Beyond “diversity,” activists, scholars, and administrators increasingly turn to “climate” as a way of describing the often-inchoate feelings and (re) productive processes that constitute a world, including with reference to racial and gender justice on American college campuses. Gingerly proposing “culture 3.0” as a methodologically oriented companion concept, this article assembles a genealogy of the concept of climate, addresses the potential and pitfalls of an anthropological-style cultural analysis, and presents the performativity of law as an example of the phenomena that thereby come into view. Two ethnographic moments—one involving faculty hiring and indigeneity and the other graduate admissions and gender/sexuality—exemplify the chilling effects of performative invocations of law, in this case of Proposition 209, the landmark California anti–affirmative action measure.

You do not currently have access to this content.