AFA Officers


Carla Jones
AFA President (17-19)
[email protected]

Carla Jones is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.  Her research analyzes the cultural politics of appearance in urban Indonesia, with particular focus on femininity, manners, domesticity, aesthetics and Islam.  Throughout, she aims to bring feminist theory into conversation with both ethnography and anthropological questions about the political and the economic.  She has written extensively on self-improvement programs and middle-class respectability during the Suharto and post-Suharto periods in Yogyakarta and Jakarta, and is the co-editor, with Ann Marie Leshkowich and Sandra Niessen, of Re-Orienting Fashion: The Globalization of Asian Dress (Berg, 2003).  Her work has appeared in American Anthropologist, American Ethnologist, Fashion Theory, and the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies.  Her current work situates anxieties about Islamic style in the context of broader debates about visibility and corruption.  Jones earned her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2001.  She teaches widely on globalization, Islam, and Southeast Asia.


Jennifer Wies
AFA President-Elect (17-19)
[email protected]  

Jennifer R. Wies is an applied medical anthropologist dedicated to teaching and practicing anthropology.  Her research focuses on structures of violence as experienced by local populations in the United States.  This includes her research and advocacy with victims of gender-based violence, families affected by incarceration, people with HIV/AIDS, and first-generation college women.  Her first edited volume, Anthropology at the Front Lines of Gender-Based Violence (with Hillary J. Haldane, Vanderbilt University Press, 2011) presents global ethnographies of local-level advocacy and activism in the gender-based violence movement.  In Applying Anthropology to Gender-Based Violence: Local Practices, Global Responses (with Hillary J. Haldane, Lexington Books, 2015), authors address gaps in theory, methods, and practices that are currently used to engage the problem of gender-based violence.

Jennifer is professor of anthropology at Ball State University in the Department of Anthropology.  An important aspect of her anthropological practice is engaging students in service-learning experiences that apply anthropological insights and methods to social inequities.  She also works with higher education institutions to develop student-centered, equity-focused, and transformative assessment practices to assure learning at the course, program, and organizational levels.

Jennifer is also passionate about her role within the AfA: “As an AFA Board member, my commitment is to advance the core tenets of our Association: analysis, connection, education, integration.  These tenets form the core of the AFA’s purpose and define the work of its members and allies, who advance feminist perspectives and action in anthropology practices from academic to public domains.  This is endless work, and continues to mount in importance in the U.S. and around the world.  To support and advance AFA’s efforts, and drawing from academic and practitioner experiences, I envision continuing collaboration across section membership and advancing deliberate partnerships with scholars, activists, and advocates aligned with other professional organizations. Influencing my interest in furthering the AFA mission is my research as a medical and applied anthropologist focusing on structures and experiences of violence in the United States- including gender-based violence, sexual harassment and discrimination, and gendered, structural poverty.  My leadership approach routinely draws from the array of cross-cultural examples that illustrate the power of community, mechanisms for mobilization, the continuum of leadership authority styles, and coalition methodologies to inspire my leadership practice.  In this way, I lead in a manner informed by feminist social theory and focus on empowering, sustainable solutions.”


Jennie Burnet
AFA Treasurer (15-18)
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Jennie Burnet is Associate Professor of Global Studies and Anthropology in the Global Studies Institute at Georgia State University. Before joining Georgia State University, she was an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Louisville in Kentucky (USA). She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005. Her work explores the social, cultural and psychological aspects of war, genocide, and mass violence and the micro-level impact of large-scale social change in the context of conflict. The majority of her research has focused on changing gender roles, the politics of memory, and local coping mechanisms in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda. She is currently conducting research on (1) organized resistance, rescuer behavior, and rescuers during in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda; (2) the long-term cultural, social, and psychological consequences of gender-based violence during conflict on women’s agency; and (3) women’s social movements and women’s roles in democratization, conflict resolution, and peace building. Her book,Genocide Lives in Us: Women, Memory & Silence in Rwanda, published in 2012 by the University of Wisconsin Press won the 2013 Elliot P. Skinner Award from the Association for Africanist Anthropology. Her research has appeared in Politics & Gender, African Affairs, and African Studies Review. She teaches courses in peace and conflict studies, development, refugee studies, ethnographic and qualitative research methods, and African politics and culture.


Erica Lorraine Williams
AFA Secretary (17-20)
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Erica Lorraine Williams is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She earned her Ph.D and M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Stanford University, and her B.A. in Anthropology and Africana Studies from New York University. Erica’s research has focused on the cultural and sexual politics of the transnational tourism industry in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Her first book, Sex Tourism in Bahia: Ambiguous Entanglements, winner of the National Women’s Studies Association/University of Illinois Press First Book Prize, was published in November 2013. She has also published articles in Gender, Place, and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, Policing Pleasure: Global Reflections on Sex Work and Public Policy (Kelly and Dewey 2011);Taking Risks: Feminist Stories of Social Justice Research in the Americas (Shayne, ed. 2014), the Encyclopedia of Globalization (2012), and The Feminist Wire. She is currently embarking on a new research project on Afro-Brazilian feminist activism in northeastern Brazil. 


Suyun Choi
AFA Elected Member at Large – Graduate Student Representative and Social Media Co-Coordinator (15-18)
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Suyun Choi is a Ph.D student in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Emory. Her research is centered on women’s migration within Asia with the focus on migrant women’s lived experience of laboring, loving and living in transnational space. She is also interested in theoretical and political practices of Asian transnational feminism that calls into question categories of women and Asia represented in current discourses. As a graduate student representative of AFA, she would love to hear from fellow student members. Please join AFA’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, and send her a message to introduce yourself, share your ideas or ask questions.


Omotayo Jolaosho
AFA Elected Member at Large (15-18)
[email protected]

Omotayo Jolaosho is a socio-cultural anthropologist and software engineer. As a faculty member in the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, her research advances feminist political theory by elaborating the dissonance between activist practices and avowed commitments to gender equity. It is based on extensive fieldwork with a South African social movement organization that involved analysis of complex gender dynamics. The resulting ethnography considers the emergence of South African feminist critiques of activist practices, divergent initiatives to promote gender equity responding to such critiques, and the inevitable frictions that destabilized those interventions. Her work has appeared in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and Journal of Material Culture, among others. she is the co-editor of African Women Writing Resistance: Contemporary Voices, a transnational anthology focused on African women’s narratives of resistance to challenges they experience on the continent and within its diaspora.


Bianca Williams
AFA Elected Member at Large (15-18)
[email protected]

Bianca C. Williams is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at The Graduate Center, CUNY. She earned her B.A. and Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology, and a Graduate Certificate in African & African American Studies, from Duke University. Williams is a past recipient of the American Anthropological Association & Oxford University Press Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching of Anthropology. Her research interests include Black women & happiness; race, gender, and emotional labor in higher education; feminist pedagogies; and Black feminist leadership studies. In her book, The Pursuit of Happiness: Black Women, Diasporic Dreams, and the Politics of Emotional Transnationalism (Duke U Press, 2018), Williams examines how African American women use international travel and the Internet as tools for pursuing happiness and leisure; creating diasporic relationships; and critiquing American racism and sexism. Williams argues that pursuing happiness is a political project for Black women. Additionally, she has written about “radical honesty” as pedagogy in the volume, Race, Equity, and the Learning Environment (edited by Tuitt, Haynes, and Stewart 2016), and published on #BlackLivesMatter, anthropological writing, and tourism in the journals Souls and Cultural Anthropology, and on the blogs Savage Minds and Anthropoliteia. The investigative thread that binds Williams’ research, teaching, and organizing is the question “How do Black women develop strategies for enduring and resisting the effects of racism and sexism, while attempting to maintain emotional wellness?” She is currently working on two projects: (1) an examination of plantation politics and campus rebellions in the academy with Frank Tuitt and Dian Squire; and (2) an analysis of Black women’s organizing and emotional wellness practices in the Movement for Black Lives.


Rebecca Howes-Mischel
AFA Elected Member at Large (17-20)
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Jennifer Patico
AFA Elected Member at Large (17-20)
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Meena Khandelwal
AFA Program Senior Co-Chair (18-19)
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Eda Pepi
AFA Incoming Program Co-Chair (18-19)
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Eda Pepi is a sociocultural anthropologist of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.  She is Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University, where she works at the intersections of feminist studies, political anthropology, and the anthropology of kinship.  Her research and publications focus broadly on the cultural and historical processes through which gender, ethnicity, citizenship, sovereignty, and the state have been forged in contemporary MENA territories, as well as across the Class A League of Nations mandates in the Middle East (1917–1948).

Pepi is at work on her first book, Marital States: Ethnicity and Gendered Citizenship in Jordan, which explores how states manage political and economic problems, like statelessness, through families.  This project examines ethnographically how Jordan polices its borders by regulating the marital and reproductive choices of Jordanian women, showing that our understandings of the state cannot stand separate from analyses of gender and kinship.  She is currently developing a second ethnographic project—States of Collision: Policing Mixed-Race Families in the Western Sahara Borderland—to continue her inquiry into gendered and racialized policing of marriage.  This book project shines ethnographic light on the militarization of the contested Western Sahara borderland through the policing of mixed-race and mixed-nationality families by local paramilitary movements, national militaries, and international peacekeeping forces. 


Emily De Wet
Anthropology News Contributing Editor (15-19)
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Emily de Wet is a PhD candidate at University of Notre Dame and a PhD fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies (Notre Dame, IN). She is completing her dissertation research in three townships in Cape Town, South Africa. Her work considers how the textures of daily life (“vibes”) are creative of alternative spatiotemporal geographies to the political economy. These alternative geographies are at once contingent upon and in contradistinction to lived experiences of racism, unemployment, apartheid and post apartheid policy, and gender inequality. She explores how this occurs through forms of social labor, interrogating ideas about urban ‘margins’ and (racialized) narratives of productivity, through theories of expressive culture. Her work does so through attention to that which is deemed unique (and of value) to township spaces – movement and senses of safety through ‘being known,’ style and embodied aesthetics, and the preparation and consumption of meat in social spaces such as isiXhosa ceremonies and at Shisa Nyama (butcheries).


Julia Kowalski
Anthropology News Contributing Editor (16-18)
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Julia Kowalski is currently an assistant professor of anthropology at North Dakota State University; beginning in autumn 2018 she will be an assistant professor of global affairs at the University of Notre Dame. Her research examines gender, kinship and transnational rights discourse in India and in the United States, using methods from cultural, linguistic and medical anthropology.


Isabelle LeBlanc
AFA Digital Co-Manager (18-20)
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Isabelle LeBlanc is a Ph.D. candidate who is currently finishing her dissertation on Acadian women and language at l’Université de Moncton in New Brunswick Canada. Her dissertation historicizes the processes through which women submit or resist to certain linguistic norms in order to construct a sense of legitimacy as Francophones in a minority setting that is consistently negotiating a space of existence within a larger Francophonie. The dissertation examines how the reproduction of language ideologies and the positioning of women in regards to linguistic norms through their own voices on the matter is determinant in understanding their performance of a gendered identity. The thesis is based on interactional fieldwork as well as on the collection of archived discourses from Acadian women. Isabelle LeBlanc is also a course lecturer in linguistics with experience in teaching such courses as Language and Gender; Sociolinguistics; Language and Society; Language Acquisition and Introduction to Language.


Emily Allan
AFA Digital Co-Manager (18-20)
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Emily Allan is a recent graduate from the Master of Arts program in Anthropology at the University of British Columbia in Canada. Her research focused on NGOization and women’s empowerment projects in Tanzania, and the relevant power asymmetries between local and international NGOs and their donors. Rooted in feminist theory, her research contributed ethnographic data, and a focus on African feminisms, to discourses of intersectionality in North America.


Tara Hefferan
AFA Book Review Editor (14-18)
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Tara Hefferan is Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.  She is an applied cultural and medical anthropologist with research interests in reproductive health, social movements, international development, and faith-based organizations.  Currently, Hefferan is studying the political mobilizations of home birth midwives in Michigan around issues related to state licensure of midwives.  In her previous work, Hefferan looked at the deprofessionalization of international development work through a case study of partnerships linking Catholic parishes in Michigan and Haiti.  This research was published as the book Twinning Faith and Development: Catholic Parish Partnering in the US and Haiti.  Hefferan is also co-editor with Laurie Occhipinti and Julie Adkins of two volumes:  Bridging the Gaps: Neoliberalism, Faith-based Organizations and Development in Latin America and Not by Faith Alone: Social Services, Social Justice, and Faith-based Organizations


Ather Zia
AFA Book Review Editor (17-20)
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Ather Zia is an Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department and Gender Studies Program at University of Northern Colorado Greeley. She is currently finishing her book, which is to be published by Washington University Press (Book Series on Decolonizing Feminisms: Antiracist and Transnational Praxis). Ather’s other major writing projects include “Resisting Occupation in Kashmir” (U Penn, April 2017), a non-fiction anthology based on ethnographic narratives of politics in Kashmir with Harper Collins India, and an anthology of ethnographic poetry based on her fieldwork in Kashmir titled, “Field In-verse.” In 2013 she won the second prize for ethnographic poetry on Kashmir from the Society for Humanistic Anthropology (American Anthropological Association). She is the founder-editor of Kashmir Lit (www.kashmirlit.org), a digital journal based on writings on Kashmir. In 2011 she co-founded Critical Kashmir Studies (www.criticalkashmirstudies.com), an interdisciplinary network of scholars working on the Kashmir region.


Mounia El Kotni
AFA Co-Coordinator of Social Media (16-18) 
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Mounia El Kotni is a PhD. candidate in Cultural and Medical Anthropology at the University at Albany, SUNY. Her research interests include women’s reproductive rights and indigenous rights in Mexico. Her dissertation research is based on thirteen months of ethnographic fieldwork in Chiapas, Mexico. Since 2013, she has been collaborating with the Organisation of Indigenous Doctors of Chiapas (OMIECH). In her dissertation, Mounia analyses the impact of Mexico’s public healthcare policies on indigenous midwives’ practices and women’s reproductive health in Chiapas. 


Samantha Gottlieb
Voices Editor (16-18)
[email protected]

Samantha D. Gottlieb is a medical anthropologist, currently working on a National Science Foundation-funded project about type 1 diabetics who hack their medical devices. She has taught at California State University, East Bay, and has been a Visiting Scholar at UC – Berkeley’s Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society. She has also worked in the private sector, at health tech startups and at a biotech consultancy, among others. She is the co-editor of Voices, AFA’s journal. Her recent book about the HPV vaccine, Not Quite a Cancer Vaccine, is published by Rutgers University Press.

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