Sarah Muir

Director, International Studies Program

Main Affiliation

Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership

Additional Departments/Affiliated Programs


Areas of Expertise/Research

  • Practical Logics of Economic Investment
  • Ethical Evaluation
  • Political Critique
  • Social Class
  • Financial Crisis


North Academic Center



Sarah Muir


Sarah Muir (Ph.D., University of Chicago 2011) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology, Gender Studies, and International Studies and directs the International Studies Program at The City College of New York. She also teaches linguistic anthropology in the Anthropology Program at The Graduate Center. Her research is situated at the intersection of linguistic, political-economic, and historical anthropology and examines the practical logics of economic investment, ethical evaluation, and political critique. Her first book, Routine Crisis: An Ethnography of Disillusion (University of Chicago Press, 2021), traces the lived consequences of Argentina's history of repeated financial crises. She is currently researching a new book project, Accounting for Kith and Kin: Financial Ethics and the Space-Time of Obligation, which interrogates the social life of economic numbers in Argentina. Her work has appeared in journals such as Annual Review of AnthropologyCultural Anthropology, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Current Anthropology, Dialogues in Human Geography, City and Society, Journal of Cultural Economy, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, and Review of the Italian Academic Association of Cultural Anthropologists. Formerly a Distinguished Scholar at the Advanced Research Collaborative (CUNY Graduate Center) and the Co-Director of the Unpayable Debt Working Group (Center for the Study of Social Difference, Columbia University), she has also helped curate and author works of public scholarship such as the "Global Debt Syllabus" and the "Caribbean Debt Syllabus."


Ph.D University of Chicago, 2011

Research Interests

Linguistic anthropology; semiotic ideologies and moral economies; narratives genres and publicity; investment and finance, social inequality and economic crisis; Argentina and Latin America

Select Publications


Routine Crisis: An Ethnography of Disillusion (University of Chicago Press, 2021)


Co-edited Collections

Global Debt Syllabus



On Historical Exhaustion: Argentine Critique in an Era of “Total Corruption,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 58(1): 128-159, 2016:


Currency of Failure: Money and Middle-Class Critique in Post-Crisis Buenos Aires, Cultural Anthropology


Recursive (In)Formality: Law and Legitimacy in a Distributed Monetary System, Anuac: Review of the Italian Academic Association of Cultural Anthropologists 6(2): 77-83, 2017


Rethinking the Anthropology of Corruption, Current Anthropology 59(S15) (with Akhil Gupta), 2018