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Anthropology Department Faculty

Kathryn Mariner

Kathryn Mariner

  • Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Visual and Cultural Studies

PhD, University of Chicago, 2015

444 Lattimore Hall
(585) 275-8734
Fax: (585) 275-3163

Research Overview

Professor Mariner's research examines the relationship between social inequality and intimacy in the United States. Her forthcoming book, Contingent Kinship (under contract with University of California Press), is based on her research at a private adoption agency in Chicago between 2009 and 2016. The book explores the speculative logics of domestic transracial adoption, by attending to how raced and classed exchanges of power, money, and knowledge produce notions of the child as an imagined future. Professor Mariner is also trained in clinical social work and uses that background to inform her ethnographic practice. She is currently launching a new research project investigating the relationship between race, space, and social inequality in Rochester.

Selected Publications

Recent Publication

  • 2017. "The Specular Un/making of Kinship: Subverting the Penetrating Gaze of Adoption in the United States." Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology. 10.1080/00141844.2017.1377744


  • ANT 104: Contemporary Issues: Reproduction
  • ANT 204: Ethnographic Themes: American Kinship(s)
  • ANT 235: The Black Body: Intersecting Intimacies
  • ANT 288: The Social Construction of Whiteness


  • University Research Award, University of Rochester, 2018
  • W.E.B. DuBois Award for Excellence, Black Students' Union, 2018
  • Internal Junior Fellow, Humanities Center, University of Rochester, Fall 2018
  • Lichtstern Distinguished Dissertation Prize, University of Chicago Department of Anthropology, 2016
  • Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2014-2015
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2008-2011
  • Mellon Mays Fellowship, 2006