• PY_with_logo

    See the collection of talks by ACLS President Pauline Yu. 

  • 2018-board

    The ACLS Board of Directors at the 2018 annual meeting.  William Kirby, board chair, is at Pauline's right. See board and committees.

  • 2018-PY-ELewis

    Pauline in conversation with Earl Lewis, then president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  See the video series.

ACLS Board of Directors


Donald Brenneis
Distinguished Professor
Department of Anthropology
University of California,
Santa Cruz

Donald Brenneis is a linguistic and social anthropologist and Distinguished Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He studied anthropology as an undergraduate at Stanford and received his PhD from Harvard University. His work has focused on the social life of communicative practices—linguistic, musical, performative, and textual. He worked in a South Asian diasporic community in Fiji over a 20-year period, examining the relationships among language, music, conflict, law, and politics—and considering, among other things, children’s arguments, men’s gossip, and the complexities of managing conflict through indirect speech. More recently he has been doing ethnographic work—both as participant and as observer—on peer review, scholarly publishing, assessment practices, higher education policy, and the ongoing shaping of scholarly and scientific knowledge within and beyond anthropology. He has also served as editor of American Ethnologist (1989-94) and president of the American Anthropological Association (2001-03). He cochaired the editorial committee of the University of California Press (2007-09) and is currently coeditor of Annual Review of Anthropology. In 2007-08 he was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Selected publications include “A Partial View of Contemporary Anthropology: 2003 Presidential Address, American Anthropological Association,” American Anthropologist (2004); “Doing Anthropology in Sound: Steven Feld in conversation with Donald Brenneis” (with Steven Feld), American Ethnologist (2004); and Law and Empire in the Pacific: Fiji and Hawai'i (edited with Sally Engle Merry; School of American Research Press, 2004). Brenneis is the 2017 recipient of the American Anthropological Association's Franz Boas Award for Exemplary Service to Anthropology.