Caroline Brettell is University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology. She was also the Ruth Collins Altshuler and Founding Director of the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute (SMU) from 2012-2018. In 2017 she was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Brettell has a B.A. degree from Yale University (1971; Latin American Studies) and a Ph.D. degree (1978; Anthropology) from Brown University. She has spent her career studying the immigrant populations in Europe, Canada, and the United States (most recently in the DFW area). Her particular and most current interests are in the gendered aspects of migration, issues of identity and citizenship, and the relationship between immigrants and cities. Her other interests are in anthropology and history and the history of anthropology, as well as the anthropology of religion and the anthropology of gender.
In addition to over 100 journal articles and book chapters she is the author, co-author or editor/co-editor of 19 books. Her most recent books are Gender and Migration (2016); Identity and the Second Generation: How Children of Immigrants Find Their Space (co-edited with Faith Nibbs, 2016); Following Father Chiniquy: Immigration, Religious Schism and Social Change in 19th Century Illinois (2015); Anthropological Conversations: Talking Culture Across Disciplines (2014); Migration Theory: Talking Across Disciplines (3rd edition, co-edited with James F. Hollifield (2015). Her co-edited volume, Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective (with Carolyn Sargent) was recently published in 7th edition. Brettell has served as Chair of the Department of Anthropology at SMU (1994-2004) and Dean-ad-Interim of Dedman College (2006-2008), President of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe (1996-1998), and President of the Social Science History Association (2000-2001). She also served as Co-Director of the Health and Society Program within the Department of Anthropology at SMU from 2016-2018 and was President of the SMU Faculty Senate (and a member of the SMU Board of Trustees) in 2001-2002.