Kinship as Critical Method



Diana Allan, McGill University

Diana Allan is a filmmaker and assistant professor of anthropology at McGill University. She is the author of Refugees of the Revolution: Experiences of Palestinian Exile (2014) and the co-founder of the Nakba Archive, a testimonial initiative with first generation Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Her films include, So Dear, So Lovely (2018), Terrace of the Sea (2010), and Still Life (2007).

Amy Moran-Thomas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Amy Moran-Thomas is a cultural anthropologist, interested in the human and material entanglements that shape global health and medicine in practice. She has conducted fieldwork and archival research in Belize, Ghana, Brazil and the U.S, supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, Mellon-American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the Woodrow Wilson Society of Fellows, the Rachel Carson Center, the West African Research Association, and the American Philosophical Society. Her forthcoming book, blending ethnographic stories and science writing with anthropological and historical analyses, offers a humanistic account of the global diabetes epidemic.



Joseph M. Pierce, Stony Brook University

Joseph M. Pierce is Associate Professor in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature at Stony Brook University. His research focuses on the intersections of kinship, gender, sexuality, and race in Latin America, 19th century literature and culture, queer studies, Indigenous studies, and hemispheric approaches to citizenship and belonging. He is the author of Argentine Intimacies: Queer Kinship in an Age of Splendor, 1890-1910 (SUNY Press, 2019) and co-editor of Políticas del amor: Derechos sexuales y escrituras disidentes en el Cono Sur (Cuarto Propio, 2018) as well as the forthcoming special issue of GLQ, “Queer/Cuir Américas: Translation, Decoloniality, and the Incommensurable.” His work has been published in Taller de Letras, Revista Hispánica Moderna, Critical Ethnic Studies, and has also been featured in Indian Country Today. He is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

Jyoti Puri, Simmons University

Jyoti Puri is Hazel Dick Leonard Chair and Professor of Sociology at Simmons University. Her most abiding interests relate to issues of sexuality, gender, race, nation, and state from a transnational/postcolonial feminist lens. Her previous books include Woman, Body, Desire in Post-colonial India (Routledge 1999) and Encountering Nationalism, (Blackwell Publishers 2004). Puri’s most recent book, Sexual States: Governance and the Struggle against the Antisodomy Law in India's Present (Duke University Press, 2016) received the 2018 Distinguished Book Award from the Sociology of Sexualities Section of the American Sociological Association. She is currently doing a research associateship at Harvard Divinity School related to her new project on death and migration.



Lucinda Ramberg, Cornell University

Lucinda Ramberg is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Cornell University.  Her research projects in South India have roots in longstanding engagements with the politics of sexuality, gender and religion.  Her first book, Given to the Goddess: South Indian Devadasis and the Sexuality of Religion (Duke University Press 2014) explores the possibilities of vernacular religion as gendered resistance and caste critique. Her current book project turns to the revival of Buddhism in South India and questions of religious conversion in relation to projects of caste radicalism, social transformation, and sexual politics.  

Sharika Thiranagama, Stanford University

Sharika Thiranagama's research explores the intersection of political mobilization and domestic life, focusing on highly fraught contexts of violence, inequality, and intense political mobilization. She is the author of In My Mother’s House: Civil War in Sri Lanka (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011) and co-editor of Traitors: Suspicion, Intimacy, and the Ethics of State-Building (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009), and the special issue Civility: Global Perspectives ( T Kelly, Forment C, Thiranagama, S. (eds.) Anthropological Theory Volume 18(2-3), June-September 2018). In new fieldwork (2015-2016) on Dalit communities in Kerala, South India, Thiranagama examines how communist led political mobilization reconfigured older caste identities, re-entrenching caste inequities into new kinds of private neighborhood life. She focuses on the household as the prime site of the inheritance of work, stigma and servitude as well as the possibility of reproduction, dignity and social mobility.



Todne Thomas, Harvard Divinity School

Todne Thomas, PhD, is a socio-cultural anthropologist and Assistant Professor of African American Religions at Harvard Divinity School. In collaboration with Afro-Caribbean and African American congregants, Thomas conducts ethnographic research on the racial, spatial, and familial dynamics of black Christian communities in the U.S. Conceptually, her work integrates critical race and kinship theories to understand the racial and moral scripts of evangelicalism and neoliberalism. She has authored peer-reviewed articles for the Journal of Africana Religions, Anthropology and Humanism, and the Journal of African American Studies. She has also co-edited New Directions in Spiritual Kinship: Sacred Ties across the Abrahamic Religions (2017) with Asiya Malik and Rose Wellman. Her current research examines the familial and spiritual experiences of black evangelicals and the neoliberal displacement of black sacred space.

Asli Zengin, Brown University

Asli Zengin is the Louise Lamphere Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies in the Department of Anthropology and the Pembroke Center at Brown University. Her research lies at the intersection of ethnography of gender non-conforming lives and deaths; Islamic and medico-legal regimes of sex, gender and sexuality; critical studies of violence and sovereignty; as well as transnational aspects of LGBTQ movements in the Middle East with a special focus on Turkey. Her first book, Iktidarın Mahremiyeti: Istanbul’da Hayat Kadınları, Seks İşçiliği ve Şiddet (Intimacy of Power: Women Prostitutes, Sex Work and Violence in Istanbul), was published in Turkish. In this book, she examines the regulation of licensed and unlicensed sex work at the intersection of state power, law, medicine and violence. Currently, Zengin is completing her second book, Trouble with Ambiguity: The State, Islam, Family, and Transgender Embodiment in Contemporary Turkey. Zengin has been widely published in edited volumes and peer-review journals, including Anthropologica, Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, and Transgender Studies Quarterly.