Lowland South American anthropology; Gran Chaco; ethnohistory; shamanism; disability; vulnerability; care work; radical feminism
As an anthropologist, I am interested in the ways that human beings deal with vulnerability in different kinds of societies, and have carried out fieldwork in different contexts about this question.
As a feminist, I am interested in organizing politically to protect the sex-based rights of women and girls. I coordinated the fall 2020 launch of the Canadian chapter of the Women's Human Rights Campaign, about which you can learn more here, and am a member of its Alberta chapter. I gave a talk for the WHRC international webinar in November 2020, which you can watch here. In March 2021, I was a WHRC panelist at the United Nations Convention on the Status of Women NGO virtual forum; you can watch the entire panel, including my portion, here.
I published a book in 2020 about my more than 20 years of research with Guaraní-speaking communities in Bolivia and Paraguay.
In recent years, I have been carrying out research with disability support workers in Edmonton, Alberta. After my feminist critique of gender ideology became the subject of national media attention, Susan Babcock, the Director of the Research Ethics Office here at the University of Alberta, contacted me about my ethics approvals and after a four month investigation directed me to destroy 26 interviews I had carried out over the previous year for which I had not obtained human subjects research approval from the University. I objected very strongly to having been obligated to do this and I still do.
I am now at work on a new book manuscript: The Anthropology of Women. This polemical book argues that feminist anthropology lost its way after the 1970s. It begins with a critical assessment of current anthropological approaches to the place of women in the human story. It then returns to several dropped strands of archaeological, ethnohistorical, ethnographic and theoretical inquiry that once posed profound challenges to androcentric anthropology. It documents the way these radical feminist approaches came in for sustained denunciation by postmodern feminists across the 1980s and 1990s, such that by the twenty-first century the possibility that womanhood is a useful unit of analysis is dismissed in most anthropological scholarship outside of the reactionary remit of evolutionary psychology. The book closes by contending that recent anthropological findings show that threads dropped since the 1980s merit picking up, and that much of the feminist anthropological scholarship done in the interregnum has comprised a sustained anti-feminist backlash lasting nearly a half century.
Anthropology 101 Introduction to Anthropology
Anthropology 207 Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology
Anthropology 235 Anthropology of Disability
Anthropology 286 Indigenous South America
Anthropology 324 Economic Anthropology
Anthropology 332 Anthropology of Science
Anthropology 350 Kinship and Social Organization
Anthropology 420 / 520 Anthropology and the Twentieth Century
Anthropology 487 / 587 Anthropology of Women
I welcome inquiries about research supervision from potential graduate (particularly at the MA level) and undergraduate students in the fields of lowland South American anthropology, South American ethnohistory, comparative ethnohistory of South and North America, economic anthropology, disability studies, radical feminism, and the relationship of historical and contemporary evolutionary theory to anthropology.
Introduction to past and present anthropological approaches through the study of human diversity.Fall Term 2021
Introduction to the literature and controversies within the field, emphasizing systems of exchange. Offered in alternate years.Fall Term 2021
Anthropological approaches to kinship systems and other concepts of social organization, emphasizing non-western societies. Offered in alternate years.Winter Term 2022
Consult the Department for the specific topics offered and any recommended courses to be completed prior to registering.Winter Term 2022
Consult the Department and/or the University timetable for the specific topics offered.Winter Term 2022