Headshot of Rogers, with curly grey hair approaching shoulder length and a blur plaid shirt. Wooden panel background. © Photo by Mara Lavitt

Douglas Rogers is Professor of Anthropology at Yale University. His research and teaching interests are in political, economic, and historical anthropology; natural resources (especially oil) and energy; corporations; the anthropology of religion and ethics; and socialist societies and their postsocialist trajectories.

Rogers is currently working on Eating Oil: An Earthly History, a book that features several less commonly known areas of petroleum science and technology as practiced over the last century in the United States, Europe, and the former Soviet Union. Chapters relate histories of oil-into-food (“petroprotein”) programs; the life cycles of oil- and methane-eating bacteria; hydrocarbon biotechnology; debates about oil’s biogenic and/or abiogenic origins; and more. Each of these stories illuminates entanglements of life, death, and hydrocarbons—and of biology, geology, and chemistry. Taken together, they deepen our knowledge of the natural and cultural history of hydrocarbons on Earth and suggest new possibilities for re­ckoning with it.

Rogers’s archival and ethnographic research in Russia has led to many articles and two award-winning books: The Old Faith and the Russian Land: A Historical Ethnography of Ethics in the Urals (Cornell, 2009) and The Depths of Russia: Oil, Power, and Culture After Socialism (Cornell, 2015).

From 2018-2021 Rogers directed Yale’s Program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, managing a series of four Carnegie Corporation grants to enhance Russian and Eurasian Studies at Yale. Together with Asia Neupane and Ian MacMillan, he founded REEESNe, The Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Northeast Network. Since 2021, Rogers has served as Chair of Yale’s Department of Anthropology.

Rogers received his B.A. from Middlebury College, an M.Phil. in Social and Cultural Anthropology from Oxford University, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan. His research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the National Science Foundation, the National Council on Eurasian and East European Research, the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and other organizations.