Anthropology Department Directory


Caroline B. Brettell

Ruth Collins Altshuler Professor and Director of the Interdisciplinary Institute

Ph.D. 1978 Brown University
Heroy Hall 451

Elected Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2017

  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Europe and North America
  • 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
SMU Research Blog http://blog.smu.edu/research/2016/10/12/polity-immigration-and-society-series-gender-and-migration/ 

Recent tweets on new book by Polity: https://twitter.com/politybooks/status/785920783633350656  

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 a study 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, explored aspects of citizenship practice and civic engagement among Asian Indian immigrants in the DFW area. A third addressed 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. She is currently working on a book on Cities and Immigrants.

Selected Recent Books, Book Chapters and Journal Articles

"The Perception and Experience of Everyday Discrimination among US Immigrants," in Models for Practice with Immigrants and Refugees: Collaboration, Cultural Awareness and Integrative Theory, edited by Marta Lundy and Aimee Hilado. Sage Publications, 2018.

"Marriage and Migration". Annual Review of Anthropology, volume 46, 2017, pp 81-97.

"Cityward Migration in Comparative Perspective" (with Robert V. Kemper; revised by C. Brettell for upcoming new edition), IN Urban Life: Readings in Urban Anthropology, George Gmelch and Petra Kupinger eds. (6th edition), Waveland Press (2017).

Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective, 7th Edition (coedited with Carolyn F. Sargent) Routledge 2017.

Gender and Migration (Polity Press, 2016) 

"Perspectives on Migration Theory", Anthropology International Handbook of Migration and Population Distribution, Michael White, ed., (Springer Publishing), 2016.

Identity and the Second Generation: How Children of Immigrants Find their Space, co-edited with Faith E. Nibbs. Vanderbilt University Press (2016).

Following Father Chiniquy: Immigration, Religious Schism, and Social Change in Nineteenth-Century Illinois. Southern Illinois University Press (2015).

Anthropological Conversations: Talking Across Disciplines (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015)

"Migration: Anthropological Perspectives". International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Ulf Hannerz, ed., Elsevier (2015).

"Migration Theory: Talking Across Disciplines" (3rd Edition)", Routledge, 2015.

"Engaging the Public Sphere: The Civic and Political Incorporation of Post-1965 Indian Immigrants," In What's New about the New Immigration: Traditions and Transformations Since 1965, Marilyn Halter et al., eds (Palgrave-McMillan), 2014.

"Anthropological Conversations: Talking Culture Across Disciplines", Altamira/Rowman, 2015.

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

"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]

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