Wesleyan portrait of Joseph  Weiss

Joseph Weiss

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Winchester House, 24


BA University British Columbia
MA University of Chicago
PHD University of Chicago

Joseph Weiss

Joseph Weiss is a sociocultural and political anthropologist.  His work explores the intersections between time, ecology, and Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination. Dr. Weiss has been conducting fieldwork with the Haida community of Old Massett since 2010, where has also worked as a full-time volunteer teaching assistant and occasional school play director. His first book, Shaping the Future on Haida Gwaii: Life Beyond Settler Colonialism (University of British Columbia Press, 2018) is based on this fieldwork, exploring how the Indigenous Haida Nation in Western Canada addresses political and social change through a series of different future-oriented cultural strategies. Dr. Weiss’s current research projects include an oral historical examination of the relationships between the Haida community and the military personnel of Canadian Forces Station Masset, a naval radio base that was established and operated on Haida territory for the latter half of the 20th century, and a new project that hopes to ethnographically explore the definition of Indigeneity and its relationship to ecological imaginaries at the United Nations. He also maintains abiding interests in commissions of inquiry, the production of political legitimacy, and research ethics in the social sciences. His research has been funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the American Philosophical Society, the Canadian Museum of History, and the University of Chicago. Dr. Weiss is formerly Curator of Western Ethnology at the Canadian Museum of History.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Wednesdays, 9 to 11 AM or by appointment

Make an appointment with me:



Fall 2019
ANTH 208 - 01
Crafting Ethnography

ANTH 213 - 01
Indigenous Anthropology