Ian Kalman, PhD

Ian Kalman, PhD
Faculty Member in Social Studies at Fulbright University

Dr. Ian Kalman is a socio-cultural anthropologist whose research looks at the complex interplay between global structures of law and technology and the subjectivities of interpersonal interactionsIn doing so, he employs both macro-analytic models for understanding the increasing role of digital technology in shaping contemporary society and micro-analytic models which emphasize the importance of local context and language in shaping the human experience. 

His doctoral research at McGill University involved substantial ethnographic fieldwork with North American border officers and residents of the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, an Indigenous community straddling the borderlineThis research became the focus of his monograph, Framing Borders, published in 2021 by the University of Toronto Press.     

Ian’s interdisciplinary work has been published across fields, including anthropology, political science, Indigenous studies, and law. He has also produced policy reports for both the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and the Government of Canada with a focus on improving interactions between settlers and Indigenous peoples.    

In addition to his academic work, Ian also has a passion for institution building, serving as a founding member of Fulbright’s undergraduate faculty and as a fellow in first years of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology’s Department of Law and AnthropologyThis professional interest abuts his theoretical focus on the ways in which institutions (including those of political and education institutions) serve as sites of knowledge production.   

Ian’s understanding of borders is rooted not just in academic study, but also in his transnational experiences as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Southwestern China, and an ESL instructor in Ukraine and Turkey.