Jennifer Erickson
Jennifer Erickson
Professor of Anthropology, Assistant Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Assist Director, Center for Middletown Studies


Room:BB 305

Professor of Anthropology, Assistant Director of the Center for Middletown Studies

Jennifer Erickson is a cultural anthropologist whose research interests include refugee resettlement, welfare, citizenship, taxes, feminism, gender, race, ethnicity, and urban anthropology with geographic foci in the Midwest United States, South Sudan, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Her first book, Race-ing Fargo: Refugees, Citizenship, and the Transformation of Small Cities (2020) compares everyday practices of refugee resettlement and welfare agencies and Bosnian and Southern Sudanese refugees in Fargo, North Dakota. The book outlines the ways in which refugee resettlement has reconfigured what constitutes diversity in Fargo, how various actors and institutions have responded to refugees, and how New Americans serve as change agents in the city. She has also published book chapters and articles in Signs, Focaal, Human Organization, and Romani Studies.

As professor of anthropology and affiliated faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies and African American Studies, Erickson teaches classes and advises undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of gender, race, ethnicity, political economy, global migration, urban life, theory, and ethnographic methods. Her immersive learning classes include ethnographic methods courses that studied the history, demographics, and culture of a Muncie neighborhood, Muncie Parks and Recreation through the lens of the urban commons, and a summer ethnographic field school to Bosnia-Herzegovina where students researched three different cities with a focus on ethnicity, religion, and political economy.

As Assistant Director of the Center for Middletown Studies, Erickson has been working on supporting faculty and graduate students engaged in qualitative research methods. Her current research and community engagement efforts have centered on making Muncie more welcoming for refugees. She has been working with new neighbors from Afghanistan who began making Muncie their home in 2021 after the U.S. military withdrew from their country. She served as Graduate Director (2014-2018) and Assistant Chair (2019-2023) in the Department of Anthropology and works on a variety of committees and boards in Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies, in the College of Sciences and Humanities, the University, City of Muncie, and the Society for the Anthropology of North America.

Visit Jennifer's website 

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers


MA, Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Oregon BA, English Literature and Psychology, Luther College

Select Publications

· 2022. “Diversity in the Dakotas: Lessons in Intercultural Policies.” Vulnerable Communities: Research, Policy and Practice, edited by James J. Connolly, Dagney G. Faulk, and Emily J. Wornell, 75-100. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

· 2020. Race-ing Fargo: Refugees, Citizenship, and the Transformation of Small Cities. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

· 2017. Morgen, Sandra and Jennifer Erickson. “Incipient ‘Commoning’ In Defense of the Public?: Competing Varieties of Fiscal Citizenship In Tax- and Spending-related Direct Democracy.” Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology 79: 54-66.

· 2017. “Intersectionality Theory and Bosnian Roma: Understanding Violence and Displacement.” Romani Studies 27 (1): 1-28.

· 2012. “Volunteering with Refugees: Neoliberalism, Hegemony, and (Senior) Citizenship.” Human Organization 71 (2): 167-175.

· 2011. Jennifer Erickson and Caroline Faria. “We want empowerment for our women”: Transnational Feminism, Neoliberal Citizenship and the Gendering of Women’s Political Subjectivity in South Sudan.” Signs 36 (3): 627-652.


  • Anthropology of Everyday Life
  • Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • Social Theory in Anthropology
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Anthropology of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality
  • Ethnographic Methods
  • Anthropology of the United States
  • Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS)
  • International Women's Issues (WGS)

Awards and Honors

  • Fulbright Award to Bosnia-Herzegovina (2020 and 2021, declined due to Covid-19)
  • Provost's Immersive Learning Grant
  • ASPiRE Junior Faculty Research Grant 

Course Schedule
Course No. Section Times Days Location
VBC Immersive Experi 400 2 0000 - 0000