Rebecca Louise Carter is an assistant professor at Brown University, jointly appointed in the Department of Anthropology and the Urban Studies Program. Carter received a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Michigan in 2010 and also holds an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University (with a dual major in psychology and art theory and practice). Prior to joining the faculty at Brown, Carter completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship (ACLS New Faculty Fellow, 2011-2013), and was a lecturer in the department of Anthropology and Sociology at Middle Tennessee State University (2009-2011).
|Rebecca Louise Carter. Prayers for the People: Homicide and Humanity in the Crescent City. University of Chicago Press, 2019.|
|Carter, Rebecca Louise. "Life-in-Death: Raising Dead Sons in New Orleans." Ethnos, vol. 83, no. 4, 2017, pp. 683-705.|
|Carter, Rebecca Louise. "Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans. By Matt Sakakeeny. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2013." North American Dialogue, vol. 17, no. 2, 2014, pp. 78-81.|
|CARTER, REBECCA LOUISE. "Valued Lives in Violent Places: Black Urban Placemaking at a Civil Rights Memorial in New Orleans." City & Society, vol. 26, no. 2, 2014, pp. 239-261.|
Rebecca Louise Carter is an anthropologist and urban scholar specializing in the intersected study of creativity, kinship and relatedness, the reconfiguration of human value, and processes of radical structural and social change in the United States, Africa, and the African Diaspora. Carter's research focuses on the conditions of vulnerability and violence that impact human dwelling in the urbanized and increasingly partitioned world, tracing in particular the ways in which people inhabit and transform these conditions—where and how they live and what they imagine and do. Carter's work moves, therefore, towards an anthropology of aliveness and progress, examining the revelations, practices, and movements that define humanity in the current and future age.
Carter's first book, Prayers for the People: Homicide and Humanity in the Crescent City (Chicago 2019) is a historical and ethnographic study of the reimagining of self, city, and society in New Orleans, the “Crescent City.” Set within an African American religious community in the years just after Hurricane Katrina, Carter examines how residents mourn and memorialize the dead, primarily the young black men who are most frequently the victims of homicide. Identifying a centuries-old system of erasure, particularly well illuminated in the wake of the storm, the book makes clear the doubly constituted nature of violence in poor black neighborhoods—with social death and physical death as concurrent realities. Yet Carter directs readers to the frameworks and practices of liberation that constitute the crescent or emergent city, focusing in particular on theologies of sacred humanity formed in and through the Black Church. Inspired by ministers who preach a current and critical vision of a beloved community and guided by grieving mothers who hold birthday parties for the deceased to assert the value and continued relatedness of lost loved ones, Prayers for the People traces the emergence of an old and new African American religious ideal. The book thus identifies a “restorative kinship” by which the faithful work against the denial of black personhood—as well as the violent severing of familial and social bonds—to recover and sustain their families and communities. Centering black women as the vital mediators of this work, Carter positions social and moral awakening alongside the necessary development of a connective politics, with the Black Church as a significant site of urban congregation and transformation.
|2010||PhD||University of Michigan|
|2006||MA||University of Michigan|
Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Humanities/Social Sciences, Brown University, 2016
Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, 2016-2017
Richard B. Salomon Faculty Research Award, Brown University, 2015
|ANTH 0820 - Youth, Art, and the Promised City: Recreating The Green Book|
|ANTH 1255 - Anthropology of Disasters|
|ANTH 2020 - Methods of Anthropological Research|
|ANTH 2045 - Proposal Writing Workshop for Anthropological Fieldwork|
|URBN 0230 - Urban Life in Providence: An Introduction|
|URBN 1870S - The City, the River, and the Sea: Social and Environmental Change at the Water's Edge|