Dr. Nina Siulc is an Affiliated Professor in the Program in Criminal Justice, as well as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University. Siulc recently joined the faculty here at Rutgers after teaching in the Legal Studies program at the University of Massachusetts—Amherst. Her Ph.D. is in Socio-Cultural Anthropology, and having joint appointments in these two majors at Rutgers is a perfect fit for Siulc since her research and teaching focuses broadly on what anthropologists often refer to as political and legal anthropology.
Siulc is currently finishing her first book, Unwelcome Citizens, which describes the experiences of Dominican adults who came to the United States as young children and were later deported after being convicted of crimes. In addition to studying how people adjust to life in the Dominican Republic after many years abroad, the book also explores what freedom means in the lives of people who have experienced migration, criminalization, incarceration, and deportation and have been subjected to extreme forms of state intervention in their lives. Siulc’s new research, Children of the Crimmigration Era, will involve longitudinal research with children and families in the United States in order to study how parental deportation impacts the socialization and identity formation of the citizen children who remain in the United States. She plans to launch that project in the greater NY metropolitan area this summer, and to enlist students as research assistants in the field work over the next several years.
Siulc also has training in ethnographic filmmaking and has worked in a number of engaged research and policy settings. Some of her other projects have involved studying legal rights presentations for detained immigrants to assess how they understand immigration law and make decisions about their deportation cases, interviewing Central American children who have been detained after migrating to the United States, working with social service providers and law enforcement to improve services for persons who have experienced human trafficking, studying the role of religious institutions in helping new migrants adjust to life in the New York City, and working with a local hospital to reduce cultural misunderstandings between Anglo- and Latino- medical staff and Mexican patients. Siulc frequently discusses her research results in policy settings and with the media, and has worked as a consultant on a number of immigration legal cases.