Ikaika Ramones

Assistant Professor of Anthropology
128 Aaron Burr Hall
Office Hours

By appointment only


PhD, New York University (2023)

MPhil, New York University

AB, Harvard University


Areas of Interest

Indigenous Studies, Political Economy and Class, Social Movements, Bureaucracy and Institutions, Oceania, Anthropology of Media

Short Bio

Ikaika Ramones is a social anthropologist researching the different internal contestations of Indigeneity in the concrete practices and places of its reproduction. He examines the work of grassroots revitalization and elite institutions, focusing on the political economy that supports and constrains different formations of Indigeneity in Hawaiʻi. He considers how Indigenous actors attempt to commensurate, appropriate, protect, or articulate conflicting economic systems, notions of value, and cultural politics. In following these internal contradictions, he explores the underlying dynamics of change in Native Hawaiian society and the management or sustaining of intractable difference. He also experiments with the praxis-oriented application of ethnography by actors on the ground.

His work engages Indigenous studies and Indigenous anthropology, political economy, critical theory, semiotics, the anthropology of bureaucracy, the anthropology of social movements, the anthropology of Oceania, and the anthropology of media. He also studies and participates in Indigenous media practice and community organizing.

His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Ford Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Mellon Mays Fellowship, and the Society for Visual Anthropology / Robert Lemelson Fellowship.

Ikaika is Kanaka ‘Ōiwi (Native Hawaiian) and Ilocano, and is a first-generation student from Kalihi, O‘ahu.

Current Projects and Collaborations

Ikaika is active in Hawaiian grassroots community organizing and has helped run a community-based cultural education program since 2015. His upcoming research collaborations explore diverse attempts to Indigenize STEM and health fields.

At Princeton, he works to build the presence and accessibility of Indigenous Studies on campus.

Articles and Book Chapters

Forthcoming, “Creation stories: Carrying our elders of Indigenous media.” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory

“Endurance of Difference: Insights from Contemporary Native Hawaiian Media.” Visual Anthropology Review. 39(1). (2023)

“Indigenous Media: Protocols, Circulation and the Politics of Accountability.” with Angelo Baca, Teresa Martinez-Chavez, Teresa Montoya. Visual Anthropology Review 39(1). (2023)

“Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania 2021 Conference Distinguished Lecture: Contemporary Filmmaking in Oceania.” Oceania 92(2): 172-194. with Marina Alofagia McCartney and Martin Maden. (2022)

“Capitalist Transformation and Settler Colonialism: Theorizing the Interface.” American Anthropologist 123(4): 741-752. with Sally Engle Merry. (2021)

“Mauna Kea as Neither Emergency nor Event.” Abolition Journal. (2020)

Multimedia Projects

No Retreat: ‘A‘ohe Hope e Ho‘i Mai Ai (16 min., 2020)

E ʻIke Hou iā Lānaʻi, community-based cultural education media (8 videos, 2020)

By the Pen, and What They Write: وَالْقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسْطُرُونَ  (8 min., 2019)

Book Manuscript in Process

Red Dirt: A Political Economy of Native Hawaiian Liberation