Who are these geeks?

Marie-Pierre Renaud – Founding Editor

A sociocultural anthropologist, Marie-Pierre specializes in native studies and has written her master’s memoir on Healing Our Spirit Worldwide, an international indigenous healing movement. Her fields of interest include reconciliation processes, contemporary indigenous art, healing and decolonization movements, and popular culture, particularly geek culture. She founded The Geek Anthropologist in 2012 because she wanted to write about the intersections between anthropology and science-fiction, two of her greatest passions. To learn more, see her About.me page or read From Science-Fiction to Anthropology: There and Back Again. Contact Marie-Pierre on Twitter @KawaiMarie or by email at thegeekanthropologist@gmail.com. Find her on Linkedin and Academia.edu.

Emma Louise Backe – Managing Editor


Emma is a PhD candidate in Medical Anthropology at George Washington University, where she is also holds an MA in Anthropology and a Certificate in Global Gender Policy. In addition to her work on trauma, international development, and gender-based violence, she loves thinking about representations of gender, reproduction and motherhood in fantasy, sci fi and horror; feminist iterations of the “Final Girl”; and how speculative fiction (sf) allows us to think more creatively about trenchant political, economic and social issues. She also serves as Editor for Feminist Anthropology, and Member-At-Large for the Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA). She can be reached via Twitter @EmmaLouiseBacke or by email at emma.backe@gmail.com.

 Nicholas J. Mizer – Editor

NickBioPicDr. Nicholas Mizer is a multi-classed anthropologist / folklorist / performance studies scholar. Although much of his work focuses on tabletop role-playing games, he thinks that studying geek culture in general has a lot to offer to human understanding, from thinking about modernity and consumerism to the importance of imagination and wonder for what it means to be human.  He has some manuscripts and talks posted at his academia.edu page, and can be contacted at nick@thegeekanthropologist.com. To learn more, read Nicholas’ introductory TGA piece, “Just to Vex and Be Vexed in Return.

Laya Liebseller – Editor


Laya, is an anthropologist by day and table-top gamer by night, studying at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her Thesis, Rules of the House, focused on the power relations within World of Darkness live-action role-player communities in America. Her current PhD work focuses on larpers in Scandinavia, and how culture impacts the way we play as a species. Her interests include nerds, geeks, and gamers of all types, horror and dystopic worlds in popular culture, institutions of play, and boundary making within play spaces (both internal and external).

Contact: Twitter @playscholar

Alissa Whitmore – Book Reviews Editor

Alissa Photo

Alissa Whitmore is an archaeologist, gamer, and pop culture enthusiast. Her interests include portrayals of archaeology and the ancient world in popular culture and alternative archaeology. She loves combining anthropology and history with science fiction, fantasy, and comics, as well as questioning the impacts that these media have on our understanding of ourselves, others, and the past. She has varying degrees geekspertise in superheroes and comics, role-playing video games, Batman, and Magic the Gathering. She also has a plastic, life-size skeleton named Dem Bones.

Connor Martini – Editor

connorConnor Martini is a PhD candidate in North American Religions at Columbia University. Connor graduated from Vassar College in 2014 with a BA in Religion, and has since received his MA and MPhil from Columbia University. Right now, Connor is thinking about science and situated enchantments, aliens and voices from the sky, ethnography and sensory and material cultures, science fictions and spiritual facts, and views of Earth from Mars. Connor is the proud owner of two Battlestar Galactica tattoos, so, you know, he has good taste in TV. You can find him on Twitter at @wrath_of_con_ or waiting in line at your local pizza place.

 Astrid Willis Countee – Editor

Astrid is an anthropologist who has built her career working in business and technology. She is interested in using the social sciences to solve messy problems like climate change, disinformation, artificial intelligence and social justice related issues. A science geek since the beginning, she enjoys reading way too much non-fiction usually related to biology, physics, technology and of course anthropology. Her favorite sci-fi show is Fringe, partly cause it has a cool computer scientist/linguist named Astrid. She currently works as Chief of Staff at Cemvita Factory, a biotech startup bioengineering microbes to eat the carbon out of heavy carbon producing industries and is the co-founder for Missing Link Studios, which currently distributes the This Anthro Life podcast. She has a MA in Applied Medical Anthropology from the University of Houston, BA in Psychology from Baylor University, a certificate in Backend Software Engineering from The Iron Yard and is currently pursuing an interdisciplinary masters in Biomedical Studies and English.

Contact: Twitter @ianthro and LinkedIn

There are 43 comments

  1. Benny North

    Hello from England!

    Just wandered over here and read the ‘Living in Video Games’ article; needless to say I’ll be hanging around and reading some more!

    Keep up the good work,

    Benny North


  2. Nando

    Great blog here! Very positive role-model for young, geek girls like my daughter. Love the navigation bar pics. Money well spent. Also, thanks for the Vizify link. After seeing yours, I’ve spent hours creating mine!


  3. Vincent Willcox

    Hello from a fellow fan of all things above (Star Trek fan, Stargate, Stargate SG1, Geek etc). I just stumbled upon your blog from merry old England. I have personally meet Data (or Brent Spinner). Also – go team Picard – anybody that could go Borg and return semi-sane wins in my book!


  4. Barbara

    I love lots of the same shows & Films; Fringe, Batman, Star Trek, The Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy (books), Dr Who, Dune…. Etc :). I think we are nowadays known as neeks


    1. thegeekanthropologist

      “Neeks” is a word that is often used in parallel to hip-hop culture and the notion of street cred or street wisdom. It’s not necessarily simply as assembly of “nerd” and “geek”, although it is sometimes used this way. I had read some definitions on the urban dictionary that led me to discard the term for the time being, but it’s true that it would be interesting to explore it. Thanks for bringing that back to mind! That said, I simply wouldn’t want to call myself that, it sounds off.

      Check out the urban dictionary for some interesting and very different definitions of “neek”. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=neek


      1. Barbara

        Lol, I’m a secondary school teacher so survive by urban dictionary 🙂 Normally I discard anything except the top 2 or 3 definitions, as ‘this is now’, teenagers have no memory of 2 or 3 years ago!!


  5. Maneeya Ray Saributr

    Salut Marrie – Pierre !
    I enjoyed reading your blog and love your writing styles loads.
    I am a junior year,majoring in Sociology and Anthropology from Thailand and I must say you made Anthropology much more fascinating already 🙂


    1. thegeekanthropologist

      I’m so happy to know you enjoy reading my blog! It’s always great to know you’re not the only one who thinks what you write is interesting! I find that so far, I’m not writing content so intricately linked with anthropology, and I’m aiming at analysing more specialised literature in coming weeks and months. What topics are you interested in as far as sociology and anthropology? 🙂


  6. Le Clown

    My apologies. I thought I was following your blog already. I think part of my brain was eaten by bed bugs and bot flies.
    Le Clown


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