Sociocultural Anthropology, Anthropology and Law, Violence, Kinship, Class, Gender; the Caribbean


I received my M.A. degree in Anthropology from New School University and my Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. Before coming to the Department of Anthropology at Temple in 2008, I served as Professor of Criminology, Law, and Justice, and Affiliate Professor of Anthropology, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

My scholarship focuses on anthropology and law, domestic violence, and the history and ethnography of class, kinship, gender, and the state in the English-speaking Caribbean. I have conducted fieldwork in Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, and in the United States to understand how and why law operates as a discourse and practice of rights and repression. My ethnographic projects have included a study of rape and sexual assault in the U.S., an investigation of family life and family law in the English-speaking Caribbean, and a cross-cultural examination of the making and implementation of domestic violence law. I am currently at work on a new project, "Lawyers Beyond Borders," that explores the globalization of legal education and the practice of law. I am interviewing students, faculty, administrators, and alumni who are making law a transnational practice.

My teaching interests focus on topics in law and society, the anthropology of violence, and the English-speaking Caribbean. I care deeply about student research and writing, and strive to promote these as exciting learning experiences.

Selected Publications


  • Everyday Harm: Domestic Violence, Court Rites, and Cultures of Reconciliation. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. 2007.
  • Legitimate Acts and Illegal Encounters: Law and Society in Antigua and Barbuda. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. 1994.
  • Contested States: Law, Hegemony, and Resistance. (Edited with Susan F. Hirsch.) New York: Routledge. 1994.
  • Family Business in Dallas: A Matter of Values. (Edited with Pan Lange.) Dallas: NEH Library Program. 1982. [oral histories] 


  • "The Voice of the Stranger: Foreign LL.M. Students' Experiences of Culture, Law and Pedagogy in US Law Schools." Handbook on Comparative Law and Anthropology. James A. R. Nafziger (ed.) Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. 2017:462-488.
  • "Foreign Attorneys in U.S. LL.M. Programs: Who's In, Who's Out, and Who They Are" (with Julie Globokar). Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies. 2015. 22(1):3-65. 
  • "Vanishing Complainants: The Place of Violence in Family, Gender, Work, and Law." Caribbean Studies. 2008. 36(1):25-51. 
  • "After Empire: Training Lawyers as a Postcolonial Enterprise." Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism. 2008. 25:38-56.
  • "The Politics of Place: Practice, Process, and Kinship in Domestic Violence Courts." (With Patty L. McCall.)Human Organization. 2006. 65(2):137-152.
  • "The (Heterosexual) Regendering of a Modern State: Criminalizing and Implementing Domestic Violence Law in Trinidad." Law & Social Inquiry. 2003. 28(4):979-1008.
  • "Law and the Pragmatics of Inclusion: Governing Domestic Violence in Trinidad and Tobago." American Ethnologist. 2001. 28(2):388-416.