Rubin, Joshua D.

Joshua D. Rubin

Lecturer in Anthropology


Joshua D. Rubin teaches in Bates College’s Department of Anthropology, and he is also a member of the program committees for American Studies and Africana (formerly African American Studies). At Bates, Rubin has offered courses on art, sport, race and gender, sensory perception, popular culture in Africa, ethnographic writing, and the discipline of anthropology and its histories. His courses have been cross-listed with Art and Visual Culture as well as American Studies and Africana.

Rubin is a sociocultural anthropologist by training, and he conducts his ethnographic research in Southern Africa. His first book manuscript, under contract with University of Michigan Press, examines the aesthetic politics of rugby in South Africa’s post-apartheid era. His next book project will analyze the everyday theorizing of artists and informal natural gas dealers in Zimbabwe. He has also interviewed retired state administrators in South Africa about the perversity of the apartheid regime. These diverse topics are united by the theme of emergence—How disorderly situations (be they the interaction of players on the sporting field, state officials attempting to impose an illogical and violent ideology, or artistic creation and informal economic labor) come to acquire a measure of coherence and structural stability. In addition to his interest in emergence, Rubin is also interested in critical theory as well as theories of sports, art and aesthetics, conceptions of the state, and race and gender. His published work has appeared in the journals SAFUNDI and Cultural Anthropology. An article on his second book project is forthcoming with the journal Africa.