Faculty

Anna Agbe-Davies

I am an historical archaeologist interested in the plantation societies of the colonial southeastern US and Caribbean, with a particular focus on the African diaspora. My first book examined locally-made clay tobacco pipes from rural and urban sites in and around Jamestown, Virginia as a means to understand the development of a concept of “race” in the early colony.  My recent research projects include excavation and community collaboration at the sites of New Philadelphia, Illinois, and the Phyllis Wheatley Home for Girls on the south side of Chicago.  In 2014, I started two new projects both in Durham, North Carolina. One is focused on Stagville State Historic Site, the other is at the childhood home of civil rights activist Pauli Murray.

Florence Babb

I am a cultural anthropologist specializing in gender and sexuality as well as race and class differences and inequalities in Latin America.  My book Women’s Place in the Andes: Engaging Decolonial Feminist Anthropology (U California Press, June 2018) examines feminist debates concerning Andean women, race, and indigeneity–debates in which I engaged and now consider in the critical context of decolonizing anthropologies. I am beginning work on Scaling Differences: Place, Race, and Gender in Andean Peru, a multi-sited ethnography based on my research in an indigenous community, an Andean city, and the Andean migrant stream in Lima.

Rudi Colleredo-Mansfeld

I am a cultural anthropologist and Senior Associate Dean for Social Sciences and Global Programs, College of Arts and Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill. I explore the shifting arts, communities and trades in the Andean world, especially the Imbabura province at the north of Quito, Ecuador. Exploring business investments, trade councils, weaving, painting, consumption, and fiestas, I track the big risks that individuals and households take, the setbacks, and the middle ground they seek with neighbors in an effort to prosper. These days, I am particularly interested in the ways that private entrepreneurship and social aspiration creates shared value. It is this common of culture, work, and wealth that spur dynamic public spheres.

Glenn Hinson

I am a sociocultural anthropologist interested in ethnography, folklife, and African American expressive culture. Most of my own research explores the expressive worlds of African America. Being white and southern means that my understandings in this realm will always be limited, always framed by an outsiderness that silently echoes histories of oppression. My studies begin with this recognition and move from there in conversation with those whom I count as my teachers. My current research focuses on the history and ongoing vitality of African American vernacular poetry. A second arena of interest addresses the ways that recent understandings about the neurobiology of trauma necessarily re-frame the way that we practice and teach ethnography.

Valerie Lambert

I am a sociocultural anthropologist. I was reared in Oklahoma and am an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.  My book, Choctaw Nation: A Story of American Indian Resurgence (2007), is a story of tribal nation building in the modern era. In this book, I treat nation-building projects as nothing new to the Choctaws, who have responded to a number of hard-hitting assaults on Choctaw sovereignty and nationhood by rebuilding our tribal nation. My second book critically explores the federal-tribal and federal-Indian relationship, a core political relationship for American Indians in the U.S. In here, I work to theorize, reconceptualize, and challenge prevailing anthropological and scholarly constructions of this core relationship. I argue that the federal-tribal and federal-Indian relationship are productively and accurately addressed as a relationship that is complex, multiple, contradictory, nuanced, and flexible.

Townsend Middleton

I am a political anthropologist who specializes in Himalayan India. Much of my work focuses on the politics of tribal recognition and autonomy. This has involved both historical and ethnographic engagements with affirmative action in India, and anthropology’s colonial–and ongoing postcolonial–involvement with the governance of difference on the subcontinent. My interest in political culture at the margins continues to take shape through research on political violence, subnationalist struggle, and processes of internal colonialism.

Don Nonini

I am a sociocultural anthropologist who specializes in the study of inequalities of class, race and gender and power in urban settings (A Companion to Urban Anthropology, editor, Wiley-Blackwell, 2014);   in class and state formation in Southeast Asia (“Getting by”: Class and State Formation among Chinese in Malaysia,  Cornell U. Press, 2015); and in social movements around the commons  in the U.S.and Europe.  With Dorothy Holland, I am currently completing Food Activism in the Current Crises: Ecology, Inequality, and Industry Overreach on food activism in the southern U.S

Karla Slocum (RDP co-chair, 2020-21)

I am a cultural anthropologist interested in intersections of blackness, place and history. My research focuses on the dynamics of place identity for rural communities that are noted for their histories, associated with people of African descent and undergoing economic and social transitions. In my recent book, Black Towns, Black Futures: The Enduring Allure of a Black Place in the American West (UNC Press, 2019), I explore the contemporary social, cultural and economic attraction of U.S. rural communities known as historic Black towns . I am also developing a new project to visualize Black freedom in a digital map of US Black spaces.

Angela Stuesse (RDP co-chair, 2020-21)

I am a cultural anthropologist broadly interested in social inequality in the Americas and specializing in methodologies of activist research. My scholarship focuses on neoliberal globalization, migration and citizenship, race and racism, intergroup relations, labor, and policing in the US and Latin America. Much of my work has explored how new Latinx migration to the US South has shaped and been shaped by the region’s racial hierarchies. I am also nurturing a growing scholarly interest in gender, political mobilization, and state repression in Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony on the west coast of Central Africa. Learn more about me here.

Affiliated Faculty

Maya Berry

I am a sociocultural anthropologist who specializes in performance studies and African diaspora studies. My work uses a black feminist approach to understand racialized and gendered experience, social formations, performance practices, and political imaginaries. Using performance as an analytical lens, I focus on both the movements of body politics and the corporeal bodies that constitute those political movements. This allows for consideration of how political economy, racial formation, and embodiment all play a role in political praxis.  An adjacent project critically interrogates the embodied aspects of conducting engaged research in post-colonial contexts, theorizing from the specificity of black women’s sexed and raced relationship to these sites of investigation.

Kia Caldwell

I am a Professor of African, African-American, and Diaspora Studies and adjunct associate professor of anthropology. I have built an active research program that focuses on the intersections among gender, race, black feminism, health policy, and HIV/AIDS in Brazil and the United States, Women’s and Gender Studies, African American/African Diaspora Studies, Brazilian and Latin American Studies. My scholarly contributions in these areas highlight how the relationship between race and gender shapes black women’s experiences, as well as activism, in Brazil, the United States, and other areas of the Americas.