School of Social and Political Science

Jennifer Curtis

Job Title

Postdoctoral Fellow

Jennifer Curtis' photo

Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square

City (Address)


Country (Address)


Post code (Address)



Jennifer Curtis received her AB from Harvard University and PhD from Washington University in St. Louis.  Her work focuses on how grassroots social movements appropriate and alter rights discourse and law. She has conducted long-term ethnographic research in Belfast, Northern Ireland and in the United States.  She is currently completing an ethnographic monograph on race, sexuality, and rights in red state America, based on fieldwork in Missouri. The book explores the local and national significance of #BlackLivesMatter, movements for LGBT equality, and anti-equality movements, within the broader historical context of racialized violence, slavery, and inequality in the US south.

Selected Publications

2014  Human Rights As War By Other Means:  Peace Politics in Northern Ireland. Philadelphia PA:  University of Pennsylvania Press.

2013  "Pride and Prejudice: Gay Rights and Political Moderation in Belfast." Sociological Review.

2012  (with Jonathan Spencer) 'Anthropology and the Political.' in R. Fardon et al., (eds) Sage Handbook of Social Anthropology. London: Sage.

2011  “Spillover Discussion with Jim Ferguson, Akhil Gupta, and Jennifer Curtis.” PoLAR:  Political and Legal Anthropology Review 33(2).  Special Issue “Getting It Done:  Ethnography of and in NGOs.”

2010  "'Profoundly Ungrateful':  The Paradoxes of Thatcherism in Northern Ireland." PoLAR:  Political and Legal Anthropology Review 33(2):  201-224.

Public Engagement

BBC Radio 4, "Thinking Allowed," 21 October 2015

BBC Radio 4, "Thinking Allowed," 10 February 2014

"LGBT Advocacy in Northern Ireland," Penn Press Log, 11 August 2014

Research interests

Research interests

  • Political and legal anthropology
  • Human and civil rights
  • Social movements
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • History and memory
  • Political violence and conflict resolution
  • Urban space 
  • Linguistic anthropology

Works within