Research

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My research centers on community-based and grassroots activism, and the legacies of gender- and race-based discrimination.  Ancillary topics include civic engagement strategies, ethical redevelopment and urban life, visual and art-based research methodologies, community health and wellbeing, and the impact of social practice art on movement-building.

As a cultural anthropologist, my passion is people.  How do we make sense of and change the conditions of our lives?  I investigate what shapes our decisions, the structures we live in and how we create connections across our differences.  Below are some of the many topics that I have researched as an academic, as an independent ethnographer and as research director at Ethnologica.


Social movements and social change

Transnational feminism; queer theory; gender and sexuality

Indigenous and grassroots social movements

Media and human rights advocacy

Cross-racial and cross-cultural activism

NGOs and civil society

Political imaginaries and nationalism

Access to public education

Photo of Berta Cáceres taken in Honduras while conducting research on Indigenous feminism.  Berta Cáceres was an environmental activist and Indigenous leader.

Photo of Berta Cáceres taken in Honduras while conducting research on Indigenous feminism. Berta Cáceres was an environmental activist and Indigenous leader.


Photo taken while conducting fieldwork in Belize about access to health care

Photo taken while conducting fieldwork in Belize about access to health care

Health and wellness

Health disparities; health system reform; access to health care

Gender-based and intimate partner violence

Traditional and indigenous healing systems

Environmental stewardship

Food access / food justice

Embodiment and bodies


Representation

Social practice / socially engaged art platforms

Oral history / storytelling

Visual politics of violence / suffering

Photography

Museum and exhibition practices

Archives and material culture

Photo taken during Mifflin Square Alliance Festival, part of Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge, a social  practice art project in South Philadelphia.  I provided urban ethnographic research and community organizing for the two-year collaboration.

Photo taken during Mifflin Square Alliance Festival, part of Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge, a social practice art project in South Philadelphia. I provided urban ethnographic research and community organizing for the two-year collaboration.


Photo taken during student photography exhibit at Hatfield House, which celebrated the culmination of a summer program for local youth.  I co-curated the exhibit and developed the curriculum based on oral history collection and asset mapping in the neighborhood.

Photo taken during student photography exhibit at Hatfield House, which celebrated the culmination of a summer program for local youth. I co-curated the exhibit and developed the curriculum based on oral history collection and asset mapping in the neighborhood.

Research Methods

Ethnographic fieldwork

Feminist and collaborative methods

Youth-centered research

Participatory action research (PAR)

Arts-based and visual methods

Cultural asset mapping

Photo voice and photo elicitation

Phenomenological/sensorial methods