Department of Sociology & Anthropology
Studying Sociology & Anthropology at Denison
Who are our Professors?
Associate Professor Susan E. Diduk joined the faculty at Denison in 1984. She earned a B.A. at the College of William and Mary, an M.A. at University College London, U.K. and an M.A. and a Ph.D. at Indiana University. She teaches in the areas of comparative social institutions, sociology of art, contemporary sociocultural theory, gender and Africa. Her areas of specialization include classical and contemporary theory, art and society, gender, political economy and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Associate Professor Veerendra P. Lele joined the faculty at Denison in 2003. He earned an A.B. at Cornell University, an M.A. at Georgetown University, an M.A. at the University of Michigan and an M.Phil. and a Ph.D. at Columbia University. His research interests are in cultural identity, material culture and archeology, issues of racial and ethnic identity, kinship, and religious ritual. Much of his field work has been done in Ireland, exploring issues of identity through the work of certain philosophers.
Visiting Assistant Professor Bradley Lepper joined the faculty at Denison in 1998. He earned a B.A. at the University of New Mexico and an M.A. and a Ph.D. at Ohio State University. He is curator of archaeology for the Ohio Historical Society and editor of the international scientific journal Current Research in the Pleistocene.
Professor Kent Maynard joined the faculty at Denison in 1981. He earned a B.A. at the University of Redlands and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Indiana University. He teaches courses in indigenous medicine, social theory, cross-cultural studies of human nature, society and literature, religion, and indigenous societies of Latin America. He also is the Director of the Honors Program at Denison. His research and writing focus on Protestantism in Ecuador, the economic and cultural position of the middle classes in U.S. society, ethnographic poetry, and the history of indigenous medicine in the Republic of Cameroon, West Africa.
Professor Mary Tuominen joined the faculty at Denison in 1993. She earned a B.A. at Western Washington University, an M.A. at Seattle University and a Ph.D. at the University of Oregon. Her teaching and research interests include gender and race ethnicity, political economy, work/family, social change and public policy. In journal articles, as well as a book, she explores the lack of equal and economic value accorded to child care workers. Her most current research includes an analysis of self-advocacy and political mobilization among child care workers.
Professor Anita Waters joined the faculty at Denison in 1992. She earned a B.A. at Mary Washington College and an M.A., an M.Phil. and a Ph.D. at Columbia University. Her research interests concern the role that ideas and beliefs, especially those that coincide with ethnic group membership, play in shaping social and political action. Her most recent projects are an examination of post-colonial Jamaican revisions to its historical narratives and a study of heritage tourism development and unofficial community history in Port Royal, Jamaica. -
Assistant Professor Fareeda Griffith joined the faculty at Denison in 2009. She received her B.A. in Sociology with magna cum laude honors from Paine College. She received a M.A. in Demography and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. Her interests include Sociology of Education; Demographic Trends in South Africa (Fertility and Residential Segregation); Racial Inequality in the United States and South Africa; School Attainment; Comparative Studies; Sociology of Race and Ethnicity; Quantitative Methodology.“My research interests are driven by the desire to understand society from a transnational perspective. My dissertation entitled "Race and Space in Post-Apartheid South Africa, 1996-2001" focuses on examining race, residential segregation, socioeconomic characteristics, and chronic health conditions in three distinct areas in South Africa: Pretoria, Johannesburg and Vereeniging (PJV). The three different racial compositions of each region provide three sociological lenses of understanding the impact of apartheid. I have a forthcoming co-author article in the Annals of Political and Social Science in which we assess the past fifty years of demographic change in continent of Africa. Using the dissertation project as a baseline, I plan to conduct a transnational study and compare the histories of racial formation of South Africa, the United States, and Brazil.”
Visiting Assistant Professor John Davis joined the faculty at Denison in the fall of 2011. Prof. Davis is a socio-cultural anthropologist whose work explores the "social life" of rights by critically analyzing the processes by which transnational discourses and practices of human rights intersect with specific national and cultural contexts to shape everyday life. Prof. Davis's dissertation used ethnographic modes of inquiry to illuminate the cultural politics of human rights in Japan through an exploration of how the burakumin minority operationalized the idea of human rights within their movement for social change.Prof. Davis is currently completing a book manuscript titled "Animating Rights in Japan: The Politics of Buraku Liberation". Prof. Davis has two new research projects underway. The first utilizes the case of burakumin as an opportunity to reconsider theories of race and minority subjectivity. It is at once an attempt to account for the wide-ranging and often conflicting narratives he encountered in Japan about what it meant to be "burakumin" and how his own positionality as an African American in Japan shaped his perspective on the topic. More often than not Prof. Davis became part of the focus of conversations with people as they invoked his status as a kokujin ("Black person") to illustrate points of difference or similarity "the nature of the comparison varied with the speaker" between racial minorities and burakumin. Prof. Davis's second line of research compares how concepts of race and ethnicity factor into genetics research in Japan and the United States respectively.
Visiting Instructor Gayatri Thampy joined Denison spring of 2012. Instructor Thampy's academic interests focus on long term impacts of land reforms and land tenure arrangements from political economy and a household economy perspective. From a political economy perspective, she is interested in understanding the factors that influence household decisions concerning land. Further, Instructor Thampy would like to study the impact macro-economic policies concerning land tenure on intra-household decision making, household structure and gender relations.Her research interests include forms of resistance against and adaptation to land reforms as well as ways in which people try to gradually establish and prove their tenure rights as they move into new territories as a result of migration and/or dislocation. Currently Instructor Thampy is studying the impact of tourism and land tenure reforms on household decision making in Bocas del Toro, Panama. In the future Instructor Thampy plans to continue studying the long term impacts of neo-liberal land reforms in Panama and also the impact of land reforms in Kerala during the 1950s on Nair household structure and gender relations using oral histories of people born during this time.
For more information about the department and curriculum, link to the:
Mary Tuominen, Chair
Department of Sociology/Anthropology
Blair Knapp Hall, Room 103D
Granville, Ohio 43023
Phone: (740) 587-6572
Fax: (740) 587-5676