Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, SMU, 2020 –
Associate, John G. Tower Center for Public Policy and International Affairs, SMU, 2020 –
Affiliate Research Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, SMU, 2019 – 2020
Lecturer, International Summer School, University of Oslo, 2019
PhD Princeton University, Anthropology, 2019
Dissertation: Moral Fiber: An Ethnography of Unemployment, Ethics, and the Social Safety Net in Norway
MA Princeton University, Anthropology, 2014
AB Brown University, Literary Arts (Honors) and International Relations, 2010
McKowen, Kelly and John Borneman, eds. 2020. Digesting Difference: Migrant Incorporation and Mutual Belonging in Europe. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.
McKowen, Kelly. 2020. “Productive Values: Activating Labor and Finding Selves in Norwegian Job-seeker Courses.” Anthropology of Work Review 41(1): 3-13.
McKowen, Kelly. 2020. “Substantive Commitments: Reconciling Work Ethics and the Welfare State in Norway.” Economic Anthropology 7(1): 120-133.
McKowen, Kelly and John Borneman. 2020. “Digesting Difference: Migrants, Refugees, and Incorporation in Europe.” In Digesting Difference: Migrant Incorporation and Mutual Belonging in Europe. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.
McKowen, Kelly. 2018. “A Welfare ‘Regime of Goodness?’ Material Self-interest, Reciprocity, and the Moral Sustainability of the Nordic Model.” In Sustainable Modernity: The Nordic Model and Beyond, edited by Nina Witoszek and Atle Midttun, 119-138. London and New York: Routledge.
McKowen, Kelly. 2012. “Rollemodeller fra randsonene: Ungdomsledere og lokal identitet i drabantbyen [Role Models from the Margins: Youth Leaders and Local Identity in the Suburb].” In Den globale drabantbyen: Groruddalen og det nye Norge [The Global Suburb: The Grorud Valley and the New Norway], edited by Sharam Alghasi, Elisabeth Eide, and Thomas Hylland Eriksen. Oslo: Cappelen Damm akademisk, 121–32.
Book Reviews and Essays
McKowen, Kelly. 2021. “Migration and Belonging in the Age of COVID-19.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol 27, Issue 1: 165-167.
McKowen, Kelly. 2017. Review of The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Welfare Machine: Immigration and Social Democracy in Twentieth-Century Sweden, by Carly Elizabeth Schall.” EuropeNow, Issue 3, January.
McKowen, Kelly. 2015. Review of Precarious Japan, by Anne Allison. Anthropology of Work Review, Vol. 36, Issue 2: 111-112.
McKowen, Kelly. 2014. Review of Organisational Anthropology: Doing Ethnography in and among Complex Organisations, edited by Christina Garsten and Anette Nyqvist. Anthropology in Action, Vol. 21, Issue 2: 49-50.
McKowen, Kelly. 2014. Review of Europe’s Immigration Challenge: Reconciling Work, Welfare and Migration, edited by Elena Jurado and Grete Brochmann. Acta Sociologica, Vol. 57, Issue 3: 257-
McKowen, Kelly. 2014. Review of The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire, by Kent Flannery and Joyce Marcus. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, Vol. 41, Issue 1: 161-163.
McKowen, Kelly and Ulrich Krotz. 2011. Review of the The Narcissism of Minor Differences: How America and Europe are Alike, by Peter Baldwin. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Vol. 40, Issue 1: 187-188.
McKowen, Kelly. 2021. “Strive for a Healthy Child, Not a Champion: Texas Should Adopt Norway’s Approach to Youth Athletics.” Dallas Morning News. August 4.
McKowen, Kelly. 2019. “Norway’s Socialist Left is Ascendant.” Jacobin, September.
McKowen, Kelly. 2019. “The Social Democratic Road to Socialism: An Interview with Bhaskar Sunkara.” EuropeNow, June.
McKowen, Kelly. 2018. “Becoming the Object of Inquiry in Ceausescu’s Romania: An Interview with Katherine Verdery.” EuropeNow, July.
McKowen, Kelly. 2018. “Fast Fashion, Transnational Ties, and Encounter Ethnography in Italy: An Interview with Elizabeth L. Krause.” EuropeNow, June.
Fellowships, Grants, Awards
2018-2019 Josephine de Karman Fellowship
2018-2019 Princeton Institute of International and Regional Studies Dissertation Writing Fellowship (declined)
2018-2019 Quin Morton Teaching Fellowship (declined)
2018 Harold K. Schneider Student Prize in Economic Anthropology, Graduate Paper Winner, Society for Economic Anthropology
2017 Council for European Studies Conference Travel Grant
2016-2017 Graduate Student Fellow, Princeton Fellowship of Woodrow Wilson Scholars
2016 EASA Conference Travel Grant
2015-2016 American-Scandinavian Foundation Fellowship
2015-2016 The Einar and Eva Lund Haugen Memorial Scholarship
2015 NORTANA Travel Grant
2013 & 2014 Summer Research Grant, Princeton Department of Anthropology
2013 & 2014 Summer Research Grant, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies
2012-2015 Princeton University Fellowship
2010-2011 U.S. Fulbright Study/Research Grant – Norway
2009 Hans and Else Ege Scholarship
Conferences, Seminars, and Other Activities
Invited Presentations and Lectures
“Active Labor Marketing: Social Policy and the Ethics of Work and Welfare in Norway.” Stockholm Centre for Organisational Research (SCORE). Stockholm University, March 23, 2017.
“Finding the Nordic Model through Ethnography.” Action Research: Enabling Communities through Enacting Change. Oslo and Akershus University College [now Oslo Metropolitan University], July 5, 2016.
“Arbeidsledighetens etikk i den norske velferdsstaten” [The Ethics of Unemployment in the Norwegian Welfare State]. Faglunsj. Institutt for sosialt arbeid og familieterapi. Diakonhjemmet høgskole, Oslo, Norway, December 8, 2015.
Conferences and Symposia Organized
“Digesting Difference: Modes of Social Incorporation in Europe.” with John Borneman, Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society, Princeton University, March 2-3, 2018.
“Imagining Utopia: The Ideal in Everyday Life.” with Diego Arispe-Bazan and Autumn Zellers, 2nd Annual Penn-Temple-Princeton Graduate Anthropology Conference, Princeton University, February 21, 2014.
Panel. “Screen-level Bureaucracy: Organizational Encounters in the Digitized and Automated World.” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. Washington, DC, December 2, 2017.
Roundtable. “Anthropology and the Worlds of Welfare Capitalism,” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. Minneapolis, MN, November 16, 2016.
Panel. “States of Agency: On the Creativity, Conscience, and Subjectivity of Civil Servants,” with Anna Offit, American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. Washington, DC, December 6, 2014.
Panel. “Beyond Opacity: Ethnography in the Everyday State,” American Ethnological Society Spring Conference, with Anna Offit, Boston, MA, April 12, 2014.
“Substantive Commitments: Rethinking the Moral Microeconomics of Employment
in Norway.” Society for Economic Anthropology Annual Meeting. Orlando, FL,
February 28, 2019. [Harold K. Schneider Student Prize Presentation]
“Going Native: Unemployed Migrants and Social Incorporation in the New Norway.” 15th European Association of Social Anthropologists Biennial Conference, Stockholm, Sweden, August 14, 2018.
“Left to their Own Devices: Unemployment and the Digitization of User Experience in the Norwegian Welfare State.” 25th International Conference of Europeanists, Chicago, IL, March 29, 2018.
“The ‘Norwegian Way’: Unemployed Immigrants and the Ethics of Integration in Norway.” Digesting Difference: Modes of Social Incorporation in Europe, Princeton University, March 3, 2018.
“Face-to-Interface: Social Welfare and the Digital State in Contemporary Norway.” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. Washington, DC, December 2, 2017.
“Moral Climate Change? Unemployment, Ethics, and the Sustainability of the Nordic Welfare Model.” 24th International Conference of Europeanists, Glasgow, UK, July 12, 2017.
“Coming to Terms with Belonging: Work, Welfare, and Integration in Norway.” Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN, May 12, 2017.
“Active Labor Marketing: Notes on the Norwegian Job-seeker Course,” Fellowship of Woodrow Wilson Scholars, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, April 4, 2017.
“Welfare Ethics: Unemployment, Active Social Policy, and Rebuilding the Self in Norway.” American Ethnological Society Spring Conference, Palo Alto, CA, April 1, 2017.
“A Welfare ‘Regime of Goodness?’ Material Self-interest, Reciprocity, and the Moral Sustainability of the Nordic Model.” Global Challenges – Nordic Experiences, Oslo, Norway, March 20, 2017.
“Unemployment, Active Labor Market Policy, and the Presentation of Self in the Norwegian Welfare State.” 14th European Association of Social Anthropologists Biennial Conference. Milan, Italy, July 20, 2016.
“The Interpretation of Needs: Street-Level Bureaucrats and the Everyday Politics of Distribution in Norway.” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. Washington, DC, December 6, 2014.
“The Lifeworlds of Welfare Capitalism: Toward an Anthropology of the Post-Industrial Welfare State.” American Ethnological Society Spring Conference, Boston, MA, April 12, 2014.
“Et in Arcadia Ego: July 22, 2011 in Norway and the Meaning of Terrorism in Contemporary Europe.” 21st International Conference of Europeanists, Washington DC, March 15, 2014.
“The Norwegian Welfare Space: NAV and the Reproduction of the State-oriented Subject.” 1st Annual Penn-Temple-Princeton Graduate Anthropology Conference, University of Pennsylvania, February 22, 2013.
“Life in the Welfare Kingdom: Anthropological Perspectives on the Norwegian Social Democratic System.” 2010-2011 U.S.-Norway Fulbright Seminar, Oslo, Norway, February 17, 2011.
Other Session Roles
Discussant. “Uncertain Solidarities: Migration, Social Incorporation, and European Welfare States, Pt. 1.” 15th European Association of Social Anthropologists Biennial Conference, Stockholm, Sweden, August 14-17, 2018.
Chair. “Civilizing Capitalism and the Nordic Model. Pt. I” Global Challenges – Nordic Experiences, Oslo, Norway March 21, 2017.
Participant. “Anthropology and the Worlds of Welfare Capitalism.” Roundtable. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, November 16, 2016.
Discussant. “Ethics.” Engaged Anthropology Workshop, Princeton, NJ April 5, 2014.
Cultural Aspects of Business (fall 2019, spring 2020), Instructor of Record, Southern Methodist University
Scandinavian Government and Politics (summer 2019), Instructor of Record, University of Oslo
Ethnography and Wicked Problems (fall 2017), Assistant instructor for Ken Anderson, Princeton University
Foundational Concepts in Anthropology (fall 2013), Head Assistant Instructor for Lawrence Rosen, Princeton University
Scandinavian Urban Studies Term (fall 2011), Assistant Instructor for Jeffrey Lugowe, University of Oslo
Research Editorial Committee Member, EuropeNow, Council for European Studies (2016-2019)
Graduate Student Representative, Department of Anthropology, Princeton University (2016-2017)
Editorial Committee Member, Reviews & Critical Commentary, Council for European Studies (2015-2016)
Interview Committee Member, Norwegian Grantee Program, U.S.-Norway Fulbright Foundation (2015)
American Anthropological Association (American Ethnological Society, Association for the Anthropology of Policy, Society for Economic Anthropology, Society for the Anthropology of Europe, Society for the Anthropology of Work)
Council for European Studies (The Political Economy and Welfare Research Network)
European Association of Social Anthropologists