Michele Statz

Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine and BioBehavioral Health

Michele Statz

Contact Info

mstatz@d.umn.edu

Office Phone 218-726-7372

Mailing Address:
1035 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812

PhD, Sociocultural Anthropology, Comparative Law and Society Studies, University of Washington, 2014

MA, Sociocultural Anthropology, University of Washington, 2011

BS, Summa cum Laude, Anthropology, Loyola University Chicago, 2005

Summary

I am an anthropologist of law specializing in rural access to justice. My current work examines how socio-spatial dimensions of rurality influence legal advocacy, rights mobilization, and individual and community health in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. This research stretches the usual bounds of analysis by underscoring rural individuals’ own expertise and experiences of the “rural lawscape.” It likewise identifies necessary opportunities for these perspectives to inform and innovate policy, practice, and applied research methodologies.

Concurrent work includes collaborative and interdisciplinary projects on psychosocial stress, societal transition and human rights; rural distance and reproductive justice; and public interest immigration lawyering. Previous work focused on constructions of age and vulnerability in legal advocacy on behalf of young Chinese migrants, as well as community health initiatives in A mdo Tibet.

I have a PhD in sociocultural anthropology and comparative law and society studies from the University of Washington.

Expertise

Rural access to justice; citizenship, race, and identity; the legal profession; global youth; state and tribal courts; maternal and reproductive justice; rights mobilization; U.S. Midwest; China; A mdo Tibet

Professional Associations

  • American Anthropological Association (Section Memberships: Culture and Agriculture; Political and Legal Anthropology)
  • American Association of Geographers (Section Membership: Rural Geography)
  • Law and Society Association
  • Rural Sociological Society
  • Co-founder and editor, Youth Circulations (www.youthcirculations.com)

Research

Research Summary/Interests

  • Principal Investigator, “Northland Access to Justice: Legal Advocacy, Equity and Mobilization Across Rural Minnesota and Wisconsin” (3/15 – on)
  • Principal Investigator, “(Dis)regarding Rurality: Spatial and Discursive Distancing in WholeWoman’s Health v. Hellerstedt” (6/16 - on)
  • Principal Investigator, “Project Rural Practice Evaluation” (3/15 – on)
  • Principal Investigator, “Rights and Culture in the Legal Contact Zones of Unaccompanied Fujianese Child Migration” (6/10 to 8/13)
  • Field Researcher, “Sichuan Township Evaluations” (yak bank, grassland restoration, education initiatives), Alpha Communities Sichuan, PR China. (8/05 to 6/06)

Research Funding Grants

  • National Science Foundation Law and Social Sciences and Cultural Anthropology Programs: “Northland Access to Justice: Legal Advocacy, Equity, and Mobilization Across Rural Minnesota and Wisconsin.” $200,000 (2017-2020)
  • Helm Equity Leadership & Mentoring (HELM) Program Fellowship, University of Minnesota Medical School (2017-2018)
  • Graduate School Fund for Excellence and Innovation Graduate Student Travel Award, University of Washington, 2014
  • Center for Law and Societies Studies Travel Grant, University of Washington, 2014
  • American Association of University Women Dissertation Fellowship, 2013
  • Chester William Fritz Humanities Scholarship, University of Washington, 2013
  • Recognition for Excellence in Service award, Association for Political and Legal Anthropology, 2013
  • Law and Society Association Annual Graduate Student Workshop Grant, Boston, MA, 2013 Research Travel Grant, University of Washington, 2012
  • Association for Political and Legal Anthropology Graduate Workshop Grant, San Francisco, CA,

Publications

I. Books:

Statz, Michele. (Forthcoming 2018). Lawyering an Uncertain Cause: Immigration Advocacy and Chinese Youth in the U.S. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.

II. Peer-reviewed Publications:

Statz, Michele and Lauren Heidbrink. (Under Review). “A Better ‘Best Interests’: Immigration Policy in a Comparative Context.” Law and Policy.

Statz, Michele and Mustafa al’Absi. (Under Review.) “Psychosocial Stress in Times of Societal Transition: Impact on Mental Health and Substance Use.” Global Public Health.

Heidbrink, Lauren and Michele Statz. (Forthcoming.) “Youth Circulations: Tracing the real and imagined circulations of global youth.” Children and Youth as Subjects, Objects, Agents: Approaches to Research in a Global Context, MJ Maynes, Deborah Levison, and Frances Vavrus, eds.

Lisa R. Pruitt, Amanda L. Kool, Lauren Sudeall Lucas, Michele Statz, Danielle M. Conway, and Hannah Haksgaard. (2018). “Legal Deserts: A Multi-State Perspective on Rural Access to Justice.” Harvard Law and Policy Review.

Statz, Michele and Lisa Pruitt. (2018). “A Spatial Reading of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt: Legal Recognition of the Tyranny of Distance.” Invited submission, Environment and Planning A. https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X18757508

Statz, Michele. (2018) “Transnational Migration and the Construction of Vulnerability.” Routledge Handbook on Ethics and International Relations, Brent Steele and Eric Heinze, eds. New York: Routledge.

Statz, Michele. (Forthcoming 2018). Review essay: “Papers, Performance, and Making Immigration Matter.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review.

Heidbrink, Lauren and Michele Statz. (2017). “Parenting Global Youth: Contesting Debt and Belonging.” Children’s Geographies 15(5): 545-557. DOI: 10.1080/14733285. 2017.1284645

Statz, Michele. (2016). “Chinese Difference and Deservingness: The Paper Lives of Young Migrants.” American Behavioral Scientist 60(13): 1629–1648. DOI: 10.1177/0002764216664946.

Statz, Michele. (2016). “Between Children and Transnational Economic Actors: The Discounted ‘Belongings’ of Young Chinese Migrants.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 39 (S1): 4-18. DOI: 10.1111/plar.12168.

Statz, Michele. (2016) Review of The Australian Country Girl: History, Image, Experience. (Catherine Driscoll 2014). Rural Sociology. DOI: 10.1111/ruso.12150.

Statz, Michele. (2015). Review of On the Doorstep of Europe: Asylum and Citizenship in Greece. (Heath Cabot 2014). Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale, February 2015. DOI: 10.1111/1469-8676.12096_4.

III. Digital Contributions:

Statz, Michele. 2018. “Who Didn’t Apply for DACA and Why It Matters.” The Gender Policy Report. http://genderpolicyreport.umn.edu/who-didnt-apply-...matters/.

Statz, Michele. 2017. “Local Knowledge, Methods, and Manioc Landraces.” Anthropology News 58: e247-252. DOI: 10.1111/AN.341.

Statz, Michele and Lauren Heidbrink. “Threatening Parents?: What DHS Policies Remind Us About Unaccompanied Youth. Youth Circulations. http://www.youthcirculations.com/blog/2017/7/18/threatening-parents-what-dhs-policies-remind-us-about-unaccompanied-youth. 8/7/17.

Co-creator, curator and editor. Youth Circulations (www.youthcirculations.com).

Statz, Michele and Lauren Heidbrink. “Widening the Frame: Unaccompanied Youth.” 9/15/14. Inaugural blog post for the American Anthropological Association’s Association of Children and Youth Interest Group (ACYIG) website. http://www.aaanet.org/sections/acyig/2014/09/15/wi...

Heidbrink, Lauren and Michele Statz. 2014. “Real help for immigrant children.” Letter to theEditor in the LA Times, 6/11/2014. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/readersreact/la-le-...

Selected Presentations:

2017 “Northland Access to Justice: Wisconsin Overview” Invited presentation, Wisconsin State Bar Association Madison, WI

2017 “Identity and Experience Across the Rural Lawscape” Rural Politics Mini-conference: The 2016 Elections—Where We Are Now Rural Sociological Society Annual Meeting, Columbus, Ohio

2017 “A Spatial Reading of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt: Recognizing the Tyranny of Distance.” American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Boston, MA

2016 “What we talk about when we don’t talk about care: Immigrant advocacy efforts in rural America” Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Minneapolis, MN

2016 “Chinese Difference and Deservedness: The Paper Lives of Immigration Law” Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities (ASLCH) Conference. Hartford, CT.

2016 “Seasonal Work, Seasonal Lives: Migrant Housing Precarity in the Rural West” Rural West Conference, sponsored by Stanford University. Missoula, MT.

2015 “Parenting Global Youth: Contestations of Debt and Belonging” Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Denver, CO

2015 “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Activism and Advocating for Vulnerable Immigrants.” Roundtable session presenter. Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, Seattle, WA.

2015 “Labor, Legality and Everyday Life: Global Youth in Rural America.” Rural West Conference, sponsored by Stanford University. Portland, OR.

2014 “Chinese Difference and Deservedness: The Paper Lives of Immigration Law.” ClassCrits VII—Poverty, Precarity, and Work: Struggle and Solidarity in an Era of Permanent Crisis. UC Davis School of Law, CA.

2014 "‘And you can do that in the South, if you use your insider status carefully’: Cause lawyering in new immigrant destinations.” Rural Sociological Society Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

2014 “Paper Lives: The Chinese Family of Immigration Law.” Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, Minneapolis, MN.

2013 Invited speaker, “Illegality, Youth and Belonging” Symposium. Harvard University, Boston, MA.

2013 “Strategic Obligation: Cause Lawyering on Behalf of Unaccompanied Chinese Youth.” Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, Boston, MA..

2012 “Questioning the Long-Term ‘Success’ of Legal Relief: Cause Lawyering and Unaccompanied Chinese Youth.” Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Francisco.

2012 “The Legal Lives and Labor of Unaccompanied Youth in Rural New Destinations.” Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society, Chicago, IL.

2012  “Unaccompanied Migrant Youth in New Destinations.” Annual Meeting of the Midwest Sociological Society Minneapolis, MN.

2011 “Limited Relief: The Uses of Culture, Age, and the Anthropologist in Legal Representation for Unaccompanied Fujianese Youth.” Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology, Seattle, WA.

Panels Organized:

2015 “Claiming and Contesting Vulnerability in Rural America.” Panel organizer, chair and discussant. Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, Seattle, WA.

2015 “Encountering Culture: Imaginaries of and by Global Youth.” Panel co-organizer and co-chair. Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Denver, CO.

2014 “Just Representation.” Panel chair. Rural Sociological Society Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

2014 “Intergenerational Identity and the Institutional Dismantling of Intimate Narratives of Global Youth.” Panel co-organizer and co-chair. Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, Minneapolis, MN.

2013 “Debt and Indebtedness: Circulation and Social Obligations of Transnational Migrant Youth.” Panel co-organizer and co-chair. Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, Boston, MA

2013 “Conflict through Care: Clashes between Global Youth, Families, and the Law.” Panel co-organizer and co-chair. Annual Meeting of the American Ethnological Society and Association for Political and Legal Anthropology, Chicago, IL.

Teaching

Courses

Co-course Director, Social and Behavioral Medicine I and II.