• tate lefevre 2
Assistant Professor of Anthropology


I received my Ph.D. in Anthropology from NYU, where I also earned a graduate certificate from the Program in Culture and Media. I have been conducting ethnographic fieldwork in Kanaky / New Caledonia (a French settler colony in the South Pacific) since 2003.

My current research reflects recent anthropological concerns with the theorization of hope as well as a growing disciplinary interest in the ethnography of “emergent” or “possible” futures. By exploring recent “unexpected outbursts” of violence and social unrest among indigenous Kanak youth, I ask why certain—but not all—moments of “rupture” are able to incite radical transformations, splitting time into “before” and “after” to reframe the future and generate new forms of social and political subjectivity.


To learn more about me or my work, please visit: http://www.tatelefevre.com


Research Interests:

 New Caledonia, Melanesia and the broader Pacific, Indigenous peoples,  settler colonialism, French post-colonialism, republican secularism, youth and cultural change, cultural production, hope and emergent political imaginaries, visual anthropology, media



B.A., Dartmouth College, 2004; M.A., New York University 2008; Ph.D., New York University 2013



2015.  « Nous ne sommes pas des délinquants! L’autorité coutumière et la marginalization de la jeunesse urbain kanak » in Ethnies «Emancipations kanak», n° 37-38, Paris, Survival International, pp. 254-267.

2015. “Settler Colonialism.” in Oxford Bibliographies in Anthropology, edited by John Jackson. New York: Oxford University Press. 

2013. Turning Niches Into Handles: Kanak Youth, Associations and the Construction of an Indigenous Counter-public Sphere. Settler Colonial Studies 3(2):214-219. 

2013. Difference, Representation, Resistance (Introduction). Settler Colonial Studies 3(2):136-140.

Edited Collections

2015. “Reclaiming Hope in Oceania,” Cultural Anthropology online curated collection (co- edited with Eben Kirksey).

2013. Difference, Representation, Resistance: Indigenous culture as political resource in the settler-state. Special Issue, Settler Colonial Studies 3(2).


Book Chapters

2016. « La tribu dans la ville : L’espace urbain, l’autorité coutumière et la marginalisation de la jeunesse kanak » in La coutume en question: Politiques de l’identité en Nouvelle-Calédonie, edited by Benoît Trépied et Christine Demmer. Paris: L’Harmattan, Pp. 235-252.

2013. Fibre Skirts and Dance Battles. In Melanesia: Art and Encounter. Nicholas Thomas and Lissant Bolton, eds. London: British Museum Press. pp. 326-329.

2007. Tourism and Indigenous Curation of Culture in Lifou, New Caledonia. In The Future of Indigenous Museums: Perspectives from the Southwest Pacific. Nick Stanley, ed. Pp. 78-93. New York: Berghahn Books.



Invited Talks:

2014a “Representations and Repossession: Indigenous Youth in a Settler Colonial City." Lafayette College Department of Anthropology and Sociology. April 29.

2014b “Tactical Subjects: Indigenous Youth, Feminism and the Settler State in New Caledonia.” Locations of Learning: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices, Barnard Scholar and Feminist Conference. Barnard College. February 22. Watch Below.


Tactical Subjects: Indigenous Youth, Feminism and the Settler State in New Caledonia

Grants & Awards

(selected awards)

2014 Dean’s Outstanding Dissertation Award in the Social Sciences, New York University

2012 AAUW Dissertation Fellowship (alternate)

2009 National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant




  • CNX260 "The Kids Aren't Alright" - Youth & Moral Panic
  • ANT100 Introduction to Social Anthropology
  • ANT271 Anthropology of Media
  • ANT370 Anthropology of Personhood
  • ANT410 Ethnographic Methods
  • ANT277/IST277 Indigenous and Fourth World Peoples
  • ANT 270 Peoples and Cultures of Oceania
  • ANT371 Global Youth and Media