Anthropology Department Directory


Caroline B. Brettell

Ruth Collins Altshuler Professor and Director of the Interdisciplinary Institute

Ph.D. 1978 Brown University
Heroy Hall 451

  • Anthropology
  • Europe
  • Immigration
  • Gender
  • Urban
  • Courses Taught
    ANTH 2301 - Introductory Cultural Anthropology
    ANTH 3310 - Gender and Sex Roles: A Global Perspective (co-listed with CFB 3310)
    ANTH 3333 - The Immigrant Experience (co-listed with CFA 3316)
    ANTH 3355 - Society and Culture in Contemporary Europe
    ANTH 3366 - Magic, Myth, and Religion Across Cultures (co-listed with RELI 3366)
    CF 3367 - The Greater Dallas Experience
    ANTH 4304 - Migration, Ethnicity, and Nationalism
    ANTH 5335 - History of Anthropology, Part Two
    ANTH 6304 - Migration, Ethnicity, and Nationalism
    ANTH 6320 - Regional Ethonography
    ANTH 7341 - Current Anthropological Literature
    ANTH 7342 - Seminar in Social Organization
    ANTH 7351 - Research Strategies in Ethnology

    Recent Happenings

    Interview conducted by Dr. Brettell with individuals in Portugal. Click here to link to the interview.

    Dr. Brettell was recently asked to speak at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on the influx of immigrants to Nebraska over the last several years. Click here to see an article written on her talk.

    Dr. Brettell was recently interviewed by KERA radio. Please click here for a podcast of that interview.


    Caroline Brettell joined the faculty of Southern Methodist University in 1988. In 2003, she was named Dedman Family Distinguished Professor and in 2009 University Distinguished Professor. She served as Director of Women's Studies from 1989-1994 and as Chair of Anthropology from 1994-2004, as well as Dean ad Interim of Dedman College, 2006-2008. She is currently serving as the Ruth Collins Altshuler Director of the Interdisciplinary Institute in Dedman College. She received her B.A. in Latin American Studies from Yale University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Brown University. In 2000-2001, she served as President of the Social Science History Association and between 1996 and 1998, she was President of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe (SAE). She served as President of the SMU Faculty Senate and as a member of the SMU Board of Trustees in 2001-2002. She served as a member of the selection committee for the International Dissertation Research Program for the Social Science Research Council (2003-2005) and for their International Migration Program (2000-2002). She has also served as a member of SNEM-3 Scientific Review Panel, National Institute of Health (1999-2003). Among her research interests are: migration and immigration, the cross-cultural study of gender, the intersections of anthropology and history, and European ethnography, particularly Portugal. Other interests include ethnicity, historical demography and family history, kinship, and the anthropological study of religion.


    Brettell's recent research on immigration includes one funded by the National Science Foundation, focusing on the DFW metroplex as a new city of immigration and how immigrants are incorporated into the economic, social, and political structures of a sunbelt city. Another, funded by the Russell Sage Foundation, explores aspects of citizenship practice and civic engagement among Asian Indian immigrants in the DFW area. A third addresses the experience of a group of post-colonial migrants, Goans, who left Portuguese India after the "liberation" (or "invasion" from Portugal's perspective) of Goa in 1961 and settled in Lisbon.

    Selected Publications, Book Chapters and Journal Articles

    "Perspectives on Migration Theory - Anthropology", Handbook of Migration, Michael White, ed., (Springer Publishing), in press.

    "Migration: Anthropological Perspectives". International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Ulf Hannerz, ed., Elsevier (in press).

    "Anthropology, Migration, and Comparative Consciousness", Comparison: Theories, Approaches, Uses, Rita Felski and Susan Freedman, eds., (Johns Hopkins University Press), in press.

    Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective, 6th Edition (coedited with Carolyn F. Sargent) Prentice-Hall 2013.

    "Engendering the Study of Immigration", Immigrants in American History: Arrival, Adaptations and Integration, Volume 4, Elliott Barkan, ed., ABC-Clio Publishers, 2013.

    "Thinking About Dallas: Historical Themes, Neighborhoods and Situated Art," Nasher Exchange Tenth Anniversary Exhibition Catalogue, 2013.

    "Anthropology and Migration", Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration, Immanual Ness, ed., Wiley Blackwell, 2013.

    "Deciding to Jump: Immigration, Gender and Civic Engagement", Global Migration: Challenges for the 21st Century, Kavita Khory, ed., Palgrave-Macmillan, 2012.

    "Migration, Gender, and Family", Oxford Handbook of International Migration, Mark Rosenbaum and Daniel. J. Tichenor, eds., Oxford University Press, 2012.

    "The Spatial, Social, and Political Incorporation of Asian Indian Immigrants in Dallas" reprinted in Indian Diaspora and Transnationalism, Ajaya Kumar Sahoo, Michiel Baas and Thomas Faist, eds., New Delhi: Rawat Publications, 2012.

    "Comment: Roberto Gonzales and Leo Chavez", "Awakening to a Nightmare: Abjectivity and Illegality in the Lives of Undocumented 1.5 Generation Latino Immigrants in the United States" Current Anthropology 53 (3), 2012, pp. 269-270.

    "Experiencing Everyday Discrimination. A Comparison Across Five Immigrant Populations" Race and Social Problems, Volume 3 (4), 2011, pp. 266-279. (DOI) 10.1007/s12552-011-9055-1. [PDF]

    Civic Engagements: The Citizenship Practices of Indian and Vietnamese Immigrants (with Deborah Reed-Danahay) Stanford University Press, 2012.

    "Immigrant Organizations and Scales Positioning: Asian Indians and the Dynamics of Place in a Southwestern Suburban Metropolis" IN The Location of Migration: The City and the Scale, Nina Glick-Schiller and Ayse Caglar, eds., Cornell University Press, 2011.

    "Immigrant Suburban Settlement and the 'Threat' to Middle Class Status and American Identity: The Case of Farmers Branch, Texas" (with Faith Nibbs), International Migration, 49 (1), 2011, 1-30. [PDF]

    "Anthropology, Migration, and Comparative Consciousness" New Literary History 40 (3), 2009, pp. 649-671. [PDF]

    "Lived Hybridity: Second-Generation Identity Construction Through College Festival" (with Faith Nibbs), Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 16 (6), 2009, 678-699. [PDF]

    "Cityward Migration in Comparative Perspective" (with Robert V. Kemper), IN Urban Life: Readings in Urban Anthropology, George Gmelch and Robert V. Kemper, eds. (5th edition), Waveland Press, 2009.

    "Afterword: Current Trends and Future Directions in Portuguese-American Studies", IN Andrea Klimt and Kimberly da Costa Holton, eds., Building Ethnic Communities: Portuguese Americans along the Eastern Seaboard. Dartmouth, MA: University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, Center for Portuguese Studies, Portuguese in America Series, 2009.

    "Comment: New Migrant Cities: Cultural Transformation and New Urban Landscapes" IN Lauren Herzer, Sarah Dixon Klump, and Mary Elizabeth Malinkin, eds., Transnational Migration to New Regional Centers: Policy Challenges, Practice, and the Migrant Experience, Eurasian Migration Papers, Number 2, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2009.

    "Portugal's First Post-Colonials: Citizenship, Identity and the Repatriation of Goans", Portuguese Studies Review 14 (2), (1006/7; published in 2009), 143-170.

    Citizenship, Political Engagement, and Belonging: Immigrants in Europe and the United States. Rutgers University Press, 2008 (co-edited with Deborah Reed-Danahay).

    "21st Century Gateways: Immigrants in Suburban America," Poverty & Race 17 (4), 2008 (with Audrey Singer and Susan W. Hardwick), p. 1-2, 11-13, 15.

    "Twenty-First Century Gateways: Immigrant Incorporation in Suburbia" Migration Information Source, April 2008 (with Audrey Singer and Susan W. Hardwick).

    Migration Theory: Talking Across Disciplines (second edition) with James F. Hollifield. New York, Routledge, 2008.

    For a complete listing of publications, please click here.

    Memberships and Affiliations:
    American Anthropological Association 
    Society for Applied Anthropology 
    Society for the Anthropology of Europe 
    Society for Urban, National and Transnational Anthropology 
    American Ethnological Society 
    Society for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies 
    Social Science History Association