My dissertation titled “‘Hiding in the Open’: Whiteness and Citizenship in the (Re)production of Difference in Jamaica" is based on research conducted primarily in Kingston, Jamaica beginning in July 2000 through June 2003. This work is part of an ongoing dialogue about the production of difference.
Through an analysis of the reproduction of whiteness(es) and citizenships in Jamaica, I argue against notions of difference as rooted in simplistic binaries that are often naturalized and seen as independently produced. Through nuanced explications of ethnographic details, this project demonstrates the complexities of the mutually productive relationships among the classed, gendered, and sexual components of whiteness and citizenship and documents how these operate in the daily
experiences of Jamaicans. While this is not a comparative work, it has implications for the ways in which whiteness is conceived and theorized in the United States (as well as in other countries) because it fundamentally de-centers whiteness by recognizing other whitenesses, by questioning the social/political investments in whiteness, and by analyzing the ways in which color, class, gender, and
sexuality operate in the production of subjects and the historically and culturally specific forms of those subjectivities.
I defended my dissertation,“Legitimating Czech Gender Studies: Articulating Transnational Feminist Expertise in the New Europe," in May. My dissertation addressed the impact of stratified transnational
circuits of feminist knowledge production, European Union gender mainstreaming policy, and the legacies of socialist-era treatments of the “woman question" on the growing field of gender studies in the Czech
Republic. This August, I began a position as a full-time Lecturer in the Sociology/Anthropology Department at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas.
My dissertation, “A Landscape of Pilgrimage and Trade in Wadi Masila, Yemen: The Case of al-Qisha and Qabr Hud in the Islamic Period," utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to gain valuable insights on the complex historic relationships between regional settled and nomadic populations in the Hadramaut
and Mahra Governorates of Yemen. For example, historical documents and ethnographic research define many key pilgrimage (ziyara) and trade routes leading to Qabr Hud, a major shrine in the Hadramaut. This site is a sanctuary, or hawtah, and served as a vital commercial center in an otherwise unstable political environment. Archaeologically, the site of Al-Qisha, which spans the entire Islamic period, is examined in detail to shed light on this landscape of trade and mediation. As an extension of Qabr Hud, al-Qisha is one example of “hawtah" get to market. I am currently a database coordinator at the Museum of the Frankincense Land and an Assistant Archaeological Consultant for the Office of the Advisor to HM the Sultan for Cultural Affairs in Salalah, Oman. I recently completed a preliminary underwater survey along the Northern Indian Ocean coast and will soon begin a regional archaeological
survey of Dhofar, the southern region of Oman. My dissertation will be published
by British Archaeological Reports in Oxford this year.
I defended my dissertation on the history and contemporary practice of sleep medicine in the United States in July 2007. I am currently working on revising my dissertation into a book manuscript entitled Nocturnes: Sleep, Medicine and the Production of American Everyday Life, and have publications forthcoming in Medical Anthropology, Body & Society and Medical Anthropology Quarterly. Upon completion of my Ph.D., I accepted a position as an assistant professor of anthropology at Wayne State
University in Detroit; I have since accepted a position in anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I have begun research on a new project on the history and contemporary practice of public health, specifically focused on breathing, air quality, and respiratory illness. This new project is intended as comparative, and will address public health in the United States, China, and India, where I conducted preliminary research in 2007–2008.