Stephanie N Sadre-Orafai
448 Braunstein Hall
PhD, New York University, 2010 (Anthropology).
MA, New York University, 2005 (Anthropology).
BA, University of California, Berkeley, 2000 (Anthropology).
Stephanie Sadre-Orafai is a sociocultural anthropologist whose research focuses on transformations in contemporary racial thinking and visual culture in the United States. She studied anthropology with a minor in African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley (BA, 2000) and received her Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at New York University in 2010.
Her most recent project, an ethnography of commercial image producers in the New York fashion industry, examines how modeling and casting agents discursively construct, image, and imagine the visibility and significance of racial and other forms of social difference. She explores the social and political ramifications of these new articulations of mediation, visibility, and "difference" as they are refracted through idioms of beauty, desirability, and justice.
She is beginning a second project on criminal profilers and corrections officers with the goal of reading casting archival practices against the logics of criminal database organization. She is interested in comparing the diagnostic and predictive dimensions of each field and how these disparate sites of knowledge and visual production reflect and impact wider socio-cultural beliefs about the visibility of essential and inessential "differences" in the US.
She is also the co-director of the Critical Visions Certificate, a joint effort between faculty in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences aimed at teaching students how to effectively combine critical theory and social analysis with art, media, and design practice, and co-editor of CVSN, the program's experimental publication of student work from the program.
In fall 2012 she co-curated Artless Photographs, part of the Cincinnati FOTOFOCUS biennial. The exhibition examined documentary images taken in a range of institutional contexts that record exacting details about individual bodies and identities, while also generating diagnostic and predictive typologies. Through events as distinct as model castings in New York’s fashion industry, exhumations in post-conflict Spain, identity card sittings in a Cambodian refugee camp, and ethnographic and scientific observations in Siberia, Scandinavia, and Canada, the exhibition compelled viewers to think critically about the power and utter mundanity of photographs and the practices that produce them.
Socio-cultural anthropology, race and visual culture, media and aesthetic industries, professional and expert visions, the fashion industry, evidence and the body, practice-based social theory, the United States
Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie (2013). (In Press). Mug Shot/Head Shot: Danger, Beauty, and the Temporal Politics of Booking Photography. Joanne Turney (Eds.), Fashion Crimes: Dressing for Deviance. London: IB Tauris.[Link]
Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie (2013). The Figure of the Model and Reality Television. Joanne Entwistle and Elizabeth Wissinger (Eds.), Fashioning Models: Image, Text, and Industry. New York: Berg.[Link]
Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie (2011). Fashion's Other Images: Casting Photographs and the Production of a Professional Vision. Æsa Sigurjónsdóttir, Joanne Turney, and Michael A. Langkjær (Eds.), Images in Time: Flashing forward, backward, in front and behind photography in fashion, advertising and the press. Bath: Wunderkammer.[Link]
Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie (2008). Developing Images: Race, Language, and Perception in Fashion-model Casting. Eugenie Shinkle (Eds.), Fashion as Photograph: Viewing and Reviewing Images of Fashion. (pp. 141-53). London: IB Tauris.[Link]
Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie (2005). Hypernationalist Discourse in the Rapso Movement of Trinidad & Tobago. Christine G.T. Ho and Keith Nurse (Eds.), Globalisation, Diaspora, and Caribbean Popular Culture. (pp. 215-41). Jamaica: Ian Randle.
Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie (2012). Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, May 4-August 7, 2011, curated by Andrew Bolton (exhibition review). Catwalk: The Journal of Fashion, Beauty, and Style , 1(1), 104-9.[Link]
Editorial Board Member, Clothing Cultures .
ANTH 236, Anthropology of Media (A10, S12).
ANTH 736, Advanced Topics in the Anthropology of Media (A10, S12).
ANTH 648, Contemporary Anthropological Theory (W11, S12, SS13).
ANTH 458, Beauty, Race and Gender in the Marketplace (S11, W12).
ANTH 758, Advanced Topics: Beauty, Race, Gender and Power (S11, W12).
ANTH 3074/319, Forms of Seeing (A11, FS12) .
ANTH 7074/719, Advanced Topics: Seeing as Social Practice (A11, FS12).
ANTH 5075/FAA 5075, Critical Visions (SS13).