayreuth in Germany.
Cornell Anthropology is excited to have a faculty member in the Department to bring ethnographic insights to the study of contemporary economic activities and teach fundamental courses in economic anthropology.