Christa Craven

Christa Craven

Associate Professor; Chair of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies

Department/Affiliation: Sociology and Anthropology, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Phone: 330-263-2283
Office Address: 008 Kauke


  • B.A., New College, Florida 1997
  • M.A., American University 2000
  • Ph.D., American University 2003

Awards and Professional Memberships

  • American Anthropological Association, 1995-Present (AAA Governance Commission 2005-2007)
  • Association for Feminist Anthropology, 1995-Present
  • Council on Anthropology and Reproduction, 1999-Present
  • Association for Queer Anthropology (formerly, Society of Lesbian & Gay Anthropologists), 1999-Present, (Co-Chair 2004-2005)
  • National Women's Studies Association, 2005-Present
  • Transnational Network on Women's Issues, 2008-Present


  • Forthcoming (2013) Feminist Activist Ethnography: Counterpoints to Neoliberalism in North America. Edited collection, Christa Craven & Dána-Ain Davis, eds. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
  • Forthcoming (2013) Reproductive Rights in a Consumer Rights Era: Toward the Value of "Constructive" Critique. In Feminist Activist Ethnography: Counterpoints to Neoliberalism in North America, Christa Craven & Dána-Ain Davis, eds. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
  • Forthcoming Stories of Grief and Hope: Queer Experiences of Pregnancy Loss (with Elizabeth Peel). In Queering Maternity and Motherhood: Narrative and Theoretical Perspectives on Queer Conception, Birth and Parenting, Joani Mortenson, ed. Ontario: Demeter Press.
  • 2011 Revisiting Feminist Ethnography: Methods and Activism at the Intersection of Neoliberal Policy in the U.S. (co-authored with Dána-Ain Davis). Feminist Formations (formerly National Women's Studies Association Journal) 23(2): 190-208, Summer 2011.
  • 2010 "Downplaying Difference: Historical Accounts of African American Midwives and Contemporary Struggles for Midwifery" (co-authored with Mara Glatzel, Wooster Alumna '07). Feminist Studies, Summer 2010.
  • 2010 Pushing for Midwives: Homebirth Mothers and the Reproductive Rights Movement. Temple University Press, Philadelphia.
  • 2007 A "Consumer's Right" to Choose a Midwife: Shifting Meanings for Reproductive Rights Under Neoliberalism. American Anthropologist 109(4): 701-712.
  • 2006 "Every Breath is Political, Every Woman's Life a Statement": Cross-Class Organizing for Midwifery in Virginia.  In Mainstreaming Midwifery: The Politics of Change, Robbie Davis-Floyd and Christina Barbara Johnson, eds., Pp. 311-346. New York: Routledge Press.
  • 2005 Claiming Respectable American Motherhood: Homebirth Mothers, Medical Officials, and the State. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 19(2): 194-215.
  • 2004 Making Our Voices Heard: Highlighting Midwifery in Health Care Policy Debates. Citizens for Midwifery News 9(1), Fall Edition.
  • 2004 Lost Records, Lost Histories: Honoring the Midwives Who Were Prosecuted in the Early 1900s.  In Chapter 1 of From Calling to Courtroom: A Midwifery Survival Guide, Valerie Rooks, ed. Online publication.

Research Interests

  • Women's Health & Reproductive Justice
  • Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Trans/Queer Reproduction
  • Midwifery Activism
  • Feminist Ethnography & Activist Scholarship
  • Feminist Pedagogy


Christa Craven is the Chair of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies (WGSS) and Associate Professor of WGSS and Anthropology. She received her B.A. New College of Florida (1997) , M.A. (2000) and Ph.D. (2003) from American University. Professor Craven’s research interests include women’s health & reproductive justice, lesbian/gay/bi/trans/queer reproduction, midwifery activism, feminist ethnography & activist scholarship, and feminist pedagogy. She is the author of Pushing for Midwives: Homebirth Mothers and the Reproductive Rights Movement (Temple University Press, 2010) and an edited collection with Dána-Ain Davis entitled Feminist Activist Ethnography: Counterpoints to Neoliberalism in North America. She is currently working on a textbook about feminist ethnography with Dána-Ain Davis and a new project interviewing lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-, and queer families about pregnancy, adoption, and loss.  Craven has served on the American Anthropological Association’s Governance Commission (2005-2007) and is the past co-chair of the Society of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists (2004-2005; now the Association for Queer Anthropology). She teaches Introduction to WGSS, Global Feminisms, Queer Lives, Seminar in Feminist Learning & Teaching, Feminist Methodologies, Introduction to Anthropology, Global Politics of Reproduction, and Globalizing Health (with Dr. Tom Tierney in Sociology).