Nia Parson

Assistant Professor of Anthropology, SMU

Heroy Hall 414
(214) 768-2932

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Nia Parson (Ph.D. 2005, Rutgers University) joined SMU as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology in fall 2008. Dr. Parson, a cultural and medical anthropologist, is interested broadly in the relationships of gender, violence, the state, and health, in global perspective. Her interests also include migration, social determinants of health, globalization, and narrative analysis. Dr. Parson's new book, Traumatic States: Gendered Violence, Suffering and Care is forthcoming from Vanderbilt University Press. She has published articles in the journals Medical Anthropology Quarterly and Violence Against Women and has work forthcoming in edited volumes. Traumatic  States is based on ethnographic research she conducted on women's experiences of domestic violence, help-seeking, and recovery in post-dictatorship Santiago, Chile, funded by Fulbright-Hays and Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research grants. Dr. Parson also completed two years as a National Institute of Mental Health Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Health at Rutgers University. While there, she conducted research on domestic violence among Spanish-speaking immigrants in New Jersey. Her research and writing activities have also been funded by generous support from the SMU University Research Council, the SMU Human Rights Education Program, the Rutgers University Institute for Research on Women, a Rutgers University Bevier Dissertation Award, and a grant from the Sam Taylor Fund. Dr. Parson is currently conducting research funded by the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health on mental health care for Mexican immigrant women in Dallas, TX who have suffered domestic violence. She is a member of Editorial Board of Violence Against Women: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal (2012-2013). She currently serves as a member of the Executive Board of the Association for Feminist Anthropology.


  • Ph.D, Rutgers University, 2005

Publications, Speeches and Presentations

  • Parson, Nia. Traumatic States: Gendered Violence, Suffering and Care in Chile. Nashville, Vanderbilt University Press (In Press, February 2013)
  • Parson, Nia; Camilla Carruthers; Rebecca Escobar; Mariam Merced; and Anna Trautwein. "Health at the Intersections of Precarious Documentation Status and Gender Based Partner Violence" Violence Against Women: International and Interdisciplinary Journal. (In Press)
  • Parson, Nia. 2012. Gendered Citizenship in the Post-Dictatorship State: Domestic Violence Policy and Women's Subjectivities. In Caroline B. Brettell and Carolyn F. Sargent, eds. Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective (Revised Edition)
  • Parson, Nia. March 2010. "Transformative Ties: Gendered Violence, Forms of Recovery, and Shifting Subjectivities in Chile" Medical Anthropology Quarterly 24(1) [PDF]
  • Parson, Nia. 2010 "'I am no [just] a rabbit who has a bunch of children!': Agency in the Midst of Suffering at the Intersections of Global Inequities, Gendered Violence, and Migration" Violence Against Women: International and Interdisciplinary Journal 16(8): 858-901. [PDF
  • Parson, Nia. 2009. Book Review Everyday Harm: Domestic Violence, Court Rites, and Cultures of Reconciliation by Mindie Lazarus-Black. Violence against Women: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal. 15(10)
  • Parson, Nia. 2007. "The Gendered Politics of Security." Anthropology News. Association for Political and Legal Anthropology Column. 48(1): 46-47.