Erica James

Erica James headshotErica Caple James is an Associate Professor of Medical Anthropology and Urban Studies at MIT. She received an A.B. from Princeton University (1992), an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School (1995), and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University (Social Anthropology 1998, 2003). Her scholarly interests include: violence, human rights, and transitional justice; professional ethics; medical and psychiatric anthropology; anthropology of the senses; regional focus on Haiti and the African Diaspora; food and water insecurity and global health; and race, infrastructure, and historic preservation. Her first book, Democratic Insecurities: Violence, Trauma, and Intervention in Haiti (University of California Press, 2010), documents the psychosocial experience of Haitian torture survivors targeted during the 1991-94 coup periodand analyzes the politics of humanitarian assistance in “post-conflict” nations making the transition to democracy. Her second major book project, entitled Wounds of Charity: Haitian Immigrants and Corporate Catholicism in Boston, analyzes the “biopolitics of charity” at a faith-based social service organization promoting health and education programs on behalf of the state. She is editing a volume called Governing Gifts: Faith, Charity, and the Security State (School for Advanced Research Press/ University of New Mexico Press) and has recently launched the MIT Global Health and Medical Humanities Initiative.