Faculty Directors

Gabrielle Oliveira

Gabrielle Oliveira(she/her/hers) Contemporary Ethnography and Inequality Workshop Faculty Director, is the Jorge Paulo Lemann Associate Professor of Education and Brazilian Studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Gabrielle’s research focuses on immigration and mobility — on how people move, adapt, and parent across borders. Her expertise includes gender, anthropology, transnationalism across the Americas. Merging the fields of anthropology and education through ethnographic work in multiple countries, Gabrielle Oliveira also studies the educational trajectories of immigrant children. She is the author of Motherhood Across Borders: Immigrants and their Children in Mexico and in New York City (NYU Press). The book has won the inaugural Erickson and Hornberger Book Award by the University of Pennsylvania's Ethnography Forum and the award for book of the year by the Council of Anthropology and Education. 

Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Gabrielle received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. She was the recipient of the National Academy of Education/ Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, and she has been also awarded a postdoc fellowship from the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation to study the consequences of the 2018 zero-tolerance policy on family separation under the Trump Administration. Oliveira is also part of a group called "Colectiva Infancias" that has won a grant from the National Geographic Foundation to assemble a public-facing website on the stories of immigrant children who migrate within the Americas.

Gabrielle has been engaged in studying Brazilian migration to Massachusetts and has extensively focused on how immigrant children and families navigate newfound educational systems amid a global pandemic. She has worked closely with teachers in dual language programs whose students are Brazilian working to understand what the constraints are in educational practices in and out of classrooms. Her publications can be found in journals like Anthropology and Education QuarterlyDiaspora, Indigenous, and Minority EducationBilingual Research Journal; TESOL Quarterly; Global Studies of Childhood; among others. For information on Motherhood Across Borders: Immigrants and their Children in Mexico and in New York City, please see this Boston College 2018 interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_TUUA-aHAw.


David Showalter    

David Showalter (they/them/their), Contemporary Ethnography and Inequality Workshop Director, is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology at Harvard University, where they will be Assistant Professor of Sociology, beginning in July 2023. David's work uses ethnographic and qualitative methods to investigate how place, social networks, and organizations influence health, criminalization, and marginality, particularly with respect to drug use and policy.

Their first book project is based on in-depth interviews and more than two years of ethnographic fieldwork with people who use drugs, local officials, and service providers in several nonurban counties in backcountry California. In this project, David tracked participants' experiences with health and criminalization, while revealing the hidden world of small-town drug scenes. David also iincorporates the views of practitioners, and finds that their personal ties with other officials and clients helped and hindered their work. Findings from this project have been published in the International Journal of Drug Policy.

In addition to their scholarly work, David is also a harm reductionist, and has served as President of the Board of Directors for NEED, a harm reduction services organization in Berkeley, California. For more information, please visit www.berkeleyneed.org.

David holds a B.A. in Tutorial Studies from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. Their research has also been published in Social Science & MedicineTheory & Society, and Mobilization.


The Contemporary Ethnography and Inequality Workshop has been previously directed by: Roberto G. Gonzales, Richard Perry University Professor of Sociology and Education at the University of Pennsylvania; Ieva Jusionyte, Watson Family Associate Professor of International Security and Anthropology at Brown University; and Kaya Williams, Professor of Anthropology at Barnard College. Christopher Winship has supported the CEI Workshop as Faculty Sponsor since 2021.