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Department of Anthropology


Drucilla K Barker

Title: Professor
Department: Anthropology
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-3200
Office: Gambrell Hall 408
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Drucilla K Barker


Drucilla K. Barker (Ph.D., University of Illinois, 1988) is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Women’s & Gender Studies Program. She is a Marxist feminist economist whose research interests are globalization, feminist political economy, and economic anthropology. Her work is interdisciplinary and ranges from examinations of the roles of gender, race and class in social valuations of labor, especially affective labor, to accounts of the financial crises that characterize late global capitalism.


ANTH 208                 Globalization and Development

ANTH/WGST 381    Gender and Globalization

ANTH/WGST 706    Engendering Global Capitalism

ANTH/WGST 772    Gender and Culture

WGST 701                 Feminist Theory


Dr. Barker’s work follows three interdisciplinary trajectories. It interrogates the nature of labor, especially those types of affective labor named as caring labor. She argues that the ways that feminist scholars have theorized caring labor reinscribes rather than resists the notion that it is “women’s work.” One consequence of this approach is that it naturalizes hierarchies of race, class, gender, and nation. Her monograph, Liberating Economics: A Feminist Perspective on Families, Work and Globalization, written with Susan F. Feiner, uses the lens of feminist theory and political economy to reveal what is often left out of mainstream accounts of the feminization of labor and poverty, the highly unequal distribution of income and wealth, and the consequences of global capitalism. Most recently she has turned her attention to an examination of the role played by gender in the ongoing financial crises of the 20th and early 21st centuries through the lens of economic anthropology. What ties her research together is her commitment to demystifying “economics “ by revealing what underlies the veil of mathematics and abstraction.

Representative Publications 


Feminist Economics: Critical Concepts. 4 vols. Drucilla K. Barker and Edith Kuiper, eds. London & New York: Routledge, 2009.  

Feminist Economics and the World Bank: History, Theory and Policy, Edith Kuiper and Drucilla K. Barker, eds.  London & New York: Routledge, 2006. 

Liberating Economics: Feminist Perspectives on Families, Work, and Globalization, Drucilla K. Barker and Susan F. Feiner, Ann Arbor:  University of Michigan Press, 2004. 

Toward a Feminist Philosophy of Economics, Drucilla K. Barker and Edith Kuiper, eds. New York & London: Routledge, 2003. 

Selected Articles and Chapters:

“The Real Wolves of Wall Street: Examining Debt, Austerity, and Accountability Through the Lens of Primitive Accumulation.”  International Critical Thought, November 2018, Vol 8, No. 14, pp. 535 – 552. Part of a symposium on the 10th Anniversary of the International Financial Crisis.

“Economics, Economic Anthropology and Debt,” invited contribution to Debt to Society Review Symposium, Journal of Cultural Economy. 2016, vol. 9, no. 6, 2016, pp. 611-617. 

“Unstable Feminisms: A New Marxian Class Analysis of Domestic Labor,” Rethinking Marxism, July 2015, Vol. 27, No. 3, pp. 431-439.

“Gender, Class and Location in the Global Economy” with Edith Kuiper, in the Handbook of Feminist Theory, Ania Plomien, Clare Hemmings, Marsha Henry, Mary Evans, Sadie Wearing and Sumi Madhok, eds.  Sage. 2014.

“Querying the Paradox of Caring Labor,” Rethinking Marxism, Vol. 24, No. 4: October 2012, 574-591.

Recent Accomplishments 

Plenary panelist at the Feminism and Economics Conference at SUNY New Paltz, April 2015. 

Keynote speaker at the Crisis Economics Workshop, Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Minnesota, November, 2013. 

Elected to the Rethinking Marxism (RM) Editorial Board, a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal produced by the Association for Economic and Social Analysis, 2013. 

Co-PI on a Provost’s Grant to bring Dr. Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, a visiting scholar from Iran, to the USC Columbia campus for two weeks during the Fall of 2013. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.