Professor Eben Kirksey

eben kirksey
Professor of Anthropology

Fellow of St Cross College

Eben is a cultural anthropologist who is perhaps best known for his work in multispecies ethnography—a field that situates contemporary scholarship on animals, microbes, plants, and fungi within deeply rooted traditions of environmental anthropology, continental philosophy, and the sociology of science. Questions related to science and social justice animate his most recent book, The Mutant Project (2020), which offers an insiders account of the laboratory in China that created the world’s first children whose genes were edited with CRISPR-Cas9.

Eben was a British Marshall Scholar at the University of Oxford, before he went on to earn his PhD at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has taught at some of the most selective and innovative higher education institutions like Princeton University and Deep Springs College. In Australia he helped found the Environmental Humanities program at UNSW Sydney, and he maintains ongoing collaborations with colleagues at the Alfred Deakin Institute in Melbourne, Australia

Personal website:

Selected publications


Kirksey, Eben. (2020) The Mutant Project, New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Kirksey, Eben. (2015) Emergent Ecologies, Durham: Duke University Press.

Kirksey, Eben. (2012) Freedom in Entangled Worlds: West Papua and the Architecture of Global Power, Durham: Duke University Press.


Edited Collections

Chao, Sophie, Karin Bolender, & Eben Kirksey (2022) The Promise of Multispecies Justice. Durham: Duke University Press.

Shapiro, Nicolas & Eben Kirksey (2017) “Chemoethnography: Openings and RetrospectivesCultural Anthropology 32 (4). 

Kirksey, Eben (2014) The Multispecies Salon, Durham: Duke University Press. 

Kirksey, Eben & Stefan Helmreich (2010) “The Emergence of Multispecies Ethnography,” Cultural Anthropology 25 (4). 


Recent Articles and Essays

E Kirksey (2022) “Virology” In Coccia, Emanuele (ed.) "Unknown Unknowns: An Introduction to Mysteries", Triennale Milano XXIII International Exhibition, Catalogue (English Edition), Milan, Italy, 178-194

E Kirksey (2022) “Impure Hopes: CRISPR and an HIV Cure,” Gay and Lesbian Studies Quarterly (GLQ), 28(1): 29-53

E Kirksey (2022) “Genealogy, Virality, and Potentiality: Moving Beyond Orientalism with COVID-19,” Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 18: 383-387.

E Kirksey (2021) “Living Machines Go Wild Policing the Imaginative Horizons of Synthetic Biology,” Current Anthropology, 62 (S24): 287-297.

J Aranda, E Kirksey (2020) “Toward a Glossary of the Oceanic Undead: A(mphibious) through F(utures)” e-flux, Issue #112. 2020

E Kirksey (2020) “The Emergence of COVID-19: A Multispecies Story,” Anthropology Now, 12(1): 11-16.

E Kirksey (2020) “Chemosociality in Multispecies Worlds: Endangered Frogs and Toxic Possibilities in Sydney, Australia,” Environmental Humanities, 12(1).

E Kirksey (2019) “Queer love, gender bending bacteria, and life after the Anthropocene,” Theory, Culture & Society, 36 (6): 197-219.

E Kirksey, P Munro, T van Dooren, et al. (2018) “Feeding the flock: Wild cockatoos and their Facebook friends,” Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 1 (4): 602-620.

N Shapiro, E Kirksey (2018) “Chemo-ethnography: An introduction,” Cultural Anthropology, 32 (4): 481-493.


Full publications: