Professor and Chair
Office Location: Medbury 202
Professor Cramer earned her Ph.D. in Politics from New York University in 2001. Her dissertation, an examination of federal acknowledgement for American Indian tribes, was named 2001 Best Dissertation in Race and Ethnicity by the American Political Science Association's section on Race and Ethnicity; it was published in 2005 by University of Oklahoma Press, under the title Cash, Color, and Colonialism: The Politics of Tribal Acknowledgment, and re-released in paperback in 2008. Her articles on tribal acknowledgment have appeared in Law and Social Inquiry, and Law and Policy; her most recent publication on American Indian issues was recently published in Law, Culture, and Visual Studies (edited by Anne Wagner and Richard Sherwin).
Her book, Pregnant with the Star: Watching and Wanting the Celebrity Baby Bump was published by the Stanford Community Press in 2015.
Since 2004, she has been engaged in ethnographic and participant-observation field work with homebirth midwives, advocates for midwifery, and families who practice non-normative parenting (including homebirth). An article on her fieldwork methodology was published in 2009 by International Journal of Qualitative Research, and she is at work on a book related to midwifery regulatioin and activism. Her article on our obsession with the celebrity baby bump was published in Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style. She is frequently quoted in the national press on the topic of celebrity pregnancy, and her book on that issue is almost complete.
Professor Cramer teaches a wide range of LPS courses - including the introductory course (LPS 001) and the senior seminar (LPS 190). Her special topics courses include Law and Social Change, Reproductive Law and Politics; Critical Race and Feminist Legal Theory; and Contemporary American Indian Law and Politics. She is a founding member of the Working Group to Infuse Global and Multicultural Understandings at Drake University, and an open and affirming ally for all students.
When not teaching, she enjoys hanging out with her family: her husband and son, and their two dogs. She enjoys running and biking, garden, read, and cook, and going to see live music. And, she puts her life-long practice of yoga into use in courses that integrate embodied mindfulness and contemplative practice into the study of critical race and feminist positionality.