Nurit Bird-David is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Haifa. She received her Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge. Her major specialisation in hunter-gatherer studies is her work with the Nayaka of South India, from which she has launched several comparative analyses of hunter-gatherer perspectives, behaviours, and economics that have proved influential beyond hunter-gatherer studies. This early work includes the much-cited “The giving environment: Another perspective on the economic system of gatherer-hunters” (Current Anthropology 31(2):189–196, 1990) and “‘Animism’ revisited: Personhood, environment and relational epistemology” (Current Anthropology 40s:S67–S91, 1999). Her most recent key publications are “Before nation: Scale-blind anthropology and foragers’ worlds of relatives” (Current Anthropology 58(2): 209–226, 2017) and Us, Relatives: Scaling and Plural Life in a Forager World (University of California Press, Berkeley, 2017).
Bird-David’s subjects of interest range from economy through family and childhood to environmental perceptions, animism, and, most recently, community imaginaries. In recent years she has carried out research projects on constructing homes and identities, and on home and security in neoliberal consumer Israeli society. Ethnography of the Nayaka continues with her students, who are also making their own marks on hunter-gatherer studies.