Senior Fellows

Caroline Brettell

Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, SMU

451 Heroy Hall
(214) 768-4254

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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. Brettell was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as of spring 2017. 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 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. 

Education and Honors

  • Ph.D. Brown University, Department of Anthropology
  • Elected Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2017-
  • Caren Prothro Faculty Service Award, Spring 2017

Selected Publications, Speeches and Presentations

  • Gender and Migration. Polity Press (UK), 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 Culture across Disciplines. Altamira/Rowman and Littlefield 2015.

  • Migration Theory: Talking Across Disciplines, coedited with James F. Hollifield. Routledge Press, 3rd edition, 2015.

  •  “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 (forthcoming 2017)

  • “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, 2017 (copyright 2018).

  • “Perspectives on Migration Theory-Anthropology”, International Handbook of Migration and Population Distribution, edited by Michael White, pp. 41-67. Springer Publications; 2016

  • “A Reflection on Anthropology and Inter/Cross/Multidisciplinarity” ITEMS (Social Science Research Council Digital Forum; (2016)