Stephanie Sadre-Orafai

Stephanie N Sadre-Orafai , PHD

Associate Professor

Associate Professor, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Co-Director of the Critical Visions Certificate Program, Taft Professor of Social Justice 2023–26

Braunstein Hall


A&S Anthropology - 0380

Professional Summary

Affiliate Faculty, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Affiliate Facuty, Film and Media Studies 
Affiliate Faculty, The Cincinnati Project

Stephanie Sadre-Orafai is a sociocultural anthropologist whose research focuses on the production of difference and types among expert communities in the United States. Her ethnographic work examines media and cultural producers, emerging forms of expertise, the intersection of race, language, and visual practices in aesthetic industries, and forms of evidence and the body. She studied anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley (BA, 2000) and received her Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at New York University in 2010, when she also joined the faculty at UC. She co-edited Visual Anthropology Review, the journal of the Society for Visual Anthropology, a section of the American Anthropological Association from 2018–2021. 

Her essays on casting, model development, and fashion reality television have appeared in several edited volumes (PDFs). She is currently working on her first book, tentatively titled Real People, Real Models: Casting Race and Fashion in 21st Century America, which examines the history of casting in the New York fashion industry, the rise of non-professional or "real people" models, and how modeling and casting agents produce models' bodies as forms of media, creating new articulations of mediation, visibility, and difference in the process. Building on four years of ethnographic fieldwork in the New York fashion industry, the book explores the political implications of how these new articulations are refracted through idioms of beauty, desirability, and justice. 

She is also working on a comparative project, Type by Design, that explores the overlapping concerns of inanimate (typefaces) and animate (models) type production in the commercial font and high fashion modeling industries in New York City. In both sites, there are tensions between visibility and invisibility, legibility and aesthetic nuance, and the management of lay and expert visions in producing culturally recognizable types and individual faces. Joining together ethnographic and archival research, she examines the mutually vivifying and dehumanizing dimensions of type production and what their professional practices can reveal about underlying changes in cultural ideas of “difference” and how they are visually encoded across time, technologies, and markets. This project extends her earlier comparative work on fashion and policing, where she examined the temporal dimensions of mug shots alongside casting photographs, and the spatial dimensions of street scouting and stop-and-frisk practices. 

She co-directs the Critical Visions Certificate, a joint effort between faculty in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning and College of Arts and Sciences, which she established with Jordan Tate in 2011. The program is aimed at teaching students how to effectively combine critical theory and social analysis with art, media, and design practice. She co-edits CVSN, the experimental publication of student work from the program. Themes have included "space" (2013), "the future" (2015), "color" (2016), "surface" (2018), "identity" (2020), "land/water" (2022), and "subject/object" (2023). 


PhD: New York University 2010 (Anthropology)

MA: New York University 2005 (Anthropology)

BA: University of California, Berkeley 2000 (Anthropology)

Research and Practice Interests

race and visual culture; social, cultural, and institutional practices of typification; professional communities; media, design, and aesthetic industries; language and expertise; evidence and the body; practice-based social theory; the United States

Research Support

External Research Grants & Fellowships
2018     Workshop Grant, in collaboration with Zoe Bray and Jenny Chio, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research
2017     Visiting Fellowship, Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture
2006     Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research
2002­–06     Predoctoral Fellowship for Minorities, Ford Foundation

Internal Research Grants and Fellowships
2021     Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem (TOME) Publication Award, Office of the Provost, University of Cincinnati
2021­–23     Editorial Assistant Award, Graduate School, University of Cincinnati
2019–20     Taft Center Fellow, Taft Research Center, University of Cincinnati
2019–20     Editorial Assistant Award, Graduate School, University of Cincinnati
2017     Interdisciplinary Group Award, with Brooke Brandewie, Faculty Development Council, University of Cincinnati
2016     Third Century Faculty Release Fellowship, Arts, Humanities, and Social Science Research Advisory Board, University of Cincinnati
2014     Career Branch Award, UC Leadership, Empowerment, and Advancement for Women STEM Faculty, University of Cincinnati
2013     Visual Studies Research Group Grant, Taft Research Center, University of Cincinnati
2012     Faculty Summer Research Fellowship, Taft Research Center, University of Cincinnati
2011     Faculty Research Grant, University Research Council, University of Cincinnati
2011     Interdisciplinary Collaborative Grant, with Jordan Tate, Faculty Development Council, University of Cincinnati
2003–2007     Dean’s Fellowship, New York University
2002–2009     MacCracken Fellowship, New York University
1999–2000     Haas Scholars Fellowship, University of California-Berkeley


Peer Reviewed Publications

Bessett, Danielle, Laura Dudley Jenkins, Katherine Castiello Jones, Amy Koshoffer, Amber Burkett Peplow, Stephanie Sadre-Orafai, and Valerie Weinstein. 2021. Women’s Perceptions of Explicit and Implicit Criteria for Promotion to Full Professor. Special Issue on “Advancement of Women in Higher Education." Journal of Faculty Development 35(1): 49–56.

Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie. 2019. Mugshot/Head Shot: Danger, Beauty, and the Temporal Politics of Booking Photography. In Fashion Crimes: Dressing for Deviance. Edited by Jo Turney, pp.45–58. London, Bloomsbury. DOI: 10.5040/9781788315654.0010 More Information

Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie. 2016. Recasting Fashion Image Production: An Ethnographic & Practice-Based Approach to Investigating Bodies as Media. In Fashion Studies: Research Methods, Sites & Practices. (Dress, Body, Culture Series) Edited by Heike Jenß, pp. 101–16. London, Bloomsbury. DOI: 10.5040/9781474220163.0016. Reprinted in: The Anthropology of Dress and Fashion: A Reader. Edited by Brent Luvaas and Joanne B. Eicher. London, Bloomsbury, 2019. More Information

Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie. 2016. Models, Measurement, and the Problem of Mediation in the New York Fashion Industry. Visual Anthropology Review 32(2): 122–32. DOI: 10.1111/var.12104 More Information

Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie. 2014. Beauty. In Oxford Bibliographies in Anthropology. Edited by John L. Jackson, Jr. New York, Oxford. DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199766567-0037. More Information

Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie. 2012. The Figure of the Model and Reality Television. In Fashioning Models: Image, Text, and Industry. Edited by Joanne Entwistle and Elizabeth Wissinger, pp. 119–33. London, Berg.

Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie. 2008. Developing Images: Race, Language & Perception in Fashion-model Casting. In Fashion as Photograph: Viewing & Reviewing Images of Fashion. Edited by Eugenie Shinkle, pp. 141–53. London, IB Tauris.

Invited Publications

Barness, Jessica, Amy Papaelias, Stephanie Sadre-Orafai, and Mike Zender. 2021. Turning Points: Publishing Visual Research in Design and Anthropology. Visual Anthropology Review 37(2): 422–48. DOI: 10.1111/var.12254 More Information

Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie. 2020. Typologies, Typifications, and Types. Annual Review of Anthropology 49: 193–208, DOI: 10.1146/annurev-anthro-102218-011235. More Information

Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie, Jordan Tate, Sso-Rha Kang, and Andrew McGrath. 2018. Critical Visions and the Unsteady In-Between. American Anthropologist 120(1): 153–162. DOI: 10.1111/aman.12998 More Information

Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie. 2016. Liminal Spaces and Worlds Otherwise. In Prefaces. Jordan Tate, pp. 80–3. Copenhagen: Lodret Vandret.

Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie. 2011. Fashion’s Other Images: Casting Photographs and the Production of a Professional Vision. In Images in Time: Flashing Forward, Backward, in Front and Behind Photography in Fashion, Advertising and the Press. Edited by Æsa Sigurjónsdóttir, Michael A. Langkjær, and Jo Turney, pp. 123–30. Bath, Wunderkammer.

Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie. 2005. Hypernationalist Discourse in the Rapso Movement of Trinidad & Tobago. In Globalisation, Diaspora & Caribbean Popular Culture. Edited by Christine G.T. Ho & Keith Nurse, pp. 215–41. Jamaica, Ian Randle.

Other Publications

Exhibition and Book Reviews

Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie. 2018. Neda Maghbouleh, The Limits of Whiteness: Iranian Americans and the Everyday Politics of Race (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2017) [book review]. Mashriq & Mahjar: Journal of Middle East and North African Migration Studies 5(2). DOI: 10.24847/55i2018.172

Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie. 2012. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, May 4–August 7, 2011, curated by Andrew Bolton (exhibition review). Catwalk: The Journal of Fashion, Beauty, and Style 1(1): 104–9.

Research-Based Creative and Curatorial Work

Other People’s Research: A Guide to Hospitality as Method, juried and distributed as part of DIY Methods 2022, The Low-Carbon Research Methods Group, 2022

What Is and What Can Be: Women of Color and the Struggle for Justice in Cincinnati, mobile exhibition co-curated and co-designed with Matthew Wizinsky, with limited edition mini-book series and online audio archive, The Cincinnati Project, University of Cincinnati, 2018–19. Exhibited at: [1] Reverb Art + Design Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio, September 5–11, 2018; [2] Tangeman University Center, University of Cincinnati, September 15–17, 2018, and February 17–March 1, 2019; [3] Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County, Cincinnati, Ohio, March 4–25, 2019; [4] People’s Liberty, Findlay Market, Cincinnati, Ohio, April 17–30, 2019; and [5] YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, June 2019

Matter out of Place. An experimental encyclopedia exhibited in Chasing Papers, Ford Gallery, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, October 14–November 14, 2013. Images of this work featured in: [1]The Open Book Project. Edited by Leslie Atzmon & Ryan Malloy. Eastern Michigan University, 2014; [2] The Photo-Essay is Dead, Long Live the Photo-Essay! zine, Ethnographic Terminalia, 2016

Casting. A six-minute documentary co-directed and produced with Robert Y. Chang, exhibited in Artless Photographs, University Galleries on Sycamore, FotoFocus Biennial, Cincinnati, Ohio, October 1–27, 2011

Artless Photographs, exhibition co-curated with Lee Douglas, University Galleries on Sycamore, FotoFocus Biennial, Cincinnati, Ohio, October 1–27, 2011


Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie and Darcie DeAngelo. 2021. Translucent Methods. Visual Anthropology Review 37(2): 219–24. DOI: 10.1111/var.12255

McDonald, Fiona P., Stephanie Sadre-Orafai, and Darcie DeAngelo. 2021. Reframing Activism, Labor, and Collaborative Futures in Visual Anthropology. Visual Anthropology Review 37(1): 3–7. DOI: 10.1111/var.12237

McDonald, Fiona P. and Stephanie Sadre-Orafai. 2020. Empathy, Care, and Dialogue: Transforming Visual Anthropology’s Publics. Visual Anthropology Review 36(2). DOI: 10.1111/var.12224

Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie and Fiona P. McDonald. 2020. Reframe, Redesign, Realign. Visual Anthropology Review 36(1): 3–7. DOI: 10.1111/var.12204


Invited Presentations

2024   Designing Women: Real People, AI Models, and the Promise of Representation, Department of Anthropology Colloquium, University of Texas at Austin
2022   Critical Visions, with Kat Timm. Research and Discussion Group, Center for Public Engagement with Science
2022   Daring Realness. Daring Media online workshop, Brandenburg Center for Media Studies, Potsdam, Germany–Center for Film and Media Studies
2020   Design + Anthropology. The Myron E. Ullman, Jr. School of Design 2020 Faculty Lecture & Discussion Series, University of Cincinnati
2019   On Human and Non-Human Types. Department of Anthropology Colloquium, University of California, Irvine
2019   The Eye and the Body. Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry–The Symposium on Fashion, Pennoni Honors College, Drexel University
2017   Making Faces: New York Type Ephemera and the Visual Encoding of Difference. Bard Graduate Center
2016   On the Strategic Non-Use and Insistent Use of Photography—The Future of Visual Anthropology. Ethnographic Terminalia
2014   Visual Anxiety and Expert Logics of Type Production. LETStudio Open Seminar, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
2014   Modeling Numbers: Race, Age & Health in the New York Fashion Industry. Departments of Sociology, Anthropology & GSFS, Oberlin College
2013   Fashioning Models, with Elizabeth Wissinger. Fashion Culture Series, The Museum at FIT, Fashion Institute of Technology
2013   Mugging the Archive: Traces of Encounters, Spaces of Imagination. Thinking Memory through Space Symposium, Goldsmiths
2012   Race, Realness, and the New York Fashion Industry. Department of Sociology Colloquium, University of Cincinnati
2011   Culture and Media and the New York Fashion Industry. Culture and Media @ 25: Past, Present, Future, New York University
2010   Recasting Fashion Image Production. Locating Fashion/Studies: Research Sites & Practices Symposium, Parsons The New School for Design

Commentary and Discussion

2023   Roundtable Panelist, Collective Politics and Print Practices between Design and Anthropology, AAA Annual Meeting
2023   Roundtable Panelist, Design Anthropology at the Crossroads, SfAA Annual Meeting
2022   Roundtable Panelist, Unsettling the Page: Graphic Design, Visual Anthropology & the Futures of Image-Driven Scholarship, AAA Annual Meeting
2021   Breakout Room Panelist, Anthropology and the Public: Pressing Questions, Responsibilities and Opportunities, Cool Anthropology virtual workshop
2015   Discussant commentary for Educational Infrastructures, AAA Annual Meeting
2011   Roundtable Panelist, As If: Ethnographies of the Subjunctive, ASA Annual Meeting

Paper Presentations

2023   Curricular Interventions: Critical Making, Social Justice, and CVSN at 10, with Jordan Tate. HASTAC 2023
2023   Collective Work: Redesigning Multimodal Publishing Ecologies, Economies, and Infrastructures. RAI Film Festival Conference
2023   How Race is Made Real: Site Visits, Applied Writing Assignments, and Scaling a Seminar, with Heather Norton. SfAA Annual Meeting
2019   Keeping Design at the Center: Remediating Activist World-Making Practices, with Matthew Wizinsky. SfAA Annual Meeting
2017   Characters, Types, and Specimens: On Human and Non-Human Portraiture. AAA Annual Meeting
2015   “I Kind of Naturally Became Very Anthropological”: Race, Language, Brands & the Limits of Para-Ethnography. AAA Annual Meeting
2014   Research, Design & Pedagogical Encounters with Post-Rationalization: Language, Embodiment & the Making of Meaning. AAA Annual Meeting
2014   The Logic of Sense: Crafting and Mediating Types in 21st Century America. SCA Biennial Meeting
2014   The In/Visibility of Type Production: Casting, Design, and Surveillance as Cultural Practices. AES/SVA Spring Meeting
2013   Street Suspicion: Experts and Types in Post-9/11 New York City. AAA Annual Meeting
2013   Desiring In/Visibility: Street Surveillance and Visual Anxiety in 21st Century New York. IVSA Annual Meeting
2012   Models, Measurement, and Mediation in the New York Fashion Industry. AAA Annual Meeting
2012   Artless Photographs. 6th Nomadikon Meeting
2011   Beyond Types: Animating Evidence and Potential in Booking Photographs. AAA Annual Meeting
2010   Polaroids and Go-Sees: Casting Encounters, Casting Epistemologies. AAA Annual Meeting
2009   Scouting and Developing “Difference”: The Meaning of Value, Labor, and Bodies in New York’s Modeling Industry. AAA Annual Meeting
2009   Working with Fashion’s Other Images. Wardrobe/NordForsk Visual Analysis Conference
2008   The Figure of the Model: Reframing Visibility, Agency, “Difference,” and Desert in the New York Fashion Industry. AAA Annual Meeting
2007   Imagining Types: Race, Place, and “Real People” Casting in the New York Fashion Industry. AAA Meeting
2005   Evidentiary vs. Aesthetic Evaluation: Production and the Fashion Image on America’s Next Top Model. AAA Annual Meeting
2005   The Booker’s Eye: On Visuality, Veracity, and Mutability. NEASA Annual Meeting
2002   Beauty, Sex, and Passing. ACLA Annual Meeting
2000   Hypernationalist Discourse in the Rapso Movement in Trinidad and Tobago. CSA Annual Meeting


2018   Social Innovation, Social Justice: Rethinking Design Anthropology, co-organized with Brooke Brandewie, University of Cincinnati, March 29–30
2014   Practice, Process, and Post-Rationalization: Notes on Making and the Temporality of Creativity, co-organized with Todd Nicewonger, LETStudio, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, October 28–29
2011   Look Better: The Critical Visions Symposium, co-organized with Jordan Tate, University of Cincinnati, October 13–14


2024   Questions for a Sign, co-organized with Craig Campbell, Collaborative + Experimental Ethnography Lab, University of British Columbia, October 30
2022   Precarious Positions: Forging Solidarity in Scholarly Publishing, co-organized with Darcie DeAngelo, AAA Virtual Workshops, January 21
2020   Re-visioning the Pitch: A Workshop with Visual Anthropology Review, co-organized with Darcie DeAngelo, Eugenia Kisin, Natalie Underberg-Goode, Fiona P. McDonald, and Andrew McGrath, AAA Virtual Workshops, December 1
2019   Theorizing Portraits in the 21st Century: Images of Social Engagement, Cultural Encounters, and Political Recognition, co-organized with Jenny Chio and Zoe Bray, University of Southern California, November 13–15

Refereed Conference Sessions

2023   Collective Politics and Print Practices between Design and Anthropology, Invited Session, AAA Annual Meeting
2023   Creative Pedagogies: How to Foster Publicly Engaged Anthropological Approaches, SfAA Annual Meeting
2018   Displacements Book Sprint, Cincinnati Node, SCA Biennial Meeting
2014   Practice, Process, and Post-Rationalization: Notes on Making and the Temporality of Creativity, with Todd Nicewonger, AAA Annual Meeting
2014   What Work Feels Like: The Ends of Invisibility in America, with Susanna Rosenbaum & Christina Moon, SCA Biennial Meeting
2011   Unsettling Accounts: Photographs, Traces, and Evidence, with Lee Elizabeth Douglas, AAA Annual Meeting
2011   As If: Ethnographies of the Subjunctive, with Susanna Rosenbaum, ASA Annual Meeting
2010   Rhythms of Hesitation, Edges of Forms, with Christina Moon, AAA Annual Meeting
2008   Revisiting the Beauty/Justice Debate and Anthropology’s Place in It, with Todd Nicewonger, AAA Annual Meeting
2007   Brokering Images, Casting Differences: Practices of Anticipating the Imagination of Others, with Zeynep Gürsel, AAA Annual Meeting
2005   Fashion Reality TV: Fashion as Process, Fashion as Product, with Todd Nicewonger, AAA Annual Meeting

Honors and Awards

2023–26   Taft Professor of Social Justice, Taft Center for Research
2019   Outstanding Mentor Award, Latino Faculty Association, University of Cincinnati
2019   Darwin T. Turner Scholars Breakfast of Champions Honoree, University of Cincinnati
2018   Rising Star Award, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Cincinnati
2018   Outstanding Faculty Award, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, University of Cincinnati
2018   Darwin T. Turner Scholars Breakfast of Champions Honoree, University of Cincinnati
2017   George Barbour Award for Good Faculty-Student Relations, All-University Faculty Award, University of Cincinnati

Student Advising

Primary Advisor

2023 Dylan Carter, MA, Anthropology, interdisciplinary/certificate track with Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
2023  Júlia Martini, MA, Anthropology, Affective Performances: Immigrant Theater, Staging Belonging, co-chair with Leila Rodriguez
2023  Kat Timm, MA, Anthropology, internship/certificate track, Knowing Nature: Stories of the Boreal Forest, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
2019  Keeley Gogul, MA, WGSS, Queer Assemblage as Queer Futurity: Seeking a Utopian Solution Beyond “No Future”
2018  Lauren Freese, MA, Anthropology, Corporate Apprenticeships in Design Research: Interdisciplinary Learning Practices of an Emergent Profession
2018  Irfan Ibrahim, BA Capstone, Liberal Arts, By Hand
2018  Elena Jordan-Keller, BA Capstone, Liberal Arts, None Others are Possible: Letters to My Father about Race, Racial Identity, and Racism
2017  Andrew McGrath, MA, Anthropology, Beyond Plasticity: Cochlear Implants and the Family Body
2015  Andrew McGrath, BA, Taft Senior Fellow, Anthropology, Conflicting Agency: Struggle and Resilience in a Housing First Program in Over-the-Rhine
2013  Christian Beck, MA, Anthropology, There is a Stranger among Us: The African-American Experience of Blackness in Japan
2012  Rachel Nickens, MA, WGSS, Strength beyond the Track: Empowerment in Women’s Roller Derby
2012  Blake Plowden, BA, Taft Senior Fellow, Anthropology, Re-Adapting Models of Democracy in Peru’s High Amazon

Committee Member

n.d.  Ruqeya Afshan, MA, Anthropology, Generational Perceptions of Excess and Waste in Indian Weddings, expected 2025
n.d.  Travis Hardee, JD/MA, WGSS, Combatting Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation in the South, expected 2024
2024  Pinaki Chandra, MA, Anthropology, Ephemeral Property: Moral Economy and the Politics of Land in River-Islands of Assam
2023  Brittney Miles, PhD, Sociology, Beauty on Whose Terms? Black Women and Girls’ Beauty Work Negotiations Across Settings
2023  Lilly Hinckley, MA, Anthropology, Decolonizing at a Distance: A Textual Analysis of Four Archaeological Museums in Ohio
2022  Marcus Brooks, PhD, Sociology, You Can’t Talk about That in the #CancelCulture: A Cross-Platform Analysis of Vernacular Online Racial Discourse in the Age of Cancel Culture
2022  Adrienne Dixon, MFA, Fine Art, DESIRE/CONSUME
2022  Erin Winchester, MA, WGSS, Locating Queer Nightlife: Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Meetups in the Midwest United States
2022  D.J. Trischler, MDes, Design, Before We Brand the Neighborhood: Making Visual Communication Design that Enhances the Quality of Life of a Community
2019  Mark Albain, MFA, Fine Art, Until the Real Thing Comes Along: The Present Image
2019  Stacy Jane Grover, MA, WGSS
2016  Jennifer Fisher, MA, Anthropology, You are How You Speak: A Discursive Study of Experts and Expertise in Pediatric Pain Assessment
2016  Amanda Hatch, MA, German Studies, "Where is Home?" Examining Borders in Yüksel Yavuz's Kleine Freiheit & Kutle Ataman’s Lola & Bilidikid
2016  Sso-Rha Kang, MA, Art History, The Mood of Nothing: Depictions of Extraordinary Banality
2016  Lisa Wnek, MA, WGSS, Taking the "Man" out of War: A Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems
2014  Kelly Voss, MA, Art History, The Abject Art of Valie Export, Gina Pane & ORLAN
2014  Aaron Wagner, MA, Anthropology, From Plant to Park: The Evolution of Risk Perspectives among Former Fernald Employees
2013  Jarrod Welling-Cann, BFA Capstone, E-Media, Nachiappan Sunrise
2011  Amy Dunham, MA, Art History, Towards Collaboration: Partnership Between Indigenous & Non-Indigenous Australians in Art, 1970–the Present
2011  Nick Hawes, MA, Anthropology, Parental Strategies of Normalization in Account Giving for Child Behavioral Issues


Ad-Hoc Grant Reviewer, European Research Council (2022), European Science Foundation (2022), Ohio University Research Committee (2017), 2017; 2022
Ad-Hoc Panel Reviewer, Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory, 2022
Ad-Hoc Manuscript Reviewer, American Anthropologist (2021), Cultural Anthropology (2015, 2021), Comparative Studies in Society and History (2016), Medical Anthropological Quarterly (2022), Oxford University Press (2021), Routledge (2020), 2015–22
Board Member, Society for Visual Anthropology, 2022–25
Board Member, Taft Research Center, University of Cincinnati, 2022–25
Co-Editor-in-Chief, Visual Anthropology Review, 2018–2021
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Anthropology, 2022–24
Editorial Board Member, Clothing Cultures, 2012–present
Editorial Board Member, Visual Anthropology Review, 2021–present
Graduate Program Reviewer, MDes Program, Graduate School, University of Cincinnati, 2022
Reappointment Reviewer, School of Design, University of Cincinnati, 2015; 2017; 2019
Tenure and Promotion Reviewer, School of Art, University of Cincinnati (2018), School of Design, University of Cincinnati (2018, 2021), Parsons School of Design, The New School (2021), Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Ohio University (2022), 2018–22

Professional Affiliation

American Anthropological Association, Society for Applied Anthropology, Society for Cultural Anthropology, Society for Visual Anthropology

Courses Taught

Anthropology of Hipsters, sophomore lecture & discussion course, co-taught with Sarah Jackson [S16] Using hipsters as a case study, this course introduces students to anthropological approaches to studying cultural groups. Drawing on methods used by both cultural anthropologists and archaeologists to study and define cultural groups--technologies, material culture, shared practices--this course asks what happens when a group rejects a category of identification. Drawing on both popular and scholarly examples, students will engage with multiple methodological approaches to studying identity groups, considering the different interpretations that result from disparate data sets. Topics will include irony and individuality; taste, class, and cool; fashion and cultural appropriation; music and media; technology, early adopters, and remediation; race and gentrification; and the globalization of the hipster phenomenon. This course satisfies the Breadth of Knowledge requirements in Society, Culture & Ethics and Social Sciences; it can be applied toward the Critical Visions Certificate program.

Anthropology of Media / Advanced Topics: Media Anthropology, sophomore lecture and discussion course & grad seminar [F10, S12, S14, S19] Examining "media" as both an anthropological object and socio-cultural practice, this course focuses on how popular media like advertising, television, film, journalism, and photography (a) produce knowledge about cultures, (b) circulate and are mobilized in different ways across social and cultural contexts, and (c) can be analyzed through their artifacts, practices, and processes to reveal key insights about contemporary social life around the world. We will draw on a range of ethnographic case studies, including both readings and screenings, to explore topics such as culture, power, and representation; mediation and social life; desire, publics, and counterpublics; and globalization, states, and markets. We will also examine popular and scholarly discourses about "media" and consider the parallel projects of representation and mediation in which both anthropologists and media producers engage. This course satisfies the Breadth of Knowledge requirements in Society, Culture & Ethics and Social Sciences.

Anthropology of Race, sophomore lecture and discussion course & grad seminar, co-taught with Heather Norton [F17, S23] This course offers a critical analysis of race from an anthropological perspective that integrates both biological and socio-cultural subfields/approaches. We will draw on a range of ethnographic case studies and scientific papers to explore topics such as the historical, social, and cultural contingency of racial categories and their consequences; the evolution and patterning of human biological variation; the use of genomic information to refute and reinforce the salience of race as a biological concept; and the enduring impact of race and racism in American culture and individuals' constructions of their identities. Seeking to move beyond social constructionist and biological determinist arguments about race, we will explore how the biological is cultural, and vice versa. Through site visits to local institutional contexts where data about race is collected (including university labs and hospitals, government offices, and product firms), students will directly observe how race is made real in Cincinnati. Building on a series of applied writing assignments that integrate these visits with course readings and discussions—including memos to government officials, op-eds, and plans for science curricular reform—the seminar will culminate with students designing community engagement projects that translate their discoveries about race for local audiences.This course satisfies the Breadth of Knowledge requirement in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Beauty, Race, and Gender in the Marketplace / Advanced Topics: Beauty, Race, Gender & Power, senior & graduate seminar cross-listed in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies [S11, W12, S19, S21] An ethnographic examination of the political, cultural, and economic stakes of aesthetic industries in multicultural and multiracial societies with a focus on race, gender, and power. We will explore the relationship between processes of racialization and aestheticization, how they are gendered, and their connections to liberalism, nationalism, business, and justice. This course can be applied toward the Critical Visions certificate.

Contemporary Anthropological Theory, senior/graduate seminar [W11, S12, S13, S15, F17, F21] This course is organized around enduring tensions and emerging concepts in contemporary anthropological theory. Working through a select list of keywords—practice and power, culture and agency; self and other; unsettling, decolonizing, and abolition; repair and refusal; affect and embodiment; the everyday and the ordinary; precarity and entanglements; scale and capital; assemblages and multispecies encounters; multimodality, publics, and infrastructures; norms and forms—we will explore the relationships between anthropological theory and methods, pedagogy, and form, including how institutions and infrastructures shape them. Our overarching course goal is to not just contextualize and historicize contemporary anthropological theory, but actively and creatively imagine its possible future trajectories. This is a combined graduate and advanced undergraduate seminar that fulfills the anthropology major capstone requirement and one of the two courses required for cultural track anthropology masters students.

Critical Visions, senior/graduate studio/seminar cross-listed in Fine Art, co-taught with Jordan Tate, Amber Stucke, and Mrinalini Aggarwal [S13, S14, S16, S18, S21] The course is designed to guide students through the process of identifying and critiquing a dominant way of seeing that builds on their individualized coursework in critical theory, social analysis, and art, media, or design practice. Each student's project will synthesize these core elements (critical theory, social analysis, and art, media, or design practice) and function both independently as individual projects and collaboratively as part of work organized around a single theme identified by each cohort. Course activities will include research and discussion of project concepts, identification of a unifying group theme, individual and group critiques of the developing projects, and final execution and display of the projects in a forum that will encourage broad university engagement. This course is the required capstone for Critical Visions Certificate students.

Forms of Seeing / Advanced Topics: Seeing as Social Practice, junior lecture and discussion & grad seminar [F11, F12, F13, S15, F15, F18, S21, F22] An ethnographic approach to a range of visualizing practices and forms, emphasizing seeing as a socially situated, culturally variable, and historically specific practice. Topics include image, imagination, and power; visual economies; expert-visions; moral and social implications of forms of seeing; the intersection of visual, material, discursive and embodied practices.This course can be applied toward the Critical Visions and Film & Media Studies certificates.

Independent Readings, junior and senior directed readings courses [F12, W12, S13] Directed readings on advanced topics for students who have completed at least two other courses with me. Topics have included: Beauty & Justice, Experimental Ethnography, Language, Politics & Sexuality, and Race & Post-9/11 America.