Brad Erickson

Brad Erickson
Liberal Studies
Building: Zoom by appoinhtment
Room Number: Office Hours by Zoom, email for appointment


Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, Socio-Cultural Anthropology)

My research is driven by the questions: how do day-to-day urban practices shape conflict or cooperation? How do these practices articulate with public aspirations for civic life and with social structures of inequality?

In the Catalan city of Vilanova i la Geltrú my ethnographic research focuses on the discourse of convivència (active engagement between neighbors). In my home city, Oakland, California, I have led applied research teams to evaluate programs on community policing, school-based wrap-around services for low-income children, and the secondary trauma experienced by social workers serving youth in crisis.

Drawing on the analyses of literary theorist Mikhail Bakhtin, I examine both ethnographic data and the arts through concepts such as practice utopias and the politics of laughter. The courses I teach explore the cultural phenomena of race, class, gender, sexuality and religion through a variety of materials and interdisciplinary perspectives. In the classroom I emphasize critical thinking, reading and writing.

Representative publications:

  • 2011. “Utopian virtues: Muslim neighbors, ritual sociality, and the politics of convivència.” American Ethnologist Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 113-130.
  • 2014. “Blue on black violence and original crime: A view from Oakland, California.” Anthropoliteia (#Ferguson & Elsewhere series). 21 Aug.
  • 2016. “George Clinton and David Bowie: The space race in black and white.” Popular Music and Society Vol. 39, No. 5. (forthcoming).