Assistant Professor


  • Find Me On:

  • Website:
  • Office Hours:

    Tues/Thurs 10:30-12
  • Role:

  • Position:

    • Assistant Professor
  • Concentration:

    • Cultural Anthropology
  • Department:

    • Anthropology and Geography
  • Education:

    • Postdoc, University of Virginia (2021-2023)
    • Ph.D., University of Arizona (2020)
    • M.A., University of Arizona (2014)
    • B.A., College of William and Mary (2010)


I am a sociocultural and applied anthropologist, focusing on the effects of climate change on human societies and engaging issues of environmental and climate justice in a diversity of settings.

I research social, cultural, and economic liabilities, including for practices of ownership, tenancy, and loss of land and houses, as well as effects for kinship, role succession, and social stratification generally.

Currently, I am focused on writing up the results of my long-term fieldwork on Tangier Island, Virginia, in the Chesapeake Bay. I have also conducted anthropological research in Norfolk, Virginia (2021-2023) and in Williamsburg, Virginia (2008-2010). I have multiple field sites and have contributed to various projects in rural northern Haiti and coastal French Guiana since 2009.

I am a Program Co-Chair in the Anthropology & Environment Section of the American Anthropological Association (AAA).

Research Interests: social differentiation and distinction (race, ethnicity, kinship, labor, etc.), property and land assessment, climate change, political ecology, political economy, environmental and climate justice, historical ethnography, and the role of historicity in social movements.

Research Methods: ethnographic methods (interviewing, participant-observation, residential fieldwork), qual/quant mixed methods, focus groups and community engagement workshops, discourse analysis, conversation analysis, semiotics, statistical measures, large digital datasets, and historical ethnography (archival, oral-historical, and comparative).

Languages: English, French, Haitian Creole


In Prep

Book manuscript: "That Sinkin' Feeling": Climate Change on an American Island.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

- - Articles in submission / review / revisions.

2018. Yarrington, J. "Sucre Indigène and Sucre Colonial: Reconsidering the Splitting of the French National Sugar Market, 1800-1860." Economic Anthropology 5(1):20-31.

2018. Yarrington, J. "Producing the Periphery." In Locating Guyane eds. C. MacLeod and S. Wood. Liverpool University Press, 91-104.

2014. Yarrington, J. "Messages from my Father-in-Law: Indexing Membership and Proximity in Long-Distance Voicemails." Language and Communication 38:24-33.

Book Reviews

2024. Review of Engineering Vulnerability: In Pursuit of Climate Adaptation, S. Vaughn. Transforming Anthropology 32(1).

2013. Review of Tectonic Shifts: Haiti Since the Earthquake, M. Schuller and P. Morales, eds., New West Indian Guide (NWIG) 88(1/2).

2012. Review of Haiti Rising: Haitian History, Culture and the Earthquake of 2010, M. Munro, ed. New West Indian Guide (NWIG) 86(3/4).


2024. Yarrington, J. "Gentrification as Coastal Planning in the Mermaid City." Theorizing the Contemporary, Fieldsights, January 25.

2023. Yarrington, J. "Land Trusts May be Solution to Climate-Driven Housing Squeeze." The Virginian-Pilot Guest Opinion (Op Ed), 18 February.


2023. Yarrington, J. "Environmental Justice Project Manual for Practitioners: From Idea to Intervention." Manual for the Environmental Justice Policy Clinic, Repair Lab, Karsh Institute of Democracy, University of Virginia.

2023. Yarrington, J. "Life Lessons: Teaching Water Safety to Address Environmental Injustice and Health Inequity in Norfolk, Virginia." Report for the Environmental Justice Policy Clinic, Repair Lab, Karsh Institute of Democracy, University of Virginia.