Eastern Michigan University
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Laurah Klepinger, Ph.D., Syracuse University, 2015

Lecturer

Areas of Expertise

About

Ph.D. (June, 2015) in Anthropology from Syracuse University, Master of Arts degree in Dance (Performance and Culture) and Master of Fine Arts in Dance (Choreography) from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures. I am a cultural anthropologist currently teaching Aging and the Life Course and two sections of Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. My research is concerned with relations of inequality and with issues of intercultural understanding and cultural appropriation in the context of globalization. I am especially committed to the ethnographic exegesis of privilege, including critical studies of whiteness and the middle class. My doctoral dissertation, Flexible Labor in a Spiritual Economy: Peace, Work, and Inequality in Globalized Yoga, was a study of relations between local wageworkers in the Indian branches of a transnational yoga institution and the cosmopolitan yoga practitioners in this organization who work as volunteers. I am increasingly drawn to medical anthropology, and my newest research looks at the natural birth and natural parenting movements in the United States. This project interrogates the limits and value of the “natural” in natural parenting, and asks: what histories and contexts give rise to this notion of natural parenting, and what persons and possibilities does this framework exclude?