The New School for Social Research


  • Miriam Ticktin

    Associate Professor of Anthropology and Co-Director of Zolberg Institute for Migration and Mobility

    Office Location:

    Albert and Vera List Academic Center


    Miriam Ticktin received her PhD in Anthropology at Stanford University and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, France, and an MA in English Literature from Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Before coming to the New School, Miriam was an Assistant Professor in Women’s Studies and Anthropology at the University of Michigan, and also held a postdoctoral position in the Society of Fellows at Columbia University.

    Professor Ticktin works at the intersections of the anthropology of medicine and science, law, and transnational and postcolonial feminist theory. Her research has focused in the broadest sense on what it means to make political claims in the name of a universal humanity: she has been interested in what these claims tell us about universalisms and difference, about who can be a political subject, on what basis people are included and excluded from communities, and how inequalities get instituted or perpetuated in this process. As one example of this, her book Casualties of Care: Immigration and the Politics of Humanitarianism in France takes undocumented immigrants as the subject of extensive ethnographic research, and looks at the place of gender, humanitarianism and the body in debates over immigration, primarily in France. Her newest project looks at emerging political and scientific technologies mobilized in the name of suffering -- expanding humanitarianism to ecological and planetary levels -- and how these help to redraw the boundaries between humans and non-humans, and new forms of political inclusion and exclusion. She is co-editor of the journal Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism and Development.

    Degrees Held:

    PhD 2002, Stanford University and École des hautes études en sciences sociales

    Recent Publications:


    Casualties of Care: Immigration and the Politics of Humanitarianism in France, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011(co-winner of the 2012 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology, Society for the Anthropology of Europe)

    In the Name of Humanity: The Government of Threat and Care, Co-Edited with Ilana Feldman, Durham: Duke University Press, 2010

    Special Issues of Journals: 

     Co-editor (with Nehal Bhuta and Sakiko Fukuda Parr) of special issue of Social Research: An International Quarterly on “Human Rights and the Global Economy.” 79 (4): Winter 2012

     Journal Articles:

    "Humanitarianism's History of the Singular,"(pdf) Grey Room, 61, Fall 2015, pp. 81-86.

    La souffrance animale à distance. Des vétérinaires dans l’action humanitaire" (pdf) with Frédéric Keck, Anthropologie et Sociétés 39(1-2), 2015 : 145-163.

    "Transnational Humanitarianism"(pdf) Annual Review of Anthropology, 43, 2014: 273-289.

    Introduction: Human Rights and Global Corporations”(pdf) Social Research: An International Quarterly, 79 (4): 1017-1021, Winter 2012

    The Gendered Human of Humanitarianism: Medicalizing and Politicizing Sexual Violence” (pdf); Gender and History 23 (2), August 2011: 250-265

    How Biology Travels: A Humanitarian Trip” (pdf); Body and Society 17 (2&3), 2011:139-158

    "A Transnational Conversation on French Colonialism, Immigration, Violence and Sovereignty"  with Paola Bachetta and Ruth Marshall, Special Issue of The Scholar and Feminist Online, "Borders on Belonging: Gender and Immigration," ed. Neferti Tadiar, 6 (3), Summer 2008.

    Sexual Violence as the Language of Border Control: Where French Feminist and Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Meet” (pdf) Signs: Journal of Women and Culture in Society 33 (4) Summer, 2008: 863-889.

    Where Ethics and Politics Meet: The Violence of Humanitarianism in France” (pdf) American Ethnologist, 33 (1) Feb 2006: 33-49

    Policing and Humanitarianism in France: Immigration and the Turn to Law as State of Exception” (pdf) Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 7 (3) 2005: 347-368

    Culture or Inequality in Sex Selective Abortion? A Reply to Sawitri Saharso” (pdf)
    Ethnicities Jun 2005; 5:266-271

     “Selling Suffering in the Courtroom and Marketplace: An Analysis of The Autobiography of Kiranjit Ahluwalia” (pdf) The Political and Legal Anthropology Review vol. 22, May 1999:24-41.

    Book Chapters & Other Publications

    The Temporality of Disaster,” Books Forum, Somatosphere: Science, Medicine, Anthropology, Sept 2015.

    Non-Human Suffering: A Humanitarian Project” (pdf) The Clinic and The Courtroom, eds. Tobias Kelly, Ian Harper and Ashkay Khanna. Cambridge University Press. 2015. Pp. 49-71

    “Cross-species craziness: Animals, Anthropomorphism and Mental Illness” Books Forum, Biosocieties, 9 (4): 482-484, 2014.

    "Humanitarianism as Planetary Politics" (pdf) In At the Limits of Justice: Women of Colour on Terror,  eds. Suvendrini Perera and Sherene Razack. University of Toronto Press. 2014. Pp. 406-420.

    "The Waiting Room"; Somatosphere (Commonplaces Series), October 2013.

    From Redundancy to Recognition: Transnational Humanitarianism and the Production of Non-Moderns” (pdf) In Forces of Compassion: Humanitarianism between Ethics and Politics, Eds. Erica Bornstein and Peter Redfield, Santa Fe: SAR Press, 2011 pp. 175-198

    Government and Humanity”; (pdf) With Ilana Feldman, In In the Name of Humanity: The Government of Threat and Care, Eds. Feldman and Ticktin. Durham: Duke University Press, 2010 pp.1-26

    Medical Humanitarianism in and beyond France: Breaking Down or Patrolling Borders?” (pdf) In Medicine at the Border :The History, Culture and Politics of Global Health Ed. Alison Bashford, Palgrave 2006, pgs.116-135

    Research Interests:

    anthropology of the human and humanitarianism; migration, camps and borders; sexual violence/violence against women; PTSD/trauma, psychiatric humanitarianism; anthropology of science, medicine, ethics; France/Europe/North Africa

    Current Courses:

    PhD Proseminar II