Rebecca Louise Carter is an assistant professor of anthropology and urban studies at Brown University. Her research explores the past, present, and future of human dwelling, focusing on the evolution and impact of vulnerability and violence in historically marginalized communities and the everyday practices and movements of social and spiritual transformation in the making of an inclusive, just, and sustainable urban world.
At Radcliffe, Carter is completing a book examining the religious work of African Americans in New Orleans who mourn and memorialize the dead and who attend in particular to the young black men who are most frequently the victims of homicide. Using historical, ethnographic, and auto-ethnographic research and writing methods, the book identifies a larger system of social death and erasure, particularly well illuminated in the decade since Hurricane Katrina. The book then traces the ways in which residents assert black social and spiritual value, particularly through sustaining practices of kinship and relatedness, extended across and beyond bounded notions of time, place, and possibility.
Carter earned a MA and PhD in anthropology from the University of Michigan. She also holds a BA from Northwestern University, where she studied psychology and art theory and practice. Her research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council. Recent publications include journal articles in City & Society and the Journal of Southern Religion. At Brown, she received the 2016 Deans' Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Humanities and Social Sciences.