David Kertzer

Professor of Anthropology and Italian Studies
Paul Dupee, Jr. University Professor of Social Science


David Kertzer joined Brown in 1992 as Paul Dupee, Jr., University Professor of Social Science. A Professor of Anthropology and Italian Studies, he was appointed Provost in 2006, serving in that role until 2011. Kertzer founded and directed the Anthropological Demography program. He was also founding Director of the Politics, Culture, and Identity research program of the Watson Institute for International Studies. Kertzer's research ranges widely, including: Italian politics and history, anthropological demography, social organization, politics and symbols, political economy and family systems, age structuring, European historical demography and the history of Catholic Church-Jewish relations.

Kertzer was the principal investigator of the research project "Explaining Very Low Fertility," funded by grants totalling over $1 million from NIH and NSF for the period 2004-2008. In collaboration with Michael White, Marzio Barbagli (University of Bologna, Italy) and former PSTC postdoc Laura Bernardi (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany), Kertzer is crafting a new methodological synthesis of anthropological and statistical survey methods in seeking better understanding of the forces that produce very low fertility.


Anthropological demography, Contemporary Italian society and politics, European historical demography, Political economy and family systems, Politics and culture, Religion