Kay Warren earned her PhD in Cultural Anthropology at Princeton University in 1974 and served on the senior faculties of Princeton and Harvard before coming to Brown in 2003. She is the Charles C. Tillinghast Jr. '32 Professor of International Studies and Professor of Anthropology. In 2010, Warren became the Director of the Pembroke Center -- an incubator of transnational research across the humanities and social sciences. The year before, she directed the Pembroke Center's advanced research seminar on "Markets and Bodies in Transnational Perspective" which involved faculty, post-docs, graduate students, and select undergrads from a variety of fields in the social sciences and humanities. She directed the Politics, Culture, and Identity Program at the Watson Institute for International Studies where she held a joint appointment from 2003-2009.
Warren's most recent research deals with international norms, legal systems, human trafficking, and foreign aid and focuses on Colombia, Japan, and Washington. Her earlier projects focused on Guatemala and Peru. Warren's wider research agenda has involved multi-sited ethnographic studies of counterinsurgency wars, community responses to violence and peace processes, indigenous intellectuals, the anthropology of multi-cultural democracies, and gender and politics. She also works on documentary film and media issues.
Warren's major awards include a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship, Abe Fellowship (Japan), the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales Fellowship, Member of Institute for Advanced Study, John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, Wenner-Gren Fellowship, and the Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures. She was a delegate to the Global Agenda and the Global Redesign initiatives of the World Economic Forum from 2008 through 2010.
She is currently working on a book project: Human Trafficking, Transnationalism, and the Law . Her most recent edited book, Japanese Aid and the Construction of Global Development: Inescapable Solutions ," with David Leheny, was published in 2010.
Warren's other books include Indigenous Movements and Their Critics: Pan-Maya Activism in Guatemala (1998); Women of the Andes: Patriarchy and Social Change in Two Peruvian Towns , coauthored with Susan Bourque (1981); and The Symbolism of Subordination: Indian Identity in a Guatemalan Town (1979). Her other edited books include: Indigenous Movements, Self-Representation, and the State , with Jean Jackson (2002); Ethnography in Unstable Places: Everyday Life in Contexts of Dramatic Political Change , Carol Greenhouse and Beth Mertz (2002); and The Violence Within: Cultural and Political Opposition in Divided Nations ,(1993).