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Andrew Brandel

Andrew Brandel is a lecturer on social studies at Harvard University. Brandel's work examines the relationship between the movement of texts and the movement of peoples, especially between Europe, the United States, and South Asia, and is located at the intersection of cultural anthropology, comparative literature and philosophy, Since 2010, he has conducted ethnographic fieldwork on the formation literary culture in Berlin, both in the context of the historical rise of the cultural bourgeoisie during the long nineteenth century, and in a contemporary moment when the stakes of free expression, and its conditions of possibility, are gaining new urgency. This work is the subject of his forthcoming book Moving Words: Literature, Memory and Migration in Berlin (under contract with the University of Toronto Press).

In addition to his ethnographic work, Brandel also writes on the legacy of romanticism in anthropological theory and in ordinary language philosophy. He is the co-editor with Marco Motta of Living with Concepts: Anthropology in the Grip of Reality (Fordham University Press, 2021) and is currently editing a volume on the nature of “detail” in anthropology, history of art, and philosophy. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in leading journals, including Current Anthropology, Ethnos, Anthropological Theory, and Annual Review of Anthropology, and in a number of edited volumes, encyclopedias and handbooks, including the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Anthropology and the Oxford Handbook on Governance and Limited Statehood. He is currently co-editor of the Fordham University Press book series Thinking from Elsewhere.

At the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES) Brandel co-chairs the Harvard Colloquium for Intellectual History. Brandel received his B.A. (2009), M.A. (2013), and Ph.D. (2016) all in anthropology from The Johns Hopkins University, where he was a Dean’s Teaching Fellow. In 2013, he was the inaugural University Archives Fellow at the Hamburger Archives, where he curated the papers of Sidney W. Mintz. From 2016 to 2017 he was Visiting Fellow at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (Institute for Human Sciences) at the European Institute for Advanced Study.

This information is accurate for the time period that the scholar is affiliated with CES.


  • Lecturer on Social Studies, Harvard University
  • Seminar Co-chair, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University