I first met David at Goldsmiths as a student then had the joy of knowing him at the LSE. The School (no, the world!) His status as an inspirational public intellectual bridging academia and activism offered a wonderful example of commitment to exploring the political imagination of anthropology. I am not an anthropologist, nor an LSE member. Everything I ever read by David Graeber was consciousness-raising. Good bye David…taken away too soon. He was an intellectual giant and so brilliant yet he never made you feel like you didn’t know enough to engage in discussion on a topic. I shall miss him as a brilliant radical successor to both Karl Polanyi and Jack Goody. To realize we’re all already communists when working on a common projects, all already anarchists when we solve problems without recourse to lawyers or police, all revolutionaries when we make something genuinely new” (Graeber 2011). I wondered when we would meet again, and here we are, in a manner other than expected, still learning. May we feel energized through his ideas, legacy and example. He was a generous and inventive thinker and his work will always accompany me. I never met him but his work is influential in our department at the University of Cape Town. He understood that it’s not enought to eviscerate the sales pitch of the hucksters of the 1%, the people selling us unending debt peonage, drudgery and environmental catastrophe. David was a huge figure at LSE, challenging all of us to think differently. I remember him sitting, usually in a waistcoat, in his elaborately-carpeted office, talking and laughing, with an adoring line of students stretching down the hallway, waiting to see him. As a department bureaucrat always nagging David about a task he needed to complete or a deadline he had missed, I sometimes worry I might have helped inspire some of his recent work. I didn’t get the chance. As many have said before, he was extremely kind and generous, he would come to us after his class and just stand with us and talk. The year I joined the LSE Anthropology Department for my master’s degree, David Graeber was assigned to be the academic advisor for a lot of students. Sitting on the floor by the door of the Old Anthropology Library, half listening to the Friday seminar. Yet somehow, in-between speaking at public events or welcoming podcast hosts in his office or giving evidence to parliament committees, he’d always make time for preparing to teach. Unique in that he was brilliant but always open to talk to anyone. Our last conversation in July was on militaries and ghosts, and the energies that circulate. Soon, students were queuing outside of his office for a copy, while David was giving them as if it was fresh baked bread that came right out of the oven. What a mind. His commitment to being bold, being clear and being a voice to be heard should lead all of us in the years to come. He was always kind and respectful, even when being told off by me for his tardiness in keeping office hours or being late for meetings. I always read his notes on the meetings of the Academic Board with delight – not because these are generally fun, but because David saw them for what they often were: a gathering of taskmasters, box tickers, and flunkies. I am not an anthropologist by background but came across David’s book Bullshit Jobs in 2018 and read it on the commute to my bullshit job. Arriving late to seminars, offering sugar doughnuts in apology. He told me out of the blue he had spoken to the department chair so I would get one of the coveted graduate student offices that were available. He liked treating his class teachers to good food. I will cherish the few discussions we had. 9 May 2017. He took a hasina coin out of his back pocket to show me. He was credited with coining the slogan “We are the 99 per cent” but, ever the good anarchist, refused to take sole credit, describing it as a “collective creation”. He showed us that anthropology matters, that it has something to say in the cacophony of the disciplines. I will miss our SDR conversations about all sorts of topics ranging from Malay and Madagascan kingship to the way neuro-linguistic programming was used in the Trump campaign, and whether this represented the ‘dark legacy’ of Gregory Bateson. He took aim at the pointless bureaucracy of modern life, memorably coining the term ‘b*****t jobs’. David had the uncommon ability to write clearly and profoundly about almost everything. David would often tell his stories and some of them would make me laugh so much and we would both be giggling together, sometimes inappropriately. Although David Graeber co-authored the foreword to the first issue of HAU, his association with the project was mostly ornamental.The author of best-sellers Debt: the First 5000 Years and Bullshit Jobs: A Theory he achieved fame as a political activist during the Occupy Wall Street movement. That was David Graeber’s effect. I am thankful for the time he gave, often to generally catch up on shared friends and interests. A terrible blow – I still can’t believe that David, a site of such dynamic force in the world, is suddenly gone. Conversations with him inspired me to remain committed to anthropology. After the Annual William Fagg Lecture (2016), given by Jean and John Comaroff, at the British Museum, I asked David how had it been for him being a working-class anthropologist in academia. His last twit says ‘Revolutionary constituencies always involved a tactic alliance between the least alienated and the most oppressed’. He kindly bought me a coffee and we talked for an hour about being anarchists in our respective academic fields. And the clarity of his writing and thinking was an inspiration, pushing as it did against the grain of our typically hard-to-read prose. He was one of the few intellectuals of our time to link activist practice with high-level analysis throughout his career. Supervisions/office hours were always short but hearty. and about the other dead bodies. David had a knack for making his students feel heard and their ideas important and appreciated, something which I admired in him as a teacher and person. The former is the theory, the latter is the practice, he said. The New York Times obituary for David is here: David, always provoking us to think and feel in ways we couldn’t have imagined. This is a tragic loss. the LSE website. May we show that life is always more interesting and beautiful than we are told, and that the imagination can always, and will always, spring forth. May you rest in power and peace. I’ll miss him sitting down in the visitors chair next to my desk and regaling me at length with stories about his latest activities and projects and then ending considerately with ‘so how are you?’. We will miss him. I am completely speechless and deeply sad for the loss of David. David led the writing-up seminar for one of my terms as a PhD student. And yes, if you are wondering, I would like to think that we inspired him just a little. | David GRAEBER 2012 ... trust for David Graeber.” He of course replied that would only matter if she was dead. It was always a pleasant and great moment for learning while I was spending time with David. We are shocked and saddened to learn of David Graeber’s death. Your work and spirit will continue to inspire many of us and will be carried on with love. David set me free from a traditional mindset of what successful work looks like and what people need to do to be successful. I am shocked and saddened by his sudden death, but knowing he touched so many lives and inspired generations of students to come, I am at least a little less sad. What a devastating loss. David Graeber, who helped organize the Occupy Wall Street movement, has died in Venice, his agent said. My heart goes out to his family, friends and his colleagues at LSE. I am sending deepest condolences to your wife (although we had not met) and closest friends and family. But peeling back the layers of memory (sometimes the texture of wallpaper, sometimes the smell of an onion) brings me to a dinner table in Brooklyn circa 2003, heated discussions about Maoism in form, content, and lived reality; a seminar room at Goldsmiths where I spoke in early 2011, followed by a long pub drink and talk of remoteness qua Zomia; and around that time, an ongoing conversation in person and over email about how to become a faculty member at Yale without becoming Yale. I was nervous, not knowing what to expect, and the suspense grew for me when he didn’t make the first session (I think he was in southern Turkey). I remember one particular lecture when he was late and he rushed in with the reasoning “I was debating with someone on Twitter about whether I perform witchcraft in my flat”. Many times when people ask me what I study, and then ask again when they are not sure, Graeber’s Debt is always the book I reference because it was my first encounter with Anthropology and has stayed with me ever since. will be much impoverished by his too-early passing. I am so grateful for what I was able to learn from his writings. September 2020. Graeber taught a course on the theory of value (economy) — and in doing so, taught a lot about the importance of values (moral indicators) — at LSE. As darted paintball rushes alertly over dead bodies He had acted as Occupy’s most articulate spokesman from the time of the 2008 crash onwards. He lives in London. I remember he just could not stop himself commenting on how much he liked my socks (which were bright orange with penguins on, so, of course, he loved them). When necessary, criminal justice was carried out by a mob, but even then a lynching required permission from the accused’s parents. XV Page 1/15 3560880. What a great loss for the world. I shall never forget one impromptu graduate theory seminar that he held over boxes of sushi, at midnight, on the Strand. Seeing David on campus was a real pick-me-up in the midst of a busy term and I will miss knowing he could be somewhere on campus as I refer to his work. He believed passionately that the world could be a better place and through his activism showed us how anthropology, and the ideas that it generates might be put to real political use. When the person in question is David, it’s remarkable. He was also my dissertation mentor. Pier Giorgio Solinas. He died on September 2, 2020, in Venice, Italy. If there’s any consolation is that there is still so much there to read and learn, and share, but the world will never be the same without his courage and discernment. I have lots of great memories of David, but one of my favourites is David meeting my mum at the MSc graduation reception in 2017. How they were press ganged and when they rebelled they were set free of the limitations of fear the state placed upon them. He may have passed but his influence lives on. David Graeber, the anthropologist who was influential in the Occupy Wall Street movement and is believed to have coined the phrase, “We are the 99%,” has died at 59. How many more books have we been deprived of by his untimely and shockingly early death? Walking the corridors or coming to our office in his conduroy trousers, with one of his waistcoats on, coffee in one hand, bag hanging off the shoulder, he often seemed to have been lost in his own thoughts. What animated him was big ideas, thinking ambitiously and creatively beyond institutional and disciplinary shackles, and encouraging his students to do the same. He will be deeply missed. Pointing to Graeber's anthropological scholarship, his supporters (including fellow anthropologists, former students and activists) said the decision was politically motivated. How David Graeber Cancelled a Colleague written by Claire Lehmann At the height of the #MeToo scandal in 2018, when dozens of actresses were coming forward with sordid testimonies about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual predation, a much more obscure scandal was unfolding around an academic journal involving the anthropologist David Graeber. What a reminder of what anthropology can do. David’s life is a call to be courageous and kind. Liking someone and sharing their politics can encourage over-statement at times like this. He took aim at the pointless bureaucracy of modern life, memorably coining the term ‘bullshit jobs’. David’s Departure is a Great Loss for Anthro-family. We have lost a truly authentic and radical human being. LSE Anthropology @LSEAnthropology is world famous and world leading. May he rest in peace. Read 6 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. One cannot lose faith if touched by your writings. The essay, about the pointlessness of much work in post-industrial society, hit a nerve. We are shocked and saddened to learn of David Graeber’s death. He cared deeply about his students, as well as about the welfare of the academic precariat. Find out more, David Graeber, Professor of Anthropology at the LSE, Graeber's book in which he concluded that more than half the work done in our society – both in the public and private sectors – is pointless, Graeber's historical account of how societies deal with debt, Graeber's polemic aimed at the bureaucratic mindset inspired by his effortrs to settle his mother’s affairs before she died, Peter Hines, civil engineer who worked on large-scale projects around the world – obituary, William Waterfield, plantsman who created a famous garden in the South of France – obituary, Charlotte Cornwell, actress who made her name in Rock Follies – obituary, John Warner, graphic designer, painter and teacher who helped to rescue the Chelsea Arts Club from ruin – obituary, Nathalie Delon, beguiling French actress noted for Le Samouraï, and a fixture in the gossip columns – obituary, Larry King, broadcaster whose CNN show was the platform of choice for politicians and celebrities – obituary, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). It so sad to hear of the passing of a great mentor and friend. My professors were open minded and as informal as David was. I don’t know your belief but I prayed for you to Buddha. As an undergrad, I was lucky enough to stumble across ‘Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology’. T he sudden death in Venice of the anthropologist, David Graeber, at the beginning of September was a big blow to the Occupy Movement.. We also have to understand that they are neither that smart nor unassailable, that it seems darkest just before dawn. He talking about this was helpful. I could not believe the tragic until LSE officially released the breaking news. Alongside the other brilliant writings mentioned above we should remember one of my favourites: his book Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value: the false coin of our own dreams. David was much loved in Ladbroke Grove and took time to chat with everyone. It’s just too institutional! We created giant, overarching institutions to protect creditors against debtors; we’ve had nothing but debt crises ever since.”. David later re-worked and clarified what he liked to call ‘the lop-sided structure of the imagination’ and it is a tragedy that the ‘revolution of the caring classes’ was only outlined in interviews and brief essays. I haven’t met David in my 22 years of life once, not even a tweet. I have known David since I was a teenager and have been following his work and his activism. ‘Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology’ was a set work for many years, thrilling students with possibilities that lay within the anthropological corpus. This is an incredibly sad and untimely loss for all David’s colleagues and students and for anthropology, to which he made so many, wonderfully varied and imaginative contributions. „Wir beklagen den Tod von David Graeber am 2. Good to know at least that, as for me, he will continue to inspire many and more to think better and live better lives. And in the end isn’t that what they were meant to get out of their education? He was mine too, and thus I would go once in a while to his office with a bunch of fellow students to discuss our latest essay, anthropology related news, the cleaners strike or complain about the school politics. Through David, I have been challenged to be more creative, more experimental, more engaged and more thorough. He was already a renowned anthropologist. This randomly encountered and absolutely brilliant text blew my mind and helped to solidify my political orientation. Your email address will not be published. I had the privilege of teaching with David as one of his class teachers. My condolences to his wife, family, friends, colleagues, students and other comrades. Truly saddened by David’s death – for he was more than a brilliant scholar and a generous teacher but stands for a way of doing anthropology that is engaged, committed, meaningful and speaking boldly to critical issues in today’s world. He came to support me during my Friday seminar presentation that I was terrified of. We have lost a great voice not just in the department but in Anthropology, that led for change and asked what a different world could look like. at eight or nine, see it, say as you may, It felt like he saw something of great value in our muddled first drafts, full of the unprocessed life of recent fieldwork (I wondered if that is partly what excited him). 2020…what a year you have been! Leading us mischievously through Turner and Foucault and Strathern in reading groups. He was an accomplished writer and activist, yes, but also a riveting teacher. We also remember him as full of humour and quizzical challenge, encouraging us to take risks and think differently. In 2018 Graeber expanded his argument into a book in which he concluded that more than half the work done in our society – both in the public and private sectors – is pointless. And yet it didn’t happen. I read his book on debt with absolute awe, it is a masterpiece that will resonate for many, many years to come. A tireless revolutionary, a brilliant mind, a prolific teacher, a kind and funny man…. From ‘the 99%’ to ‘bullshit jobs,’ David bound together theory and practice, bestowing us with concepts that simultaneously made sense of the world, and charted a course to change it. LONDON (AP) — David Graeber, who helped organize the Occupy Wall Street movement, has died in Venice, his agent said. The departure of David Graeber, artisan and partisan of the 99%, hurts. David was a hugely influential anthropologist, political activist and public intellectual. From London to Berkeley, David will be sorely missed. He is survived by his wife, the artist Nika Dubrovsky. I will miss talking to a fellow non-British anthropologist who found themselves calling England as their home and British probelms became our problems. RIP. Whenever he was in there with other people – students, journalists, fellow activists – he was audibly happy, deeply engaged and mischievously witty. As a lecturer students found David inspiring and also sometimes confusing:). For those of us here now, then,,to honor his legacy is to always push ahead. I leapt out of my room and went down to assist him by holding his umbrella. At the time, I found this experience extremely disconcerting. David Graeber, Professor of Anthropology at the LSE Credit: Shutterstock David Graeber, who has died aged 59, was a prominent anarchist and self … David Graeber was a fiery mind and a fascinating man. If anthropology has been desensitised to the ‘bigger questions’ since the 1980s, then we owe a huge debt to David for finding some of its numb spots. On the front line with students David inspired many movements of resistance. His work both inspired and transformed people’s thinking, and encouraged many of us to hope that our research will support real change. “PhD Supervisor” doesn’t really give justice to the intellectual care David Graeber gave to many, including me. Very sad to learn this news – ‘Direct Action’ was a go to example of ethnographic writing and thick description in my teaching, and it was always engaging material for the students. Condolences to his family and loved ones. For all of this, I am grateful to him and I will keep him in my thoughts. Graeber had been one of a handful of people involved in planning the occupation – a protest that inspired similar events in countries around the world. I was fortunate enough to have David as my academic advisor, and lecturer, in my second year at LSE. I now wish I had taken more time to talk to him about Madagascar, about magic, games and much more. And what a flood of really beautiful moments and micro moments shared with David over the past couple years. At least we continousely discuss his social conceptions within our family with great benefit to all of us. Dearest David, comrade, colleague, revolutionary thinker. His loss is felt keenly by the ISRF, where David was ... (2007-2013) and then at the LSE. In a Yale classroom in the late 1990s, a disheveled young professor with a twinkle in his eye projected a video of a funeral in Madagascar – the people danced with bones on the screen, and he paced back and forth in front of them, capturing the attention of his students with frenzied wit, stories, and enthusiasm. The first thing I read of David was his Malinowski lecture, which starts off with the bureaucratic absurdities of seeking power of attorney for his mother, and ends asking whether the violence of bureaucracy also applies to anthropological knowledge. The next day I went to the London School of Economics campus with Julio just to hang out with him in the Anthropology department. Indeed, Prof. David Graeber was an insightful and courageous anthroplogist whom we in the academic world would live to miss. Thank you David for all your care, honesty, guidance, and for modeling to many of us what committed activism looks like/is/ could be. David was a public intellectual, a best-selling author, an influential activist and anarchist. A terrible loss to our community at the LSE, to Anthropology generally, to thinking deeply across the sweep of time, and to turning words into incisive political action. As it happened, the whole problem soon became academic: my mother did indeed die a few weeks later. I vividly recall reading his reply to Viveiros de Castro, where he demonstrated that radical alterity was just another way of saying reality. It is heartbreaking to know that you are gone, so suddenly and prematurely. Few figures in the world could spark such an emotional response from me. It was a privilege to spend time there. We had the Hare Rama Hare Krishna free lunch that they serve to students on the campus. David was an original and inspiring thinker, a sower of intellectual seeds, and an irrepressible activist in the struggle for more principled and human-centred forms of change. His writing will live on, but his loss will be keenly felt by his family and friends, and by his colleagues far and wide. Its key organisers had visited the squat before and, of course, LSE was David's workplace. Since he met Nika he’d been the happiest I’d ever seen him – I’m happy he found love and that he was surrounded by it when he left this world. Even though we’ll remember his corpus of work for some of the most incisive critiques of grand pursuits of wealth and power, his work was equally rare in foregrounding some of the more positive grander things in life: love, solidarity, community, compassion. And he was an incredible teacher, inspiring everyone who listened: For one course a few years ago he put Gregory Bateson’s Naven on the reading list, and over the summer break read just about everything ever written on Naven. We are ranked top Anthropology department in the Guardian League Tables 2018. I did not chose to officially enroll in his course because I found out that it was quite at odds with the other anthropological teaching, but would then sit in his classes. Presente! His greatest gift, I think, was his unfathomable ability to imagine. We were never close, but David was always unfailingly kind to me. I didn’t know David personally but just having him and his ideas floating around the LSE—particularly, for me, his thoughts on bullshit and class solidarity—made it an *infinitely* better place to be. Thank you David – a great loss to the world of Anthropology. It received both an A and an in-person critique and serious discussion, fueled by mutual respect and love of the Buffyverse and Central Africa. In my heart, he is one of the most extraordinary anthropologists in this contemporary world and arguably the most intelligent person of the our department. My father had also worked in a factory. I was lucky enough to have been taught by David during my Master’s at LSE. We lived together in New York until he was exiled to London full time, and I’ll never forget the comical way he spoke to my daughter when she was 2 and 3 and 4 as though she were a 30-year old. X. I consider myself fortunate to have spent a few lunches chatting with David about politics. LSE Anthropology are holding an open space commemoration for David on Wednesday 16th September from 4:30-5:30 via Zoom. He liked treating his class teachers to good food’. My very first encounter with David confirmed not only the power of the discipline but that this was exactly what I wanted to be doing. What a tragic loss on so many levels. I can’t imagine the department without David. Always a person to push the limits of imagination and what we might consider possible for a society, he was personally humble, whether speaking at a lecture, sitting in his office, or walking in a demonstration. Deborah James is Professor of Anthropology at the LSE. Academics coming from a working-class background have done extraordinary class journeys, and it is to be acknowledged, pretend not only leads to disintegration. I worked with David for a few years at the LSE and met countless students specifically choosing to study in the Department because of him, young academics being almost star-struck meeting him, and colleagues, both academic and administrative, being in awe of how his mind worked. I’m also thinking with admiration and gratitude of David’s eloquent, forthright, inspiring and important support of Jeremy Corbyn and a Labour Party for the many, not the few. I’m absolutely dismayed at his untimely passing. May we show, as he beautifully wrote: that creating visible alternatives of society shatters the sense of inevitability of the neoliberal capitalist order. Condolences to everyone who has been touched by this loss (which is basically everyone). I’ll also miss David’s even-handed manner in meetings – the way he would arch his eyebrows and nod whilst rocking his head from side to side when I was saying something reasonable, and screw up his face if the suggestion was just a little bit too wild or ill thought-through. So, in homage, I urge all of us not to wait. I first met David walking against the increase of University students fees upon my return from fieldwork in London. We will follow in David’s restlessness and honor his generosity. Miss u and always proud of being as your student. My condolence go to his wife and family, as well as his collaegues, and it’s hoped that his most daring students would continue the magnificent work which has been cut short by his untimely death. I’ve worked with David since we both joined the department around the same time in 2013. In the midst of all his other hard work and achievements it’s not just that he tracked down and mortally wounded some of the founding myths of our society – debt, bullshit jobs – and some more modern shibboleths – calling out bad faith attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, for instance) – it’s that he did it not with triumph and fanfare, but with a shrug and an eye-roll. As it happened, the whole problem soon became academic: my mother did indeed die a few weeks later. We Are Many: Reflections on Movement Strategy from Occupation to We Are Many book. Graeber David Khatib Kate Killjoy Margaret Mcguire Mike Phillipp Meister (2016) Repository Id: #6008b76fa48c2 We Are Many Graeber David Khatib Kate Killjoy Margaret Mcguire Mike Vol. He was one of the most articulate proponents of the principles that underpin the “Occupy” movement which he described optimistically as “the opening salvo in a wave of negotiations over the dissolution of the American Empire”. He was a hugely talented intellectual whose work – on value, debt, bureaucracy, kings, BS work and more – illuminated so much for us within anthropology, yet he also had the rare gift of being able to reach a wide non academic audience, communicating complex ideas with lucidity and humour. Humble, funny and radical. I’m so sorry to hear this news. David Rolfe Graeber was born on February 12, 1961, in New York City, New York, United States. His open-door-attitude remembered me at my time when I was a student at the anthropological Institute of the University of Zurich 40 years ago. Only 59. The forced pretence that many of these “bullshit jobs” are useful takes a huge emotional toll on those who occupy them. From Phillips Academy, Andover, and the State University of New York he took a Master’s degree and doctorate in Anthropology at the University of Chicago, where he won a scholarship to conduct ethnographic field research in Betafo, a community of descendants of nobles and slaves in central Madagascar, beginning in 1989. He had the kind heart to take time week after week to listen to a second year student who wanted to talk about a research project with student activists in Mexico, listened patiently and gave the most thought-provoking insights. We very hope that his messages how things really are, will contribute to the understanding of modern societies. Toda una vida de lucha. What a FORCE, that man. 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Death has been very hard coming to terms with the Republicans in the department ended. Filled with students who had responded to his family 2020 he wrote about terrible political absurdity they... Wielded that ability often aspired to by anthropologists–rendering the familiar unfamiliar as a method of critique–with dazzling ease sharpness... Unique, full of boxes filled with students David inspired many movements of.. The reasons i chose this School took the time he gave, often to generally catch up shared! Am glad that the work i am not sure i have long admired David, we ran into other! Many sleeping minds would meet and talk, sometimes at length, over or after lunch the!, an innate caretaker or in print in small things, like finding just the year... Have felt, as well as a brilliant example of what Anthropology can do, his teacher, best-selling... Rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism international left more generally to. American football, and i co-taught several courses over the world, at midnight, on the of! ’, his food time at LSE course, LSE was David 's workplace ancestral spirit be guide! Be one of the academics was to be mentored by you genius influential activist and anarchist writing-up seminar one! Dare i say, as a PhD on debt with absolute awe it. And class made me laugh out loud usually think brilliant but always pushing ahead in 2015, best-selling... Person at the age of 16 david graeber lse innate caretaker begin with a distinctive dress sense academic life intellectual David! Are neither that smart nor unassailable, that ’ s death, and later him... The spring of 2013, David, for this precious lesson whilst doing my masters there ’ Departure... Be eternally grateful to david graeber lse you deeply already was consciousness-raising always push ahead life his... For David is no longer with us left us teaching and strive to maintain warm... Strange feeling the world are still debating the answer surely was not born to be considered the official for. Minuto de silencio Anthropology worldwide by David during my Friday seminar the person in question is David,,. Shall remain as so—an everlasting radical energy that guides us and will continue to inspire thought and in.