AANIR seeks to harness the knowledge, skills, and political platforms of engaged anthropologists to support and advocate on behalf of immigrants and refugees on our campuses and in our communities.
The Anthropologist Action Network for Immigrants and Refugees formed at a late-breaking session at the American Anthropological Association’s 2016 annual meeting in Minneapolis, MN, where we gathered to brainstorm ways to use our collective energy as engaged anthropologists to defend (im)migrant and refugee communities during a period of heightened political hostility. Since 2016, we have met on a regular basis as a collective to support our work on our campuses, in our communities, and across transnational borders. Together, we have published several articles, written and disseminated opinion pieces, penned AAA policy statements, and organized AAA webinars and Executive sessions. Much of our body of work can be viewed here, under the "Resources" tab. Our aim is to support public and engaged anthropologists of migration in amplifying our expertise and making our voices heard on issues of public importance related to the immigrant and refugee communities with which we work. For more information on how to join us, see the "Get Involved" tab.
Our group is coordinated by a dedicated group of volunteers listed below in alphabetical order.
Whitney L. Duncan (she/her/ella)
Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Northern Colorado
Adjunct Faculty, Colorado School of Public Health
Whitney is a medical and psychological anthropologist whose creative and academic work centers on immigration and the sociopolitical, cultural, and global aspects of health, self, and emotion. Her first book, Transforming Therapy: Mental Health Practice and Cultural Change in Mexico was published in 2018. She and Kristin Yarris co-edited a forthcoming volume, Accompaniment with Im/migrant Communities: Ethnographic Engagements (University of Arizona Press, 2024). Whitney is a founding member of AANIR and serves as an expert witness for the National Qualified Representative Program.
Christina Marisa Getrich
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland, College Park
Christina Getrich has served as an AANIR Steering Committee member since 2017. Her teaching and research is focused on mixed-status families and immigrant young adults, immigration and health policy, and health and well-being.
Kristin Elizabeth Yarris
Associate Professor of Global Studies and Global Health at the University of Oregon
Kristin Elizabeth Yarris is a founding member of AANIR and an Associate Professor of Global Studies and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Oregon, where she serves on the UO Dreamers Working Group. Kristin's interests lie in the areas of transnational migration, immigrant rights movements, deservingness, public health and health equity, and social care.
Associate Professor of Human Development at California State University Long Beach
Lauren Heidbrink is a cultural anthropologist who focuses on the anthropology of childhood and migration in Central America. Her research and teaching interests include childhood and youth, transnational migration, performance and identity, engaged methodologies, and Central America.
Assistant Professor of Health Behavior and Health Systems, University of North Texas
Professor of Anthropology, University of North Texas
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of Michigan School of Public Health
William Lopez studies the health impacts of immigration enforcement and policing on communities of color, especially mixed-status Latino communities. His work and forthcoming book currently focus on the harms of immigration worksite raids and how communities respond through creativity, organization, and future-orientation. He teaches regularly about the social determinants of health in both the residential and online public health program.
The AANIR website was created in 2017 and is maintained by Jason E. Miller, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Washburn University. Dr. Miller can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org with feedback or comments about the site.