Career Biography

David Graeber

David Graeber is a widely regarded anthropologist, currently working at Goldsmith’s University in London.  Graeber has been described as an ‘anti-leader’ of Occupy Wall Street (Businessweek) due to his anarchist politics.  Graeber sees the Occupy movement as an anarchist political project that is attempting to change the social, economic, and political structures of the United States.  David Graeber

© Melville House

Born: February 12, 1961
Birthplace: Chelsea, Manhattan, NYC


  • Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of Chicago
    • Recipient of Fulbright to study magic, slavery, and politics in Madagascar
  • Masters in Anthropology, University of Chicago
  • B.A., State University of New York at Purchase

Current Position: Reader in Social Anthropology at Goldsmith’s University in London
1998-2005: Professor of Anthropology at Yale University (Temporary 1 year term from 2005-2006)
Had a contract for 10 years with Yale with the possibility of being put up for tenure at the end of the term.  Yale released him after 7 years, annulling the possibility of tenure.  School officials refused to relsease their reasonings (they cited tardiness by Graeber to his classes, which none of his students had complained about) so supporters of Graeber theorize it is because of his anarchist politics.  Graeber also says that his support of a student who was in the ill-regarded Graduate Student union was another reason for his dismissal.
Taught “Direct Action and Radical Social Theory” during last semester at Yale

Honors and Awards:
One of the most widely recognized anthropological value theorists, gave the Malinowski Lecture at the London School of Economics, a prestigious lecture recognizing anthropologists early in their career who have made a significant impact on anthropological theory.

Video Interviews:

“A Conversation With Anarchist David Graeber”

“David Graeber on Debts, Money, Markets, and Occupy Wall Street (1/2)”

“David Graeber on the Occupy Wall Street Protest & Forgiving Debt of the American Poor”

Internet Interviews:
An interview with the White Review that goes in-depth on Graeber’s personal life and politics.  Offers an in-depth look at Graeber’s personal motivation for what he studies and how he views anarchy, anthropology, and politics.
An interview with Graeber on his views around anarchy, organization, and social change.  It also offers a look into his career as a professor and his anthropological and ethnographic work.

Published Works

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