Caroline Schuster and Catherine Frieman Appointed Co-Editors

Pictured: Dr Caroline Schuster and Dr Catherine Frieman

Congratulations to Dr Caroline Schuster and Dr Catherine J. Frieman who have been announced as the next co-editors of the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the University of Chicago Press’ Current Anthropology. As of January 1, 2025, they will succeed Laurence Ralph, the journal’s current editor, who has led the journal with passion and drive since 2019.   

Schuster is currently an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Frieman an Associate Professor of Archaeology in the ANU School of Archaeology and Anthropology. They will be the first cross-disciplinary editorial team in Current Anthropology’s history. They will also be the first editors based in Australia and first women to serve in this role.

Schuster earned her doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University where she majored in development studies. She is an economic anthropologist and specialist in feminist approaches to studying financial systems. She has longstanding research partnerships in Latin America and has conducted two decades of ethnographic work in Paraguay. Her most recent monograph is a graphic ethnography, Forecasts: a story of weather and finance at the edge of disaster (University of Toronto Press ethnoGRAPHIC series, 2023), produced in collaboration with Paraguayan comics artists. It builds on a diverse set of interests, including theories of value and speculation, disaster insurance, environmental anthropology and agrarian worlds, science and technology studies, kinship and gender. Her other work, including her first monograph Social Collateral: women and microfinance in Paraguay’s smuggling economy (University of California Press, 2015), explores financial inclusion, subprime empires, collective indebtedness, illicit economies, and gendered sociality. Schuster has written extensively on ethnographic methods and research ethics as part of her wider role as a member of the human research ethics committee at ANU. 

Frieman earned her doctorate in Archaeology from the University of Oxford where she was a Rhodes Scholar and a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University majoring in Archaeological Studies. She is a material culture and technology studies specialist, and has conducted research in Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia. Her research interests include the nature of archaeological enquiry, patterns of innovation and resistance, the role of aDNA for modelling past societies, feminist theory, and prehistoric stone tools. Her most recent monograph is the short interdisciplinary textbook Archaeology as History: Telling stories from a fragmented past (Cambridge University Press, 2023). Her other monographs cover topics as diverse as skeuomorphism in the archaeological record, Bronze Age maritime trade, the deep history of innovation, and the politics of migration. In recent years she has written extensively from a feminist and activist perspective about the politics of archaeology, including the impact of ancient DNA data and the use of the past as inspiration for more equal, non-capitalist futures. Her current project on kinship, connectivity and ancient DNA is situated at the uncomfortable junction of archaeology, anthropology and palaeogenomics. 

Between them, Schuster and Frieman bring a wealth of editorial experience to Current Anthropology. Frieman is currently in her final term as General Editor of the European Journal of Archaeology, the journal of the European Archaeological Association where she has led a major expansion of the journal’s audience and scope, shifted the journal to a fully Open Access publication in line with the EAA’s values of openness and accessibility, and worked to expand the social impact of the journal. She also serves as a member of the editorial board for Current Swedish Archaeology, ANU Press’s Terra Australis book series, and is a Trustee of the Prehistoric Society. Schuster is the commissioning editor for the gender and sexuality list of the International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. She is an ANU Press editorial board member for anthropology and founding editor of ANU Press’s new graphic ethnography series.