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Kiran  Jayaram

Kiran Jayaram

Kiran Jayaram
Assistant Professor


Office: SOC 118



Within Latin American and Caribbean Studies, my research lies at the intersection of the political economy, mobility/migration, and education. I have conducted fieldwork on Haitian educational and labor migrants to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and human rights for Haitian migrants. I also worked on a series of applied research projects in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the United States.  This included: schooling issues in Haiti (World Bank), land tenure in post-earthquake Haiti (Earth Institute), baseline data for development projects in post-earthquake Haiti (Earth Institute), living wages among free trade zone workers (Workers Rights Consortium).

Personal Bio

My life has been a study in border crossing.  I was born in Kansas City, Missouri but brought home and raised in Kansas.  A child of rural elite migrants, I learned to appreciate eating rice and yogurt (a South Indian dish) as much as riding go-carts (a rural Kansan wish).  At different stages, I attended both private and public elementary schools, Jesuit and public high schools, and Ivy League and public universities.  I have conducted research in both Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as well as Cuba and the United States.


2014                Ph.D., Applied Anthropology, Columbia University/Teachers College
2011                M. Phil., Applied Anthropology, Columbia University/Teachers College
2002                M.A., Latin American studies, University of Kansas
1998                B.A., Mathematics, University of Kansas
1995                A.A., General Studies, Johnson County Community College

Professional Experience

2017-present    Assistant Professor, Anthropology.  University of South Florida
2015-2017       Assistant Professor, Anthropology and Black Studies.  York College (CUNY)
2014-2017       Postdoctoral Fellow, Faculté d’Ethnologie.  Université d’Etat d’Haïti
2014-2015       Lecturer, African and African-American Studies. University of Kansas
2011-2015       Adjunct Associate Professor, Anthropology. Johnson County Community College


Graduate Courses Taught

Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida
Global Migration and Mobility (spring 2018)

Columbia University, Teachers College
Urban Situations & Education (spring 2017)

Faculté d’Ethnologie, Université d’Etat d’Haïti
Peopling of the Americas (winter 2016), co-taught with Norberto Baldi
Biological Anthropology (winter 2015), co-taught with Norberto Baldi.

Universidad Iberoamericana (Santo Domingo, República Dominicana)
Research Methodology (fall 2009), co-taught with Lesley Bartlett

Undergraduate Courses Taught

Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida
Cultural Anthropology (fall 2017)
Global Migration and Mobility (spring 2018)

Department of History and Philosophy, York College (CUNY)
Transnational Hispaniola: a Social Science Approach (spring 2017)
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, (2015-2016; online/hybrid sections)
Culture and Personality, (spring 2016; online section)

Department of African and African-American Studies, University of Kansas
Elementary and Intermediate Haitian Creole (2014-2015, 1999-2003)
Portrait of a Third-World Nation: Haiti (fall 2014)
Cultural Politics (spring 2002)

Program in Anthropology, Johnson County Community College
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (2011-2015; face-to-face and online sections)
World Cultures, (spring 2013-2015; face-to-face and online sections)

Instituto Filosófico Pedro Bonó (Santo Domingo, República Dominicana)
Historia Universal (spring 2010), co-taught with April Mayes

Department of Romance Languages, University of Florida
Elementary Haitian Creole I (2003-2004)


I see the overall arc of my research as being designed to counter dominant narratives by providing insight into marginalized knowledges, or knowledges among marginalized populations.  Inspired by Faye Harrison’s assertion that Black experiences speak to the universal human condition just as much as anyone else’s does, similarly, we should take migrants seriously.

Specialty Area

Applied Anthropology; Anthropology of migration/mobility, political economy, education; Caribbean (Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, US—Florida)

Recent Journal Articles

2017                Entre el estado, el mercado, y xenophobia: los haitianos universitarios en la República
Dominicana.  Estudios Sociales, Número 156 (dated Aug-Dec 2015).
2013                Transnational Hispaniola:  Towards New Paradigms in Haitian and Dominican Studies
(with April Mayes, Yolanda Martín, Carlos Decena, and Yveline Alexis).
Radical History Review 115:26-32.
2011                State Literacies and Inequalities: Managing Haitian Immigrants in the Dominican
Republic (with Lesley Bartlett and Gulin Bonhomme). International Journal of
                        Educational Development 31(6):587-595.
2010                Capital Changes:  Haitian Migrants in Contemporary Dominican Republic.
Caribbean Quarterly 55(3):31-54.

Honors and Award

2017                PSC-CUNY Traditional A, Cycle 48 Research Award
2016-2017       Faculty Fellowship Publishing Program; City University of New York
2016                US Embassy Public Affairs Grant; Port-au-Prince, Haiti
2015-2017       Fulbright Flex Research Award; Institute for International Education
2015                Invited participant, Statistics in Ethnographic Research; National Science Foundation
2014-2018       Institutional Development Grant, Haiti (project co-facilitator); Wenner-Gren Foundation
2012                Emerging Scholars Award; Haitian Studies Association
2011                College Scholars Award; Johnson County Community College
2007                J. William Fulbright Scholarship; Institute of International Education
2007                Research Award; Office of Policy and Research, Teachers College
2006                Research Grant; Institute of Latin American Studies, Columbia University
2005, 2006      Anthropology Program Research Award; Teachers College
2005                Invited participant, Summer Institute on Research Design; National Science Foundation
2004-2006       Minority Group Scholarship Fund; Teachers College
2001                Oppenheimer Research Award; Center for Latin American Studies, University of Kansas
2001, 2002      Field Research Grant; Tinker Foundation/University of Kansas
2001                James B. Pearson Fellowship; Kansas Board of Regents
2000                Research Award; Institute of Haitian Studies, University of Kansas


Under Review  Hitting the Books and Pounding the Pavement:  Haitian Educational and Labor Migrants
in the Dominican Republic.  Under advance contract by University Press of Florida.
2018                Transnational Hispaniola: New Directions in Haitian and Dominican Studies.
Gainesville: University Press of Florida.
2016                Keywords of Mobility: a Critical Anthropological Engagement. Salazar, Noel and Kiran
Jayaram, eds. New York: Berghahn Books.


2017                The Vicariant Value of a Mango: a Commodity Biogeography. American
Anthropological Association, Washington, D.C., Nov. 29-Dec 3.
2017                Entre libros y chiripeos: los migrantes universitarios y laborales de Haiti. Universidad
Autónoma de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, July 3.
2017                Learning the World, Learning the Whirled: Ethnographic Methods of Urban Mobility.
Int’l. Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, Ottawa, Canada, May 3-6.
2016                The Meaning of Mangoes for Haitian Agriculturalists. American Anthropological
Association, Minneapolis, MN, Nov. 16-20.
2016                Ispanyola ak Antwopoloji.  Caribbean Studies Association,
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, June 6-11.
2016                Antwopoloji ak ekonomi.  Transnational Hispaniola III, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, June 5.
2015                Teaching Biological Anthropology in Haiti. American Anthropological Association.
Denver, CO, Nov. 18-22.
2015                Policing Haitian Migrants in the Dominican Republic. Haitian Studies Association.
Montreal, Canada, October 22-24.
2013                Anthropology of Mobility Keyword:  Capital.  American Anthropological Association.
San Francisco, CA, Nov. 20-24.
2013                Globalizations from below:  the complementary capitalism of Haitian labor migrants to
the Dominican Republic.  Haitian Studies Association.  Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Nov. 7-9.
2013                Articulated histo-geneity: Michel-Rolph Trouillot's impact on a Young Anthropologist.
Latin American Studies Association.  Washington, D.C., May 30-June 1.
2012                Trends in Haitian Studies: Analysis of 24 years of Presentations at the HSA.  Haitian
Studies Association.  Queens, NY, Nov. 8-10.
2011                Between Market Skills and Global Knowledge:  Making Haitian University Students in
the Dominican Republic.  American Anthropological Association.
Montreal, Canada, Nov. 16-20.
2011                Bay bwèlt Sendomeng:  Variation in Haitian Creole in Santo Domingo, Dominican
Republic. Haitian Studies Association.  Kingston, Jamaica. Nov. 10-12.
2011                Bay bwèlt Sendomeng:  Fòm kreyòl ayisyen Sendomeng.  Kòlòk sou Akademi Kreyòl
Ayisyen. Petionville, Haiti, Oct. 27-29.
2007                Different Groups, Grouped Differences:  Haitians in contemporary Santo Domingo.
Caribbean Studies Association.  Salvador, Brazil, May 28-June 1.
2007                Translating Realities:  Challenges and Opportunities for Anthropology in Software
Development. Society for Applied Anthropology.  Tampa, FL, March 28-31.
2006                Multiplicity of Haitian Identities in 21st Century Santo Domingo.  Institute of Latin
American Studies, Columbia University.  Nov. 28.
2005                World and the Word:  a Grand History of an Individual’s Literacy Practice.  Caribbean
Studies Association.  Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, May 30-June 4.
2005                The Anti-Literacy Literacies Machine in Haiti:  Kreyòl Literacy Campaigns in Haiti.
Caribbean Scholars Association of New York, John Jay College. April 15-16.
2005                Aprann the Limits of your Alfabetizasyon:  Kreyòl Literacy Campaigns in Haiti.
Education in the Americas Graduate Student Conference, Teachers College. April.
2003                Libète, Egalite, Fraternidad?  Florida Anthropology Students Association Colloquium,
University of Florida. Nov. 21.
2002                Of the Blood of Biasou and Boukmann: Haitian Resistance to the Duvalier Regime.
ILASSA, University of Texas. Feb 14-16.

Recent Publications

submitted         Drivers of Late Entry Into Primary School in Haiti: A Mixed-Methods Study.
(with Melissa Adelman, Juan Baron, and Tillman Heidelk).  International Journal of
Educational Development.
submitted         Post-earthquake Haitian-Dominican Relations: Snapshots of Sovereignty, Moments of
Modernity. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History,
Robin Derby, ed. New York: Oxford University Press.
2018                Seeds, Seams, et cetera:  Why Sustainable Development in Haiti is Wrong. In
                        Transnational Hispaniola.  Carlos Decena, Kiran Jayaram, April Mayes, and Yolanda
Martín, eds.  Under advance contract by University Press of Florida.
2017                Issues Facing Primary School Girls in Two Communities in Haiti.  World Bank.
2016                Capital.  In Keywords of Mobility: a Critical Anthropological Engagement. Salazar, Noel
and Kiran Jayaram, eds., Berghahn Books.
2016                Community Schooling Needs in Ten Haitian Rural Communities. World Bank.
2016                Stakeholder Assessment for Haiti Education Project Preparation. World Bank.
2015                Ethnographic Aspects of the Return on Investment among Haitian Youth.  World Bank.
2015                Delayed Enrollment in Primary School among Haitian Children.  World Bank.
2015                On Establishing a Doctoral Program in Anthropology at Université d’Etat d’Haïti.
Faculté d’Ethnologie.
2013                State, Market, Xenophobia:  Making Haitian Educational Migrants in the Dominican
Republic.  In Lives in Motion: Migration and Education in Global Perspective, Lesley
Bartlett and Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher, eds.  Pp. 22-37.  New York: Routledge.
2011                Faces of Haiti (with Maryemma Graham, Brian Rosenblum, and C.B. Claiborne).
University of Kansas: Haitian Research Initiative.
2010                Report on Land Tenure in Post-Earthquake Haiti.  New York:  Earth Institute.
2010                Report on Institutional and Social Dynamics Within the Pòtapiman Watershed. New
York: Earth Institute.