Anthropology & Sociology

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Dr. Sandra Patton-Imani

Professor of American Studies
Department Chair
Office Location: 105B Howard Hall
Cultures of Engagement Website

Sandra Patton-Imani is an Associate Professor of American studies at Drake University, where she teaches anthropology, sociology, and women’s studies. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from University of Maryland at College Park in American Studies with a graduate certificate in women’s studies. She is a former postdoctoral fellow at the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota Law School. She earned a B.A. in radio/tv/film and American studies at California State University, Fullerton.

She is the author of BirthMarks: Transracial Adoption in Contemporary America, New York University Press 2000, as well as numerous scholarly articles on adoption, race, gender, and family, including her most recent “Orphan Sunday: Narratives of Salvation in Transnational Adoption.” She is currently writing her next book, Sophie Has Five Mothers: Lesbian-Headed Families and the Rights of Citizenship, based on in-depth interviews conducted with a racially and ethnically diverse group of over 100 lesbian mothers living in a range of states with contrasting laws regarding marriage, adoption, and other family policies. She and her wife Melanie are editing a documentary based on this research Red Light, Green Light: Family Values, Family Pride.

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