Associate Professor of Anthropology
Rachel Heiman received her B.A. in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the relationship between habits, sentiments, and spaces of everyday life and the volatility of cultural, political, economic, and environmental conditions. Her most recent book, Driving after Class: Anxious Times in an American Suburb (University of California Press, 2015) explores middle-class anxieties and suburban life in the United States during the economic boom of the late 1990s. Her previous book, The Global Middle Classes: Theorizing through Ethnography (School for Advanced Research Press, 2012) is a co-edited volume (with Carla Freeman & Mark Liechty) of ethnographic research on the middle classes from a global perspective. Her current project, for which she received a 2016 Summer Stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a 2016-2017 Post-Ph.D. Research Grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and a 2018 ACLS Fellowship, explores changing notions of propriety, place, and domestic ideals in the United States amid efforts to retrofit suburbia for a sustainable future. For the 2018-2019 academic year she will be an External Faculty Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. She has been a Visiting Scholar at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, NM and the Russell Sage Foundation in New York, and a faculty fellow at the Robert L. Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies.
2004 Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of Michigan
1996 M.A. in Anthropology, University of Michigan
1992 B.A. in Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania
Driving after Class: Anxious Times in an American Suburb. California Series in Public Anthropology. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2015.
The Global Middle Classes: Theorizing through Ethnography. Advanced Seminar Series. Santa Fe, NM: School for Advanced Research Press, 2012. (Co-edited with Carla Freeman & Mark Liechty)
SELECT ARTICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS:
“Introduction” in The Global Middle Classes: Theorizing through Ethnography, eds. Rachel Heiman, Carla Freeman, and Mark Liechty. Pp. 3-29. Santa Fe, NM: School for Advanced Research Press, 2012. (Co-authored with Mark Liechty & Carla Freeman)
“Gate Expectations: Discursive Displacement of the ‘Old Middle Class’ in an American Suburb” in The Global Middle Classes: Theorizing through Ethnography, eds. Rachel Heiman, Carla Freeman, and Mark Liechty. Pp. 237-69. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press, 2012.
“‘At Risk’ for Becoming Neoliberal Subjects: Rethinking the ‘Normal’ Middle-Class Family,” in Childhood, Youth, and Social Work in Transformation, eds. Lynn Nybell, Jeffrey Shook and Janet L. Finn. Pp. 301-13. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.
“The Last Days of Low-Density Living: Suburbs and the End of Oil,” Built Environment 32 (May 2007): 213-26.
“The Ironic Contradictions in the Discourse on Generation X, or How ‘Slackers’ are Saving Capitalism,” Childhood 8 (May 2001): 275-93.
“Vehicles for Rugged Entitlement: Teenagers, Sport-Utility Vehicles, and the Suburban Upper-Middle Class,” New Jersey History 118 (Fall/Winter 2000): 22-33.
"Book Review of Creative Urbanity: An Italian Middle Class in the Shade of Revitalization, by Emanuela Guano," Anthropology Book Forum, July 3, 2017.
"Book Review of Bloomberg's New York: Class and Governance in the Luxury City, by Julian Brash," PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 38 (November 2015): 365-67.
“Book Review of Fast Cars, Cool Rides: The Accelerating World of Youth and Their Cars, by Amy Best,” Journal of Consumer Culture 7 (November 2007): 413-15.
Class anxieties, subject formation, suburban life, sustainable design, habits of affect, structures of sentiment, the consumption of class security, racial & spatial politics of class, zoning & the built environment, ethnography & ethnographic writing, youth culture & family life, United States, global middle classes
Interrogating America (Open Campus)
The Suburbs: Divided We Sprawl