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Jessica Cooper

Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow

photo of Jessica Cooper

Mcgraw Hall, Room 161
jcooper@cornell.edu

Educational Background

Princeton University, Ph.D.

University of Chicago, M.A.

Washington University in St. Louis, B.A.

Overview

Jessica Cooper is the Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology and School of Law at Cornell University and a member of the Society of Cornell Fellows. Working at the intersection of medical, legal, and political anthropology, Jessica’s research and teaching engages questions of affect, care, and ethics; madness, psychoanalysis, and critical psychiatry; liberalism, punishment, and the state; critical theory; and ethnographic methods and modes of representation.  Her first book project, Unaccountable: Surreal Life in California’s Mental Health Courts, examines the ways in which relationships between criminal justice professionals and their clients unravel state power by inhabiting care as an alternative to the individualizing discourse of liberal responsibility. Based on two years of ethnographic fieldwork in mental health courts, mental health clinics, and homeless encampments in the San Francisco Bay Area, Unaccountable explores emergent ethics elicited by the demand to provide care for mentally ill individuals as a project of social justice amidst absent state services and vast material inequalities. Jessica has published recent work in Cultural Anthropology and Social Justice. Jessica’s research has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Council for Learned Societies, the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Society for Psychological Anthropology/Lemelson Foundation, and the Center for Health and Wellbeing and Program in American Studies at Princeton University.

Departments/Programs

  • Anthropology

Affiliations

  • Society of Cornell Fellows
  • School of Law
  • Institute for the Social Sciences
  • Center for the Study of Inequality

Publications

Research Articles

2018 

Unruly Affects: Attempts at Control and All That Escapes from an American Mental Health Court. Cultural Anthropology 33(1): 85-108.

2017             

Trapped: The Limits of Care in California's Mental Health Courts. Social Justice: A Journal of Crime, Conflict & World Order. Special Volume: Ethnographic Explorations of Punishment and the Governance of Security. Robert Werth, ed. 44(1): 121-141.

 

Book Reviews

2014 

Review of Everyday Ethics: Voices from the Front Line of Community Psychiatry, by Paul Brodwin. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry 38(1): 160-162.

 

Public Scholarship

2018    

Justice: A Conversation with Jessica Greenberg, Karen Ann Faulk, Jessica Cooper, and Naisargi N. Dave. Cultural Anthropology: Correspondences.

What Does Not Cohere: An Interview with Jessica Cooper. Interview conducted by Marzieh Kaivanara. Cultural Anthropology: Dialogues.

2017               

Violence a Long Way Back: An Interview with Angela Garcia (co-authored with Andrés Romero). Cultural Anthropology: Dialogues.