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Photograph of Zoltan Gluck

Zoltan Gluck Asst Professor Department of Anthropology

PhD. Anthropology. CUNY Graduate Center
MPhil. Anthropology. CUNY Graduate Center
MA. Sociology. Central European University
BA. Philosophy. Bard College

My research focuses on issues of security, war, cities, postcolonialism and racial capitalism in East Africa. My current project is a study of the war on terror in Kenya, examining how counterterrorism permeates many facets of social and political life, transforming institutions and social relations. I have also written academic and public scholarship on piracy in the Indian Ocean, the securitization of refugee governance in East Africa, student activism in North America, and the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City. Additionally, I am an Editor of the journal, Focaal: A Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology.

The book I am completing is titled, "Recolonizing Security: State Power, Social Transformation and Kenya’s War on Terror" and examines the shifting terrain of activism in the aftermath of terrorist attacks, the colonial origins of counterterrorism, and the transformation of the postcolonial state and cities under the auspice of the war on terror. As an ethnography of social transformation, the project traces the ways in which social relations, urban spaces, frontier zones, state institutions and struggles for social justice have been re-shaped by the war on terror in Kenya over the past two decades.

My second major research project is tentatively titled, Ecological Apartheid: Security and the Governance of Nature in East Africa, and investigates how the interlocking crises around poaching, drought and rangeland collapse have created the conditions for the security-driven governance of East Africa’s ‘natural spaces.’ Through the prism of political ecology, this project will analyze the “securitization of nature” in wildlife conservancies in East Africa and the social conflicts which arise in the wake of such securitization.

Thirdly, I have an ongoing stream of research on piracy, Indian Ocean governance and the production of maritime space. I have been conducting research these subjects since 2010, beginning with a study of the piracy trials in Mombasa and continuing with historical research on primitive accumulation and long histories of counter-piracy in the Indian Ocean.

My writings have appeared in Anthropological Theory, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Anthropology Now, Cultural Anthropology (online), The Berkeley Journal of Sociology, Waging Nonviolence, Alternet, USA Today and N+1 as well as in several edited volumes.


Spring 2023

  • ANTH-251 Anthropological Theory

  • ANTH-604 The Craft of Anthropology IV

Fall 2023

  • ANTH-439 Culture, History, Power, Place: Racial Capitalism/Colonial Pre

  • ANTH-560 Summer Fld School: Archaeology: Archaeology Field School