Chelsey L. Kivland

|Associate Professor
Academic Appointments

Associate Professor of Anthropology

As a cultural anthropologist, I strive to understand how and why people find meaning in power and conflict. I am fascinated by the way power is both feared and desired, contested and embraced, and the culturally unique ways in which people fight for as well as against the state and sovereignty--at the local, national, and global scale.

My past major research project focused on street politics and violence in Port-au-Prince, and attempted to uncover the multiple and contradictory ways people compete for control over an area and for linkages with broader domains of power. I have published this research in several articles and in the book, Street Sovereigns: Young Men and the Makeshift State in Urban Haiti (Cornell University Press, 2020).

My current research project, A Dream Deported: Race, Crime, and Deportation in Transnational Haiti, explores changing notions of citizenship, statehood, and the social contract through an ethnography of the  global regulatory regime of criminal deportation, as manifested between the United States and Haiti. I have also written about carnival bands, graffiti, community activism, and the military in urban Haiti. I teach courses in the anthropology of violence, political anthropology, and Haitian and Caribbean studies.


HB 6047


The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding


  • Ph.D., M.A., University of Chicago
  • M.A. Teachers College, Columbia University
  • B.A., Colorado College