Bill Maurer

Picture of Bill Maurer
School of Social Sciences
Professor, Anthropology
School of Social Sciences
School of Law
Director, Institute for Money, Technology, and Financial Inclusion
School of Social Sciences
Co-Director, Center for Social Computing
Ph.D., Stanford University, 1994
M.A., Stanford University, 1990
B.A., Vassar College, 1989
Phone: (949) 824-6802
Fax: (949) 824-0646
University of California, Irvine
Dept. of Anthropology
3275 Social Sciences Plaza B
Mail Code: 5100
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
anthropology of law; globalization; caribbean; anthropology of money and finance; gender and kinship
Academic Distinctions
Distinguished Assistant Professor Award for Research, 1998; Teaching Assistant Development Award, 1999; Distinguished Assistant Professor Award for Teaching, 2000; Law and Society Association Article Prize, 2003; Victor Turner Prize, 2005, for Mutual Life, Limited.
Research Abstract
Bill Maurer is a cultural anthropologist who conducts research on law, property, money and finance, focusing on the technological infrastructures and social relations of exchange and payment. He has particular expertise in emerging, alternative and experimental forms of money and finance, payment technologies, and their legal implications. He has published on topics ranging from offshore financial services to mobile phone-enabled money transfers, Islamic finance, alternative currencies, and the future of money. He is founding director of the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and was the founding co-director of the Intel Science and Technology Center in Social Computing.

His research has been supported by several grants from the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and other sources. He is the editor of six collections, as well as the author of Recharting the Caribbean: Land, Law and Citizenship in the British Virgin Islands (1997), Pious Property: Islamic Mortgages in the United States (2006), and Mutual Life, Limited: Islamic Banking, Alternative Currencies, Lateral Reason (2005). The latter received the Victor Turner Prize in 2005. He has worked as a consultant in industry and the non-profit and philanthropic sector, and has also provided expert testimony on his areas of expertise. For more information on Professor Maurer’s current research projects, click on the Research link above.

He serves as a member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research, Cultural Anthropology, the Journal of Cultural Economy, Cultural Critique, and PoLAR: The Political and Legal Anthropology Review. From 2007-09 he was President of the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology, and served in 2009-10 as a member of the Program Committee for the Law and Society Association meetings in Chicago, IL. He was Chair of the Department of Anthropology at UC Irvine from 2005-06 until 2010-11, during which time the Department solidified its standing among the very top cultural anthropology programs in the country. He was Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the Social Sciences from 2011-13.

In July 2013, he assumed the role of Dean of the School of Social Sciences at UC Irvine. He maintains an active side interest in the experimental history of the Irvine School of Social Sciences, and has been involved in several curatorial projects related to that history. He has also been involved in curatorial work more directly associated with his research, represented most recently in an ongoing exhibit on the past, present and future of money at the British Museum.
ACCELERATING POSSESSION: GLOBAL FUTURES OF PROPERTY AND PERSONHOOD. Bill Maurer and Gabriele Schwab, eds. New York: Columbia University Press, 2006.
2003. GLOBALIZATION UNDER CONSTRUCTION: GOVERNMENTALITY, LAW AND IDENTITY. Richard Perry and Bill Maurer, eds. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press.
1999 GENDER MATTERS: RE-READING MICHELLE Z. ROSALDO. Alejandro Lugo and Bill Maurer, eds. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press.
"The Anthropology of Money."
Annual Review of Anthropology, 2006, 35:15-36.

"Due Diligence and 'Reasonable Man,' Offshore."
Cultural Anthropology, 2005, 20(4):474-505.

"Introduction: Ethnographic Emergences."
American Anthropologist, 2005, 107(2):1-4.

"The Cultural Power of Law? Conjunctive Readings."
Law and Society Review, 2004, 38(4):843-850.*

"Ungrounding knowledges offshore: Caribbean studies, disciplinarity and critique."
Comparative American Studies, 2004, 2(3):324-341.

"Got Language? Law, Property, and the Anthropological Imagination."
American Anthropologist, 2003, 105(4):775-781.

"Please Destabilize Ethnography Now: Against Anthropological Showbiz-as-Usual."
Reviews in Anthropology, 2003, 32(2):159-169.

"Uncanny Exchanges: The Possibilities and Failures of Making Change with Alternative Monetary Forms."
Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 2003, 21(3):317-340.

"Modern Reflex." American Anthropologist 104(1): 324-326, 2002.

"In the Mirror: The Legitimation Work of Globalization."
Susan Coutin, Bill Maurer and Barbara Yngvesson. Law and Social Inquiry. 27(4): 801-843, 2002.

"Anthropological and Accounting Knowledge in Islamic Banking and Finance: Rethinking Critical Accounts."
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, new series, 8(4): 645-667, 2002.

"Fact and Fetish in Creolization Studies: Herskovits and the Problem of Induction, or, Guinea Coast, 1593."
New West Indian Guide/Nieuwe West-Indisches Gids 76 (1/2): 5-22, 2002.

"Chrysography: Substance and Effect."
The Asia-Pacific Journal of Anthropology (formerly Canberra Anthropology) 3(1): 49-74, 2002.

"Repressed Futures: Financial Derivatives Theological Unconscious."
Economy and Society 31(1):15-36, 2002.

"Visions of Fact, Languages of Evidence: History, Memory and the Trauma of Legal Research."
Law and Social Inquiry 26(4):893-909, 2001.

"Islands in the Net: Re-wiring Technological and Financial Circuits in the Offshore Caribbean."
Comparative Studies in Society and History. Summer 2001.

"Engineering an Islamic Future: Speculations on Islamic Financial Alternatives."
Anthropology Today. 17.1 (2001): 8-11.

"A Fish Story: Rethinking Globalization on Virgin Gorda."
American Ethnologist 27.3 (2000): 670-701.

"Forget Locke? From Proprietor to Risk-Bearer in New Logics of Finance."
Public Culture 11.2 (1999): 365-385.

"Cyberspatial Sovereignties: Offshore Finance, Digital Cash, and the Limits of Liberalism."
Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 5.2 (1998): 493-519.

"Out of Balance? Konesans and First World Knowledges in Caribbean Women's Studies."
New West Indian Guide 72.3-4 (1998): 297-304.

"Complex Subjects: Offshore Finance, Complexity Theory, and the Dispersion of the Modern."
Socialist Review. 25 (3&4): 114-145.

Recent Book Chapters

"In the Matter of Marxism," in Chris Tilley et al., eds., Handbook of Material Culture.
Oxford: Sage, in press.

"Does Money Matter? Abstraction and Substitution in Alternative Financial Forms."
In Daniel Miller, ed. Materiality. Durham: Duke University Press, in press.

"Re-Formatting the Economy: Islamic Banking and Finance in World Politics.
In Nelly Lahoud, A.H. Johns and Allan Patience, eds. Islam in World Politics. RoutledgeCurzon, 2005, pp.54-66.

"Cyberspatial Properties: Taxing Questions about Proprietary Regimes."
In C. Humphrey and K. Verdery, eds. Property in Question: Value Transformation in the Global Economy. Oxford: Berg, 2004, pp. 297-318.

"Implementing Empirical Knowledge in Anthropology and Islamic Accountancy."
Eds. Aihwa Ong and Stephen Collier. Global Anthropology: Technology, Governmentality, Ethics. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004, pp.214-232.

"On Divine Markets and the Problem of Justice: Empire as Theodicy."
In Paul Passavant and Jodi Dean, eds. Empires New Clothes. New York: Routledge, 2004, 57-72.

"Redecorating the International Economy: Keynes, Grant, and the Queering of Bretton Woods."
In Queer Globalizations: Citizenship and the Afterlife of Colonialism, A. Cruz-Malave and M. Manalansan, eds. New York: New York University Press, 2002, pp. 100-133.
National Science Foundation, 1999-2002, "Alternative Globalizations: Community and Conflict in New Cultures of Finance;" Russell Sage Foundation, 2002, 2003-04, "Articulating Islamic Knowledge to an American Dream: Islamic Home Mortgage Alternatives"
National Science Foundation, 2005-07, Doing Due Diligence: Forms of Moral Judgment in the regulation of international finance
Professional Societies
American Anthropological Association
American Ethnological Society
Association for Political and Legal Anthropology
Royal Institute for Linguistics and Anthropology (Neth.)
Society for Cultural Anthropology
Research Centers
Intel Science & Technology Center for Social Computing
Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion
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