Katherine Culver

Doctoral Student


I am a joint JD-PhD student at the Yale Law School and Penn’s Department of Anthropology. My current research focuses on the production of legitimacy and authority in criminal jury trials in the United States, specifically on how jurors draw on discourses of democratic citizenship and legal objectivity to construct and inhabit their roles as legal decision-makers. I also explore the affective dimensions of juror experience through considering the jury as a site of participatory democracy.


AB, Philosophy, Princeton, 2010

Research Interests

legal and political anthropology, linguistic anthropology, citizenship, affect, semiotics, register formation, expert knowledge and objectivity, U.S. criminal justice system, transnational legal practice and human rights discourse, ‘rule-of-law’ in postconflict societies, Cambodia, Uganda

Graduate Status