Alumni in the Spotlight

David I. Kertzer, PhD '74

Kertzer  has just received the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Biography-Autobiography for his The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and The Rise of Fascism in Europe. Judges cited the book as "an engrossing dual biography that uses recently opened Vatican archives to shed light on two men who exercised nearly absolute power over their realms." For additional information, check the Brandeis Alumni Article and


Ieva Jusionyte, MA '07, PhD '12

Ieva Jusionyte is an assistant professor of anthropology and social studies at Harvard University. Her book, Savage Frontier: Making News and Security on the Argentine Border, traces how journalists who live and work in this remote border area selectively report on illegalized, yet legitimate activities, such as food smuggling or informal adoptions. Her new project, supported by an NSF grant, explores the everyday practices and experiences of first responders on the U.S.-Mexico border in order to expand our understanding of the human and social consequences of security policies and border enforcement.

Nehraz Mahmud, MA '07

Nehraz Mahmud is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and focuses on the barriers to women's rights to property in Bangladesh; she recently received the Vanier CGS scholarship from the Social Science Research Council of Canada. In 2006 Mahmud was nominated for the Fulbright Scholarship offered by the Department of State of the USA and attended Brandeis University for her joint MA in Anthropology and Women's Studies. She has also been a Trustee of an NGO called the Tilottama Voluntary Women's Organization for more than ten years.

KarakasidouAnastasia Karakasidou, MA'81

Anastasia Karakasidou Ph.D. is a social anthropologist researching, writing, and teaching on the topics of health, illness, and cancer. She conducted her dissertation fieldwork in Northern Greece, where she examined issues of ethnicity. national consciousness and agrarian transformations. Since 2001, Professor Karakasidou has conducted multi-sited ethnographic research in the Chinese province of Yunan, in the Greek island of Crete, and in the town of Wellesley, Massachusetts. Her book Cultures of Cancer aspires to bring the history and analysis of cancer narratives and social experiences in these three societies.

Paula SabloffPaula Sabloff, PhD '77

Paula Sabloff is a political anthropologist and a professor at the Santa Fe Institute. Following several years in higher education, Sabloff has returned to anthropological research in Mongolia. Her research focuses on Mongolians’ changing ideas of democracy and capitalism as they leave behind socialism and adapt to democracy and capitalism. In that pursuit, she has conducted fieldwork and interviews in the summers of 1996-2003. She recently organized a four-day symposium on Mongolia with the idea of challenging the area studies concept in academia and the State Department; that volume, Mapping Mongolia: From Geologic Time to the Present, is published by the University of Pennsylvania Press (2011).

Graduate Alumni Accomplishments, Careers, and Placements

Placements of Brandeis Anthropology MA and PhD students (updated May, 2016)

Placement of recent MA graduates in Anthropology PhD programs:

American University (in History), Brandeis University (15), Ben Gurion University, Boston University, City University of New York Graduate Center (2), Cornell University, Emory University (2), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rice University, SUNY-Albany, Syracuse University (2), University of California at Irvine, University of California at Santa Cruz (in Anthropology and Feminist Studies), University of Chicago (3, one in the Divinity School), University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts Boston (in Sociology), University of Michigan (2), University of Oregon, University of South Florida, University of Pennsylvania (in History and Sociology of Science), University of Toronto, University of Washington, and William and Mary (in Historical Anthropology).

MA students have also been admitted to PhD programs at: Emory University (in Religious Studies), George Mason University, George Washington University, Rutgers University, Simon Fraser University, University of Alabama, University of California at San Diego, University of California at San Francisco (in Medical Anthropology), University of California at Santa Cruz, University of Florida, University of Indiana at Bloomington, University of Manitoba, University of Maryland (in Women’s Studies), University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Pennsylvania, and others.

Recent MA graduates have also matriculated into Medical School (1), Law School (2), and Business School specializing in Non-Profit Management (1).


Brandeis MA graduates are currently teaching at:

Bentley University, F.W. Parker Charter Middle School, Houston Community College, MassBay Community College, Middlesex Community College, The Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology at Phillips Academy-Andover, and Regis College.

Other job placements of recent MA graduates include:

  • US Army Corps of Engineers Archaeologist

  • California Department of Parks and Recreation Archaeologist

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology IDEAS Global Challenge Administrator

  • Partners in Health Project Assistant

  • Cambridge Health Alliance Consultant

  • Brandeis Rabb School of Continuing Studies Assistant Director of Academic Programs

  • Scientific Advisor, Neuroscience and Social Conflict Initiative, Beyond Conflict, MIT

  • Citizens Campaign for the Environment Community Organizer

  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Assistant Project Director

  • Chicago House and Social Service Agency Program Manager

  • Corrections Mental Health Counselor

  • Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies Research Associate

  • Assistant Dean of Students at Florida State University

  • Assistant Director, University Advancement, Office of Special Events at Tufts University

  • Academic Advisor in the College of Liberal Arts at U Mass Boston

Brandeis Anthropology PhD graduates are currently teaching and conducting research at the following colleges and universities:

  • Arizona State University

  • BRAC University in Bangladesh

  • Brandeis University

  • Brown University (1 tenured, 1 postdoctoral fellow)

  • Bryn Mawr College

  • College of Charleston (tenured)

  • Guttman Community College at the City University of New York

  • Harvard University (tenure-track)

  • Indiana University (tenured)

  • Kutztown University (tenured)

  • Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (tenure-track)
  • University of Massachusetts (Boston)
  • New York University (tenured)

  • Northern Arizona University

  • Onondaga Community College

  • Tufts University

  • Pacific University (tenure-track)

  • Simon Frazer University
  • University of Florida (tenure-track)

  • University of Massachusetts at Boston

  • University of New Hampshire (tenure-track)

  • University of Oregon (tenured)

  • Willamette University (tenured)

Senior administrative positions:

Martha Denney (PhD 2001) is Dean of the College at Haverford College.

David Kertzer (PhD 1974) served as the Provost of Brown University from 2006-2011.

Rachel Bukanc (MA 1999) is Senior Associate Dean of the College and Dean of Student Conduct at Williams College.

Selected books published by Brandeis Anthropology PhDs:

  • Keridwen Luis, Embodying Herland: Culture, Gender, and the Body in Women's Land in North America (forthcoming with the University of Minnesota Press)
  • Savage FrontierIeva Jusionyte, Savage Frontier: Making News and Security on the Argentine Border (University of California Press June 2015)
  • reconstructingJessica Hardin (with Megan McCullough), eds., Reconstructing Obesity: The Meaning of Measures and the Measure of Meanings (Berghahn Press 2013)

  • Lynn Stephen, We Are the Face of Oaxaca: Testimony and Social Movements (Duke 2013), Transborder Lives: Indigenous Oaxacans in Mexico, California, and Oregon (Duke 2007), Women and Social Movements in Latin America: Power from Below (Texas 1997), and more

  • E. Moore Quinn, Irish American Folklore in New England (Academica Press 2009)

  • berberJane Goodman, Berber Culture on the World Stage: From Village to Video (Indiana 2005)

  • Peter Wogan, Magical Writing in Salasaca: Literacy and Power in Highland Ecuador (Westview 2004)

  • Sally Engle Merry, Getting Justice and Getting Even: Legal Consciousness among Working-Class Americans (Chicago 1990), Colonizing Hawaii: The Cultural Power of Law (Princeton 1999), Human  Rights and Gender Violence: Translating International Law into Local Justice (Chicago 2006), and more

  • ritualsDavid Kertzer, Ritual, Politics and Power (Yale 1989), The Popes against the Jews: The Vatican’s Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism (Vintage 2002), The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe (Random House 2015), and more

  • Frederique Apffel Marglin, Wives of the God-King: The Rituals of the Devadasis of Puri (Oxford 1985), Subversive Spiritualities: How Rituals Enact the World (Oxford 2012)