I am a Professor at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA teaching in the MFA program Media Design Practices. My work spans a variety of topics–race, consumption, Barbie–but nearly always engages marginalized youth in collaboratively taking on the complexities of the world around them. I have current projects in Los Angeles, and Haiti and have engaged partners including the Los Angeles Police Department, numerous public schools, Jovenes, Inc. in Boyle Heights, and Lekòl Kominotè Matènwa in Haiti. A specialist in Haitian Folkloric dance, I have performed professionally and still occasionally teach dance. Taking writing very, very seriously, my work increasingly investigates the ethnographic voice with an eye toward decolonizing anthropological knowledge as it appears on the page. I am also Editor-in-Chief of American Anthropologist.
Check out this presentation for the Smithsonian’s Afrofuturism Symposium
1996 Ph.D., City University of New York Graduate Center, Anthropology
1985 BFA, New York University, double major in Drama and Anthropology
Books (click titles for more info)
- 2016 My Life with Things: The Consumer Diaries. Duke University Press.
- 2001 Purchasing Power: Black Kids and American Consumer Culture. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
- 2014 Editor and contributor, Katherine Dunham: Recovering an Anthropological Legacy, Choreographing Ethnographic Futures. Santa Fe: School of Advanced Research Press.
- 2015 “Laboratory of Speculative Ethnology: Suits of Inquiry” e-misférica.
- 2015 “Commodity Racism” Encyclopedia on Consumption and Consumer Studies. Wiley Blackwell.
- 2013 “Globalization” Oxford Bibliographies: Children and Childhood.
- 2011 Reflections on Race, the Body and Boundaries: How to Get on the Bus Ethnologia Europaea, 41:1.
- 2011 “Michael Jackson’s Panther Dance: Double Consciousness and the Uncanny Business of Performing While Black” Journal of Popular Music Studies, special issue on Michael Jackson. 23 (1): 58-74.
- 2007 “The Consumer Diaries, or, Autoethnography in the Inverted World,” Journal of Consumer Culture, 7(3):335-353.
- 2006 “Confessions of a Negrophile,” Transforming Anthropology 14(1): 48-56.
- 2005 Diary Excerpts “Shopping in Ikea” and “Capitalism Makes Me Sick,” New Review of Literature, 2(1):123-138.
- 2004 “Diary Excerpts: How to Teach Commodity Fetishism and My Grandmother’s Rings” New Review of Literature 1(2) April, pp. 167-182.
- 1999 “Ethnically Correct Dolls: Toying with the Race Industry.” American Anthropologist 101(2): 305-321.
- Forthcoming “The Laboratory of Speculative Ethnology,” in Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography, Heather Horst, Anne Galloway, and Genevieve Bell, eds.
- Forthcoming “Teaching Anthropological Theory” in The Routledge Guide to Anthropology, Susan Hyatt, ed. Routledge.
- 2015 Chin, Elizabeth, Morgan Marzec, Cayla McCrae and Tina Zeng “Caminemos Juntos,” in Participatory Digital and Visual Methods, Krista Harper, and Marty Otañez,eds. Left Coast Press.
- 2015 “Barbie Sex Videos: Making Sense of Children’s Media-making” in Doll Studies: The Meaning of Toys and Girls’ Play Miriam Forman-Brunell, ed. New York: Peter Lang.
- 2013 “The Neoliberal Institutional Review Board” in Feminist Activist Ethnography and Neoliberalism, Dana-Ain Davis and Christa Craven, eds. Lexington Books.
- 2007 “Power-Puff Ethnography/Guerilla Research: Children as Native Ethnographers.” In Representing Youth: Methodological Issues in Critical Youth Studies, edited by Amy Best, 269–83. New York: NYU Press.
- 2006 “African American Consumption” in Encyclopedia of Sociology, George Ritzer, ed. Blackwell Press.
- 2001 “Feminist Theory and the Ethnography of Children’s Worlds: Barbie in New Haven, Connecticut” in Children and Anthropology: Perspectives for the 21st Century, Helen Schwartzman, ed. Westport: Bergin and Garvey, pp. 129-148.