Miriam Ticktin
Position: Associate Professor
Program: Anthropology
Campus Affiliation: Graduate Center
Degrees/Diplomas: PhD 2002, Stanford University and École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), M.Phil, 1995, Oxford University, English Literature; and A.B, 1993, Princeton University, Anthropology, Women's Studies and European Cultural Studies
Research Interests: Anthropology of the human, humanitarianism, post-human; migration, mobility, borders and walls; sexual violence/gender based violence; anthropology of science, medicine, ethics, and transnational feminist theory; France/Europe/North Africa
Subfield: Cultural Anthropology

Miriam Ticktin is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center. She came from the New School for Social Research, where she was Chair of Anthropology from 2016-2018, Co-Director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility [newschool.edu] between 2013-2016 and Director of Gender Studies from 2012-2013. She 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. 

Miriam’s research has focused in the broadest sense on what it means to make political claims in the name of a universal humanity, although her current research is more interested in imagining and opening the way to new political formations. She has written on immigration, humanitarianism, and border walls in France and the US, and how bodies and biologies are shaped by gender and race. She is the author of Casualties of Care: Immigration and the Politics of Humanitarianism in France (UC Press, 2011), co-editor of In the Name of Humanity: the Government of Threat and Care (with Ilana Feldman, Duke UP 2010), and she was a founding co-editor of the journal Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism and Development.  She has been a Member at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation. Between 2017-19, she co-directed (with Anthony Dunne, Fiona Raby, and Victoria Hattam) the Mellon Sawyer Seminar on “Imaginative Mobilities” at The New School.
Ticktin is currently at work on two related book projects: 1) a book on innocence as a political concept, and how it produces an unending search for purity; 2) a book on the way border wall technologies travel, both transnationally and cross-species, with the goal of engaging with speculative practices, and reimagining the idea of bordering.

Recent Publications


2011   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)

2010   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: 
   Guest editor of Social Research: An International Quarterly, "The Invasive Other."  84 (1): Spring 2017.

2012   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

Peer reviewed articles, chapters and essays:
Care and the Commons” Contemporary Political Theory, special issue on the “Politics of Care,” eds. Rachel Brown and Deva Woodly, August 2021

2021    “Sexuality and Borders in Right-Wing Times: A conversation” with Alyosxa Tudor, Ethnic and Racial Studies, special issue on “Sexuality and Borders,” eds. Billy Holzberg, Michelle Pfeifer and Anouk de Koning. April 21, 2021

2021     “Must Immigrants Sacrifice Themselves to Covid-19 for Basic Rights?” with Sofya Aptekar, Open Democracy, February 6th 2021.
2020     “Building a Feminist Commons in the Time of Covid19” Signs: Journal of Women and Culture in Society symposium, “Feminists Theorize Covid-19” October 2020. http://signsjournal.org/covid/ticktin/ [signsjournal.org]

2020     “Innocence: Shaping the Concept and Practice of Humanity
 Human Rights and Humanitarianism: Between Palliation and Transformation, ed. Michael Barnett; Cambridge University Press. Pp. 185-202.

2020   “Rewriting the Grammars of Innocence: Abounaddara and The Right to the Image” World Records, issue on “In the Presence of Others: Documentary and Hannah Arendt” eds. Jason Fox, Nicholas Gamso, Toby Lee and Josh Guilford (vol 4, October).

2020   “No Borders in the Time of Covid-19” in American Anthropologist, Public Anthropologies Series on Covid-19, July 2, 2020

2020   “Imagining Otherwise: On ‘A Time for Critique’” Los Angeles Review of Books, April 3, 2020

2020   “Coronavirus Cannot Become an Excuse to Label Groups of People ‘Invasive’” with Suzette Brooks Masters. Immigration Impact, March 20, 2020

2020   "On Refugees and Innocence" Public Seminar, Jan 16, 2020

2019  "Border Walls"(PDF) in The Berlin Journal, 33 (Fall): 74-77

2019   "From the Human to the Planetary: Speculative Futures of Care" (PDF) Medicine, Anthropology, Theory 6(3): 133-160.

2018   "Armed Love: Feminist Anthropological Perspectives on the Politics of Care." (PDF) 
Miriam Ticktin, Interview with Sabine Hess, in Beate Binder, Christine Bischoff, Cordula Endter, Sabine Kienitz, Sven Bergmnan (Hg): Care: Praktiken und Politiken der Fursorge Ethnographische und geschlechtertheoretische Perspectiven. Budrich Verlag, 2018

2018   "The Gold Standard: Sex and Suffering in Humanitarian Campaigns." (PDF) Essay accompanying Hayv Kahraman's exhibit, "Silence is Gold" at SUSANNE VIELMETTER LOS ANGELES PROJECTS gallery, September 8-October 27, 2018.

2017   "A World Without Innocence" (PDF) American Ethnologist, 44 (4) Nov 2017: 577-590

2017   "Invasive Others: Toward a Contaminated World" (PDF) Social Research: An International Quarterly, special issue on “The Invasive Other” guest ed. Miriam Ticktin, 84 (1), spring 2017: xxi-xxxiv.

2017   "Introduction: Invasive Pathogens? Rethinking Notions of Otherness" (PDF) Social Research: An International Quarterly, special issue on “The Invasive Other” guest ed. Miriam Ticktin, 84 (1), spring 2017: 55-58.

2017   “Humanity as Concept and Method: Reconciling Critical Scholarship and Empathetic Methods” (PDF) Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East; Kitabkhana. 37(3): 608-613, December 2017

2017   “Images Unwalled: The Innocent Bystander” (PDF) with the Multiple Mobilities Research Cluster (Miriam Ticktin, Radhika Subramaniam, Victoria Hattam, Laura Y. Liu & Rafi Youatt), Anthropology Now, 9:3, 24-37

2017   "The Sanctuary Movement and Women's Rights: Sister Struggles" in Truthout, April 29, 2017

2017   "As'lem: An Ethical Diagnosis of the Contemporary" (PDF) (response to Fassin, Wilhelm-Solomon and Segatti's "Asylum as a Form of Life") Current Anthropology, 58 (2): 182-183.

2017   Review of "Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More than Human Worlds" (with Katinska Wijsman), Hypatia Reviews Online, Fall 2017.

2016   “Thinking Beyond Humanitarian Borders” (pdf)

Social Research: An International Quarterly, special issue on “Borders and The Politics of Mourning,” eds Alexandra Delano and Benjamin Nienass, 83 (2), summer 2016: 255-271.

2016   “Calais: Containment Politics in the ‘Jungle’”  (pdf) The Funambulist: Politics of Space and Bodies. 05 (May-June): 28-33.

2016   “What's Wrong with Innocence”  Hot Spots, Cultural Anthropology website, June 2016

2015   “The Problem with Humanitarian Borders” Public Seminar, Sept 18, 2015

2015   “The Temporality of Disaster,” Books Forum on Fatal Isolation: The Devastating Paris Heat Wave of 2003 (University of Chicago, 2015), Somatosphere: Science, Medicine, Anthropology, Sept 2015.

2015   “Los problemas de las fronteras humanitarias” (pdf) (The Problem with Humanitarian Borders), Revista de Delalectología y Tradiciones Populares  LXX (2): 291-97(special issue: “Migration and Refuge in the Mediterranean, Beyond Borders” ed. Liliana Suarez Navaz), Julio-diciembre 2015

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

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

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

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

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. Pp. 406-420.

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

2014   “From Antipolitics to post-Neoliberalism: a conversation with James Ferguson,” with Nils Gilman (Humanity Editorial Collective), Humanity: an International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism and Development, 5 (2).

2013   “The Waiting Room” in Commonplaces: Itemizing the Technological Present (series curated by Tomas Matza and Harris Solomon) Somatosphere: Science, Medicine, Anthropology.

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

2012   “Two Types of Sexual Violence? Y a-t-il deux types de violences sexuelles?” In “Les Mots Sont Importants”:, December 3rd, 2012

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

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

2011   “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, pp. 175-19

2010   “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, pp. 1-26

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: 863-889.

2008   “A Transnational Conversation on French Colonialism, Immigration, Violence and Sovereignty” With Paola Bacchetta and Ruth Marshall, in the Special Issue of The Scholar and Feminist Online, “Borders on Belonging: Gender and Immigration,” Ed. Neferti Tadiar, 6 (3), Summer 2008.

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

2006   “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, pp.116-135

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

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

1999   “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:24-41.