Jillian Powers is the Florence Kay Fellow in Immigration and American Society at Brandeis—a joint appointment between American Studies and Sociology. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Duke University in 2011 with an emphasis on culture, race and ethnicity, and comparative/historical sociology. Before coming to Brandeis she was a postdoctoral fellow in American Culture Studies at Washington University in St. Louis where she taught courses on qualitative methods and community engaged research, globalization and American identity, intersections of race, class and gender, and visual methods.
Powers has been published in peer-reviewed journals like the American Behavioral Scientist and the Chinese Historical Society’s Journal History and Perspectives and is currently working on a book manuscript, Traveling to Belong, which examines diasporic homeland tourism—structured group tours to natal, symbolic, and ancestral homelands. Looking beyond particular case studies, this manuscript uses qualitative data from three different cases of diasporic tourism: Taglit-Birthright tours to Israel, slavery/heritage tours to Ghana, and adoption heritage tours to China to offer a new way of thinking about ancestry, heritage, and American identity.
She has written opinion pieces for the Jewish Daily Forward and blogs at www.soapvoxderby.com. When she’s not working Jillian enjoys eating locally, traveling globally, and spending time with her dog Brutus.