Jerry Zee


Check out my book!

Welcome to my website. I'm Jerry. I'm jointly appointed in the Department of Anthropology and the High Meadows Environmental Institute. I'm a sociocultural anthropologist whose research explores geophysical and environmental emergence as sites of political experiment. My work is situated at the intersections of feminist science and technology studies, environmental humanities, and experimental ethnography.

Continent in Dust: Experiments in a Chinese Weather System, my first ethnographic monograph, is coming out! It is a political anthropology of strange weather. It tracks embroilments of politics and fengshawind-sand. It poses China's meteorological contemporary, an identification of the fourth decade of Reform and Opening through the aerosol phenomena that have accompanies it, as a time of phase shifts in land, air, governance. Check it out if you're into dust storms, desertification, air pollution, and the permutational politics of society and socialism, all of which are entrained into the weather systems of a rising power.

Some stuff that I think is cool, in a mysterious order: air pollution, particulate matter, forestry projects, experimental machineries. Caskets, buildings, rocks, dunes. Wind, weather, breathing, and rotting. Soil liquefaction, capital liquidity, capital export. Breathing and rotting. Geophysics, relation, transduction, plants, clouds, poisons. The sky, the earth, the mantle, the upper atmosphere. Air conditioning.

Some areas that I play in: environmental anthropology and humanities, geography, Asian and Chinese studies, political philosophy, materialisms of various types, feminist science studies, multispecies ethnography, queer theory, science fiction and other SFs.



jerry, beijing n95

My research focuses on materiality and substance in emergence, experimental worldings in Chinese political life, and planetary predicaments from mantle to atmosphere. More recent research interests include architecture and planning, Asian America, necrotic politics, and entanglements of artificial intelligence and latency. I write through ethnography, art, and literature. I am a poor photographer. I do not design websites for a living. Until Fall 2021, I'm dematerialized on Zoom.

This is probably redundant, but I'll leave it here, from a slightly earlier version of this site. You can think in the parallax between different descriptions of my work. I'm interested in earth systems and meteorological emergence, and I focus my research through the phases shifts of environmental matter through which an environmental contemporary has been posed in experimental political formations that are jolted into being to confront, endure, and re-engineer pervasive conditions of meteorological insecurity in China and its vast planetary downwinds. In my current research, I think closely with dust as a kaleidoscopic material arrangement of ecology, economy, earth, sky, and the predicament of a changing Earth as routed through Chinese histories and futures. I consider the rise of China as a matter of geophysical and geopolitical entanglement, moving across weather systems that connect inland land degradation, major dust storm formation, and the eventual scattering of Chinese land as meteorological fallout across the Northern Hemisphere.