Executive Board Officers
  • David Simmons


    Profile pic

    David Simmons is an associate professor in the Departments of Anthropology and Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior at the University of South Carolina. He studies health and healing practices as they intersect with various fields of power in a range of historical and contemporary contexts. An award-winning teacher, he has also been recognized for his outstanding efforts on behalf of Haitian agricultural workers by the American Embassy in Santo Domingo and was awarded the Distinguished American Citizen Award (2002) as well as the Joseph F. Wall Sesquicentennial Service Award (2004) from Grinnell College. His publications include numerous peer-reviewed journal articles as well as the book, Modernizing Medicine in Zimbabwe: HIV/AIDS and Traditional Healers

  • Andrea Carol Abrams


    rsz_andreacabramsAndrea Carol Abrams  is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Centre College – Danville, KY. She is the author of God and Blackness: Race, Gender and Identity in a Middle Class Afrocentric Church (NYU Press, 2014). Before teaching at Centre, Abrams taught at the University of Southern Mississippi, Emory University, Agnes Scott College, and Spelman College. Her research focuses on racial and gender issues in the South. Abrams has a B.A. in sociology and anthropology from Agnes Scott College. She earned a M.A. in anthropology, a graduate certificate in women’s studies, and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Emory University.

  • Nicole Danielle Truesdell


    rsz_386583 Nicole Danielle Truesdell’s interests are twofold:  one is in political and legal anthropology with an emphasis on rights of citizenship and belonging, the modern nation-state, Neo-Gramscian notions of race and racism, biological and genetic understandings of human difference, ethnographic methods, and class in the United Kingdom and the United States.  Her ongoing work examines the place and use of race by Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) community organizations in the UK as a legal, political and social tool to enact their rights with the state. As the Director of the McNair Scholars program at Beloit College – Beloit, WI., Nicole is also interested in, and researches on, the retention and success of first-generation, low-income and underrepresented groups in higher education.  Her current project examines the role and impact mentoring, research opportunities, and social identity has within McNair Scholars Program at liberal arts colleges.

  • Kamela Heyward-Rotimi

    General Editor

    rsz_kamela_heyward-rotimiKamela Heyward-Rotimi‘s research interests in cultural anthropology explore the intersection of race, science, and digital media/technology on an international level. Within her work she explores the construction of knowledge, what and which bodies of knowledge are privileged. She also works towards her work building a bridge between public scholarship and academe. A key part of her work assesses how marginalized groups’ popular knowledge of science and communication technology shape their construction of racial identity, community and navigation of power. Her research examines the ways these communities use communication mediums to negotiate transnational social, economic, and political struggles. Her work builds on research that attempts to question and locate race and new media /information technologies that increasingly stage dialogues in global, geographically boundless spaces in virtual settings.

  • Michael Ralph

    Transforming Anthropology, Editor in Chief

    Michael RalphMichael Ralph is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. He holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. Michael’s scholarship centers on risk, injury, liability, citizenship and sovereignty in Senegal, the United States and Eritrea. Michael has published in Souls, Social Text, Public Culture, South Atlantic Quarterly, Journal of the History of Sport, and Transforming Anthropology. He is an Associate Editor of Transforming Anthropology, as well as a member of the Social Text Editorial Collective and the Editorial Boards of Hau: Journal of Ethnographic TheorySport in Society and Disability Studies Quarterly.

  • Lawrence Ralph

    Transforming Anthropology, Associate Editor

    rsz_ralphlaurence11Lawrence Ralph is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and African and African American Studies at Harvard University. He is currently working on an ethnography entitled Half Dead: Violence and Mobility in a Chicago Street Gang. The book explores the networks of commerce, criminality, and affiliation that congeal in the figure of the disabled gang affiliate. His research interests include: Gang Formations; Urban Anthropology; Disability; Medical Anthropology; Masculinity; Race; Theories of Violence; Popular Culture and Hip Hop.

  • Marla Frederick



    Marla Frederick is Professor of African and African American Studies and the Study of Religion at Harvard University and the past President of the ABA. She is the author of Between Sundays: Black Women and Everyday Struggles of Faith (U. of California, 2003), and co-author of Local Democracy Under Siege: Activism, Public Interests and Private Politics (NYU Press, 2007), which won the 2008 Book Award from the Society for the Anthropology of North America. Frederick’s research interests include questions emerging from the intersections of religion, race, gender, media, politics and economics. She is currently completing an ethnography which looks at the rise of African American religious broadcasters and their influence in the US and Jamaica.

  • Raymond Codrington


    Raymond Codrington is Senior Research Associate at the Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change. He supervises projects that address structural racism in domestic and international contexts. Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, Codrington was the Founding Director of the Julian C. Dixon Institute for Cultural Studies and Assistant Curator in the Department of Anthropology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. He also held the positions of Sandy Boyd Postdoctoral Fellow at the Field Museum’s Center for Cultural Understanding and Change and Assistant Professor at the State University of New York at Purchase.

    Members of Interest
  • Diana A. Burnett

    Anthropology News  Co-Contributing Editor

    rsz_blmDiana A. Burnett is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include diaspora and transnationalism, racial health inequities, Black religious and spiritual communities, nutrition-related chronic disease prevention, and medical anthropology. Diana’s current research project examines a transnational community’s efforts to recover and implement indigenous strategies to reduce and prevent non-communicable chronic disease. Burnett received her MPH from the University of Pennsylvania, MDiv from Yale Divinity School and her BA from Hampton University.

  • Tiffany Cain

    Anthropology News Co-Contributing Editor

    rsz_tiffany_cain_0Tiffany Cain is a doctoral student with a M.A. in Anthropology – Stanford University and a B.A. with Honors, Archaeology – Stanford University. As an anthropologist, she uses historical archaeology and ethnography to better understand the ways in which the legacies of the past, particularly violent conflict, form present day political consciousness and imaginations of the future. Her current research based in Quintana Roo, Mexico where she seeks to push the limits of the pragmatic application of archaeological projects while thinking critically about the sociopolitics of heritage and its interplay with community development through community-organized participatory research.  This work is anchored by archaeological and archival investigations into the history of the Caste War of Yucatan or the Maya Social War (1847-1901), arguably the most successful indigenous rebellion in the Americas. Her other research interest includes Cultural heritage ethics; intangible heritage; collective memory and social histories; indigenous and diasporic archaeologies; archaeology of colonialism; archaeologies of rebellion; landscape archaeology; race and gender; politics of recognition; reconciliation; historical anthropology; materiality; semiotics. Western Australia; Americas, currently Maya Yucatan.

  • Bianca C. Williams

    Co-General Editor

    rsz_biancaBianca Williams is an Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Williams’ research centers on theories of race and gender within African diasporic communities, particularly the emotional aspects of being “Black” and a “woman” in the U.S. and Jamaica. Graduating with honors as an undergraduate at Duke University, Williams went on to earn a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Duke, and a Graduate Certificate in African & African American Studies. In her dissertation, “American Realities, Diasporic Dreams: Pursuing Happiness, Love, and Girlfriendship in Jamaica,” Williams presents a fine-grained ethnographic analysis of diasporic relations based on research completed over four years in multiple cities in the U.S., Jamaica, and an online web-community. This study examines how African American women use international travel and the Internet as tools for pursuing happiness, creating intimate relationships and friendships, and critiquing American racism, sexism, and ageism. Williams is currently revising this dissertation into a book manuscript.

  • K. Nyerere Turé


    rsz_ktureK. Nyerere Turé is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology at American University – Washington, DC. His research interests include the intersections of race and place, public housing, displacement/gentrification, urban crime and structural violence. Turé earned a BA in African/African American Studies and Criminal Justice at Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey and a MA in Applied Anthropology at Georgia State University – Atlanta, Georgia. He currently teaches anthropology and criminology courses at the rank of Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Building on his undergraduate and MA level graduate research focus that explored the relationship between community crime and urban development, his current dissertation writing examines the lived experiences of African American public housing residents in the throws of an urban renewal project that examples the continued perpetuation of structural violence against marginal communities of color.

  • Whitney Battle-Baptiste

    Program Chair

    rsz_whitneybattlebaptisteWhitney Battle-Baptiste is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Battle-Baptiste is a historical archaeologist interested in race, gender, and cultural landscapes. Her theoretical interests include Black Feminist theory, critical race theory and the African Diaspora. Her publications include commentaries and papers in edited volumes on historical archaeology and slavery in the Southern United States. She has conducted field work at many sites, including the home of Andrew Jackson in Nashville, Tennessee; Rich Neck Plantation in Williamsburg, Virginia; and The Abiel Smith School in Boston, Mass. Her latest research is at the W. E. B. DuBois boyhood homesite in Great Barrington, Mass. Her recent and highly acclaimed publication is Black Feminist Archaeology – Left Coast Press (July 1, 2011).


  • Oneka LaBennett

    Membership Chair

    Oneka LaBennett is Associate Professor of African and African American Studies, and Women’s Studies at Fordham University. She is also Research Director of the Bronx African American History Project   (BAAHP). Her teaching focuses on African Diasporic identities, popular youth culture, and West Indian migration. Dr. LaBennett is the author of She’s Mad Real: Popular Culture and West Indian Girls in Brooklyn (NYU Press 2011), and co-editor of Racial Formation in the Twenty-First Century (UC Press forthcoming).

  • Karen Williams

    Anthropology News Editor

    rsz_karengwilliamsKaren G. Williams is a Ph.D. candidate at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. Her research interests include the criminal justice system, governance, race/racism(s), social stratification, and medical anthropology. Williams’ current research project is focused in the United States and examines state-wide prisoner reentry and risk reduction initiatives in Missouri and Kansas. She is the co-author of Study Guide for Let Nobody Turn Us Around (Rowan & Littlefield, 2009). Williams received her MA in Performance Studies from New York University and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

  • Melanie E. L. Bush

    Awards Committee, Chair

    Melanie E. L. Bush is Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Adelphi University. She has published numerous articles in scholarly journals and presented at a range of national conferences particularly in the fields of sociology and anthropology, and in 2003 she was a prize winner of the Praxis Award, given by the Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists for outstanding achievement in translating knowledge into action in addressing contemporary social problems.

  • Riché Daniel Barnes

    Works in Progress

    rsz_barnes_130Riché Barnes is an Assistant Professor Riché Barnes received her B.A. in Political Science from Spelman College, her M.S. in Urban Studies from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology with a certificate in Women’s Studies from Emory University.  Dr. Barnes currently specializes in race, class, and gender dynamics in African American families as they are experienced in the U.S. political economy, race and identity formation across the African Diaspora, and black women’s articulations of feminism. Her research and publications have focused on cultural shifts in black women’s perceptions of career and family in the U.S. and abroad. She is currently working on a manuscript that explores black women’s career and family gender strategies as they are rooted in class position and racial identity. She is the author of Raising the Race: Black Career Women Redefine Marriage, Motherhood, and Community (forthcoming, Rutgers University Press 2015).

  • Kimberly Eison Simmons

    Awards Committee Co-Chair

    KimSimmons100x100Kimberly Eison Simmons is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and African American Studies at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Her research interests include racialization processes, women’s organizations and activism, identity formation and the cultural construction of race, color, and gender in the Dominican Republic, the United States, and throughout African Diaspora communities. She is the author of Reconstructing Racial Identities and the African Past in the Dominican Republic (University Press of Florida, 2009). 

  • Alisha Winn


    rsz_alisharwinnAlisha R. Winn is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Fayetteville State University. Her recent research focused on the social and cultural dynamics of the Atlanta Life Insurance Company, one of the largest, most successful African American financial institutions in the twentieth century. Her research interests include: heritage preservation, ethnicity, identity, class, oral narratives, museum studies,and the impact that learning Black history from community elders instead of textbooks has on youth.