Skip to main content

August Hoffman

Profile picture for August Hoffman

Contact Information

109 Davenport Hall
607 S Mathews
M/C 148
Urbana, IL 61801

Office Hours

Varies by semester, contact for appointment
Sociocultural Anthropology
American Indian Studies Program


August is a PhD Candidate in sociocultural anthropology. In the past, his research has focused on political subjectivity, social movements, and the semiotics of protest. He has brought this sensibility to his current project, tentatively titled "The Bite that Binds: Care, Violence and Liminality in Wolf Sanctuary," which centers on the political ecology between humans, the state, wolves and wolfdog crosses or "hybrids" as it manifests through the contexts of the exotic pet trade, animal sanctuaries, and wildlife management agencies. August is interested in the potential for sites of sanctuary to realize multispecies justice through their attention and investment in interspecies care, individual autonomy, and embodied communications. This work is also concerned with how canids as a genus are incorporated into settler-colonial and biopolitical projects, and how these formations normalize and perpetuate both racial and anthropocentric violence. Relatedly, the project also seeks to reconceptualize narratives of animal domestication and canid ontology broadly construed, interrogating the domestic-wild binary as an outgrowth of colonial nature-culture logics.

Prior to graduate study, August was an organizer in the Fight for $15 movement, Food Not Bombs, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), and several other grassroots causes. From 2016-2019 he was the Education Coordinator at Mission:Wolf, a nonprofit wildlife sanctuary in southern Colorado for rescued wolves, wolfdogs, and horses. He is currently collaborating with both Mission: Wolf and Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in New Mexico for his ethnographic research. 

Research Interests

Canid-human relations; animal and animality studies; wildlife management; multispecies ethnography; embodiment and phenomenology; comparative colonialisms; decolonization and the politics of memory; Indigenous studies; biopolitics; abolition; policing.


M.A., Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2022

B.A., Sociology & Philosophy, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 2015



Humanities Research Institute (HRI) Graduate Fellow, 2024-2025

Graduate College Dissertation Travel Grant, 2023

Awards and Honors

Demitri B. Shimkin Award for Superior Paper in Anthropology, UIUC, 2023

Department of Anthropology Summer Research Award, UIUC, 2020

Honors Scholar, UMKC, 2015

Selene Scholarship in Philosophy, UMKC, 2014

Additional Campus Affiliations

Teaching & Research Assistant, American Indian Studies Program

Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory

Graduate Employees' Organization, IFT/AFT Local 6300

Recent Publications

Martin, Jeffrey T. and Austin D. Hoffman. 2023. “Staying Cool in a Hot Spot: Epistemology, Ethics, and Politics in Police Ethnography.” In Routledge Handbook of Police Ethnography, edited by Jenny Fleming and Sarah Charman. Routledge.

Birchmier, Chelsea, Austin D. Hoffman, Logan Middleton, A. Naomi Paik, and Angela Ting “Towards Abolitionist Unionism: Resisting Pandemics, Policing, and Austerity at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign.” Journal of Academic Freedom 12, no. 1 (2021):

Hoffman, A.D. "Lupine Sensibilities: Dynamically Embodied Intersubjectivity between Humans and Refugee Wolves." Refract: An Open Access Visual Journal 2, no. 1(2019): 133-164.