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Robert Thomas O'Brien

120 S. Adelaide Avenue, 1B


Highland Park, NJ 08904
(215) 704-8938
robert.t.obrien@gmail.com

Education:
1999 - Present Temple University, PhD Candidate, PhD Program in
Anthropology
Dissertation Defense: Fall 2011

Dissertation: The Team for the Cure: Public Policy, Biopower, and Structural
Violence in Philadelphia
Chair: Dr. Paul Garrett, Temple University, Department of Anthropology
Committee: Dr. Mindie Lazarus-Black, Temple University, Department of
Anthropology
Dr. Kathy Walker, Temple University, Department of History
Dr. Elmer Miller, Temple University, Department of Anthropology

1996 - 1997 City University of New York, Graduate School and


University Center
1996 Temple University, BA – Summa Cum Laude, University
Honors, Phi Beta
Kappa
1994 Community College of Philadelphia, AA – Summa Cum
Laude, Phi Theta
Kappa

Research and Teaching Experience:


Spring 2007 – Present Assistant Instructor
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, Department of
Anthropology
Courses Taught:
Anthropology 100 Introduction to Anthropology: A Four-field Approach to the
Study of Human Diversity and the “Race” Concept
(Summer 2007)
Anthropology 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Fall 2008)
Anthropology 216 Modern Problems: Health and Human Rights (Spring 2007,
Summer 2008)
Anthropology 216 Modern Problems: Illegal Immigration (Fall 2007)
Anthropology 216 Anthropology of Contemporary Issues: Social Networks
and Power in the Digital Era (Fall 2009)
Anthropology 216 Anthropology of Contemporary Issues: The War on Drugs
(Fall 2010)
Anthropology 222 Sexuality and Eroticism in Global Perspective (Summer
2007, Spring 2008, Summer 2010, Fall 2010)
Anthropology 225 Gender in Global Perspective (Fall 2010)
Anthropology 250 Anthropology of the Contemporary United States: Why the
Suburbs Aren’t Normal (Spring 2009)
Anthropology 250 Anthropology of the Contemporary United States: Life in
the Imperial Homeland (Spring 2010)
Anthropology 305 Anthropology of Development (Spring 2007. Spring 2008)
Anthropology 307 Medical Anthropology (Spring 2007, Fall 2007, Fall 2008,
Fall 2009, Spring 2011)
Anthropology 317 Methods and Analysis in Cultural Anthropology (Spring
2009)
Anthropology 320 Diaspora, Multiculturalism, and Ethnicity in the US
(Summer 2007, Fall 2009)
Anthropology 368 Anthropology of Mass Media: Virtual Worlds, Social
Networks, and Power in the Digital Era (Spring 2011)
Anthropology 372 Anthropology of the Body (Spring 2010)
Women’s Studies 278/Anthropology 378 Anthropology of Gender
(Summer 2007, Fall 2007)

Honors Theses and Independent Studies Supervised


Blaire Caldwell Rodriguez Art among the Pokagon Potawatomi (2010-2011),
Honors Thesis – High Honors; Second Place,
Rutgers Anthropology Department Senior Thesis
Competition
Nila Csapa Transgender and Health (2010-2011), Honors
Thesis, Second Reader
Miriam Zander “In My Language”: Where Thought Becomes
Language (2010-2011), Honors Thesis in English,
Second Reader
Kate Maley Complicating Life: Experiences of Infertility and
Assisted Reproductive Technologies (2009-2010),
Honors Thesis – Highest Honors, Honorable
Mention, Anthropology Department Senior Thesis
Competition
Kristina Centore Home-Given Tattoos in American Youth Culture
(Spring 2010), Independent Study
Anna Sherman Education in the Neoliberal US (Spring 2010),
Independent Study
Amanda Blaicher Sexuality and Embodiment (Spring 2010),
Independent Study
Julia Dranov Enculturated bodies/Embodied culture: Gender and
ethnicity as performed in belly dance (2008-2009),
Honors Thesis – Honors
Emily Brickner Group Fantasies and Singular Realities in Exotic
Dance: Work and Intimacy (2008-2009), Honors
Thesis – High Honors
Oscar Villareal Nationalism and Ethnic Identity Among Afro-
Colombian Migrants to New Jersey (2007-2008),
Independent Study

Winter 2003 – Fall 2007 Adjunct Professor


Drexel University, Department of Culture and
Communications
Courses Taught:
Anthropology 101 Introduction to Anthropology: Cultural Diversity (Summer
2004, Winter 2007, Fall 2008)
Anthropology 110 Human Past: An Introduction to Physical Anthropology and
Prehistoric Archaeology (Summer 2006, Fall 2006, Fall
2007)
Anthropology 210 Worldviews: Science, Magic, and Religion (Summer 2004,
Summer 2005)
Women’s Studies 280/Anthropology 380 Anthropological Perspectives on
Violence (Winter 2007)
Sociology 101 Introduction to Sociology (Spring 2004, Fall 2005, Winter
2006, Spring 2006, Fall 2006)
Sociology 115 Social Problems (Fall 2005)
Sociology 210 Race and Ethnic Relations (Summer 2006)
Sociology 260 WI Classical Social Theory – Writing Intensive (Spring 2006)
Sociology 330 Developing Nations: International Division of Labor
(Winter 2003)
Sociology 350 Research Methods II (Summer 2006)

Fall 2007 Adjunct Professor


Widener University, University College
Anthropology 105 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, AP Course

Fall 1999 – Fall 2006 Adjunct Instructor, Fall 2003-Fall 2006


Teaching Assistant (Stand-alone courses), Fall
1999-Spring 2003
Temple University Department of Anthropology
Courses Taught:
Anthropology C064 American Culture (Spring 1999, Spring 2002)
Anthropology C061 Cultures of the World (Fall 1999, Fall 2002, Spring 2006,
Spring 2007)
Anthropology H091 Cultures of the World, Honors (Fall 2002, Fall 2003, Spring
2004, Fall 2004, Spring 2005, Fall 2005, Spring 2006, Fall
2006)
Anthropology R060 Introduction to Anthropology: A Four-Field Integrated
Approach to Race and Racism (Fall 2003, Summer 2004,
Spring 2007)
Anthropology W120 Fundamentals of Cultural Anthropology – Writing
Intensive (Summer 2002, Fall 2006)
Urban Education 211/Anthropology 211 Service Learning and Social
Change (Summer 2001)
Anthropology 212 Medical Anthropology (Spring 2005)
Anthropology 215 Anthropology of Social Policy (Summer 2006)
Anthropology 310 Field Methods in Ethnography (Fall 2001)
Anthropology 355 Gender Theory in Anthropology (Summer 2000)

Independent Study Courses:


William Wacker Space, Place, Identity, and Power (Spring 2004)
Amy Reed Critical Anthropological Approaches to Human Rights (Fall
2003)

Summer 2001 Instructor, YouthWORKS, School District of


Philadelphia
Summer Service Learning Program, Mastbaum High
School
Spring 2001 - Fall 2003 Lead Instructor (Guest Instructor 2003) Project
TEACH
HIV/AIDS Community Education Program
Fall 1999 - Spring 2002 Trainer, Streetside Health Clinic
Medical Students’ Orientation
Summer 2001 Ethnographer
New Kensington Community Development Corporation
2000 - 2001 Ethnographer
Civic Participation in Three Neighborhoods, Judith Goode
and Susan Hyatt, PIs
1996 - 1997 Ethnographer
New York Academy of Medicine, Center for Urban
Ethnographic Studies, Ezra Susser, PI
1994-1996 Academic Advisor, University Honors
Temple University
Honors and Awards:
2011 Departmental Nominee, Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences Teaching Award
2006 Carrie Hunter-Tate Award (for academic and professional achievement),
National Association of Student Anthropologists
2005 Temple University College of Liberal Arts Travel Grant
2004 - 2005 Temple Society of Fellows in the Humanities Graduate
Associateship
2004 Temple University College of Liberal Arts Travel Grant
2004 Society for the Anthropology of North America Student Travel
Grant
2003 Dissertation Research Improvement Grant - National Science
Foundation
2001 Fels Foundation Summer Intern, New Kensington Community Development
Corporation
2000 - 2003 University Fellow - Temple University
2000 Research Experience for Graduates Grant - National Science Foundation

Publications:
2006 Unemployment and Disposable Workers in Philadelphia: Just How Far Have
the Bastards Gone? Ethnos, 71:2.
2006 Whose Social Capital? How Economic Development Projects Disrupt Local
Social Relations. With Judith Goode in Social Capital in the City:
Community and Civic Life in Philadelphia. Richardson Dilworth, Editor.
Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Professional Presentations:
2009 Co-Organizer and Discussant, When the Ends Require the Means: The
Intersection of Ethnographic Methods and Critical Theory in Undergraduate
Research. Invited Session. 107th Annual Meeting of the American
Anthropological Association, Philadelphia, PA.
2009 Co-Organizer, Rethinking the Cultural Politics of Categorization: Refocusing
Gazes on Racialization. 107th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological
Association, Philadelphia, PA.
2009 Possessive Individuals and the Retrenchment of Whiteness. Paper Presented
at the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association,
Philadelphia, PA.
2009 Invited Speaker, High Table Discussion: Green Jobs and the Obama
Administration. 107th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological
Association, Philadelphia, PA.
2007 Chair’s Seminar: The Contentious A’s of Public Anthropology. Department of
Anthropology, Rutgers University.
2007 Co-Organizer, Careers in the Anthropology of Work: Choices, Constraints, and
Challenges, Roundtable discussion and reception, 106th Annual Meeting of the
American Anthropological Association, Washington, DC.
2006 Invited Speaker, High Table Discussion: On Labor Issues: Organizing Service
Workers in an Era of Globalization. 105th Annual Meeting of the American
Anthropological Association in San Jose, CA.
2006 Panelist, AAA Labor Relations Commission Roundtable. 105th Annual Meeting
of the American Anthropological Association in San Jose, CA.
2006 Whosetown, USA: Neighborhood Imperialism and the Reconfiguration of
Whiteness in Philadelphia. Paper presented at the 105th Annual Meeting of the
American Anthropological Association in San Jose, CA.
2006 Co-Organizer, Race, Gender, and Nation in the Imperial US: Reconfigurations
of Power in the Local and Global. 105th Annual Meeting of the American
Anthropological Association in San Jose, CA.
2006 Organizer, The Anthropology of 'The Real Thing': Developing an Activist
Research Agenda for Corporate Globalization. Invited Session. 105th Annual
Meeting of the American Anthropological Association in San Jose, CA.
2006 Invited Speaker, Safe Streets? Gentrification, Policing, and Access to
Behavioral Healthcare, Social Science Perspectives on Health Care:
Disparities in the United States, Temple University College of Liberal Arts,
March 25, 2006.
2005 Necessary but Insufficient: A Critical Analysis of Public Anthropologies. Paper
presented at the Presidential Session, History, Current Practices and
Prospects for Organized Labor: The Anthropology of Unions. 104th Annual
Meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Washington, DC
2005 Panelist, AAA Public Policy Forum on Organized Labor. 104th Annual Meeting
of the American Anthropological Association in Washington, DC.
2005 (Still) Threatening Anthropology? Research and Teaching in the Era of the
Academic Bill of Rights. Paper presented at the 104th Annual Meeting of the
American Anthropological Association in Washington, DC.
2005 Panelist, Public Intellectuals and Working-Class Struggles: Where do we go
from here?
A Dialogue Between Academics and Activists Roundtable. The Seventh
Biennial Conference of the Center for Working Class Studies in Youngstown,
OH.
2005 Session Organizer and Chair, New Imperialisms or New Crises of Global
Capitalism: A Theory, History, Ethnography of the Translocal, Part II. Society
for the Anthropology of North America/CASCA/UADY Translocality Conference
in Mérida, Mexico.
2005 Worker, White Trash, Junkie, Whore: Local Bodies, Global Capitalism. Paper
presented at the Society for the Anthropology of North America/CASCA/UADY
Translocality Conference in Mérida, Mexico.
2005 Discussant. Urban Decay, Possibilities of Recovery and Uncertain Futures:
The Aftermath of Deindustrialization in Flint, Michigan. Paper Session, Society
for the Anthropology of North America/CASCA/UADY Translocality Conference
in Mérida, Mexico.
2005 Participant. Anthropology and Labour, Part II: Roundtable and Open Forum:
An Ethical Labour Politics for Professional Organizations. Society for the
Anthropology of North America/CASCA/UADY Translocality Conference in
Mérida, Mexico.
2004 Why Johnnie Went to the CRC: Operation Safe Streets and the Effects of
Criminalization in Philadelphia. Paper presented at the Society for the
Anthropology of North America/AES Conference in Atlanta, GA.
2004 Whose Social Capital? How Economic Development Projects Disrupt Local
Social Relations. Paper presented with Judith Goode at the 34th Annual
Meeting of the Urban Affairs Association, in Washington, DC.
2003 Invited Speaker, “HIV/AIDS in Prison” AIDS in the Media Symposium, The
Symposium targeted 12 influential journalists in both the mainstream and
African-American press from the Philadelphia-area media, Center for AIDS
Research, University of Pennsylvania
2003 Invited Speaker, An Anthropologist in the Crisis Response Center: A Critical
Approach to Cultural Competence. Grand Rounds presentation for the
Department of Psychiatry, Temple University.
2002 Invited Speaker, Culture, Harm Reduction, and Law. CLE Presentation for the
AIDS Treatment Access Symposium, Beasley School of Law, Temple
University
2002 Invited Speaker, Civic House Education Series, University of Pennsylvania
2002 Session Organizer and Chair, Anthropology and Activism: A Critical Dialogue
Between Engaged Anthropologists and Local Activists. Society for the
Anthropology of North America/CASCA Conference in Windsor, ON.
2002 Walking the (Picket) Line: Using (Or Abusing?) Ethnography for Anti-Poverty
Research and Organizing. Paper presented at the Society for the
Anthropology of North America/CASCA Conference in Windsor, ON.
2001 Civil Society and its Discontents: Constructions of “Community” and the
Struggle Against Structural Violence. Paper presented at the 100th Annual
Meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Washington, DC.
2000 Shifting the Blame: Poverty, Drug Use, and Neighborhood Action. Paper
presented at the 99th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological
Association in San Francisco, CA.
1999 Shifting the Blame: Poverty, Drug Use, and Neighborhood Action. Paper
presented at the 122nd Annual Meeting of the American Ethnological Society
in Tampa, FL.

Academic Service and Service to the Profession:


2010-2011 LGBT Liaison, Rutgers University
2005-2008 Appointed Member, Labor Relations Commission, American
Anthropological Association
2004-2007 Student At-Large Representative, Executive Board, Society for
the Anthropology of Work
Spring 2005 Co-Organizer, Building Bridges, Building Community.
Undergraduate/Community Urban Research Conference, Temple
University
October 2001 Organizer and Presenter AIDS 411: Information We Need to Live,
a 3-day conference on HIV/AIDS, Temple University
2000 - 2001 Steering Committee, Temple University Graduate Students’
Association/American Federation of Teachers (TUGSA/AFT)

Community Service:
2004 - 2006 Volunteer, Catholic Worker Free Clinic, Philadelphia
2002 - 2003 Member, AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Working Group,
AIDS Treatment Activist Coalition (ATAC)
2001 - 2003 Co-Founder and Steering Committee Member, Philadelphia
County Coalition for Prison Health Care
2001 - 2004 Board of Directors, Prevention Point Philadelphia

Affiliations:
1996 Phi Beta Kappa - Temple University
1994 Phi Theta Kappa - Community College of Philadelphia

Other Work Experience


1999 - 2000 Executive Director
Prevention Point Philadelphia
1997 - 1998 Program Coordinator, After-School and Summer
Day Camp
Assessment and Treatment Alternatives (ATA)
1987 - 1992 Co-Director, Assistant Director/Grassroots
Organizer
Greenpeace - Philadelphia, Orlando, Cincinnati