About Me

Jarrett Zigon is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Amsterdam.  He has also been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, and a visiting scholar at Columbia University.

He was born in the United States but has lived in various parts of Europe since 2006.  He has conducted extensive field research in Russia, where he has spent a total of three years since 1995.  He has also done research in New York City, Vancouver, and Copenhagen.  Jarrett Zigon received his PhD in Anthropology from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 2006, and his MA in Liberal Arts (with a focus on moral and political philosophy) from St. Johns College in 1998.

His research interests include morality/ethics, being-human, political ontology and action, and possibilities for becoming otherwise. These interests are taken up from the perspective of an anthropology strongly influenced by post-Heideggerian hermeneutics and critical theory. He has completed two research projects in Russia: one on the relationship between experiential life-trajectories and moral conceptions, and a second on Russian Orthodox Church drug rehabilitation programs as spaces for ethical training.  He is currently engaged in two long-term research projects: one on the political moralism of the human rights industry, and another on political activism by people who use drugs.  These two projects are funded by a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant and The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

Jarrett Zigon has published three books: HIV is God’s Blessing: Rehabilitating Morality in Neoliberal Russia (2011, University of California Press), Making the New Post-Soviet Person: Narratives of Moral Experience in Contemporary Moscow (2010, Brill), and Morality: An Anthropological Perspective (2008, Berg). His articles can be found in Cultural Anthropology, Theory and Event, American Ethnologist, Anthropological Theory, among other journals.