The issue opens with the keynote address by Marilyn Strathern at the 2020 EASA meeting. Entitled ‘Terms of engagement’, the keynote responds to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and calls for critical attention to the colourings and resonances of anthropological language that works both with and against us. Strathern’s article is followed by a forum on the new far right that results from the Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale round table held at the AAA meetings in Vancouver in 2019. While the forum comes on the heels of both Brexit and Trump’s term in office, the latter tumultuously ending in the storming of the Capitol, the forum’s overall take on the resurgence of the far right is that this is a global issue, rather than being merely Euroamerican. The forum’s four keynotes address how we can understand this resurgence in the USA (Susan Harding) and Europe (Don Kalb), but also in Brazil (Rosana Pinheiro-Machado and Lucia Mury Scalco) and India (Arjun Appadurai). These keynotes as well as 18 ‘open floor’ contributions highlight two important and closely related themes. The first concerns how this global swing to the right might be understood, while the second is about what this shift implies for anthropology as a discipline – its research ethics and critiques of liberalism, and anthropology’s alliances with subaltern groups, some of which may now have new right allegiances. The forum is also an experiment with publishing formats. It replicates the conference round table by starting off with papers from key presenters and facilitating broader discussion.