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Joseph D. Hankins

In his teaching and research, Joseph Hankins examines the distribution of ethical, affective, and sensory obligation at the intersections of contemporary capitalism and political action. His first book, Working Skin: Making Leather, Making a Multicultural Japan, traces the circulation of rawhide from his hometown in Texas to tanneries in Japan, examining forms of political oppression and economic exploitation in that connection. He is currently working on a second book that investigates how economic disenchantment and the romanticization of nature and rural life play into de-urbanization projects in Japan and the United States. He teaches classes on racial capitalism and gender, prison abolition, liberalism and sympathy, the transnational circulation of ethical and political commitments, and relationships between the human and non-human. 

Hankins serves as the Vice Chair for Graduate Studies of Anthropology and the Associate Director of Critical Gender Studies. He is also a founding member of the University of California Sentencing Commission. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2009.