Anth 101 Introduction to Anthropology
Anth 303 Cultural Anthropology
Anth 360 Political Ecology
Anth 365 Economic Anthropology
Anth 403 Empire & Revolution (cross-listed as Soc 403)
Anth 603 Empire & Revolution (cross-listed as Soc 603)
Anth 606 Seminar in Cultural & Linguistic Anthropology
Anth 621 Readings in Anthropology I
I’m a sociocultural anthropologist who focuses on environmental, economic, and political issues in Latin America. I received my BA in philosophy and anthropology at the University of Michigan in 2001 and my MA in anthropology at the University of Chicago in 2007. I completed my PhD at the University of Chicago in 2013 and joined the faculty at the University of Mississippi.
My scholarly interests include intellectual history, social and political theory, political ecology, globalization, capitalism, risk, aesthetics, the state, social movements, and contentious politics. I have ongoing research projects in Mexico and Argentina.
I’m currently researching the autodefensa [self-defense] movement in rural Mexico. Local militias and other self-defense groups have emerged to contest drug trafficking, the narco-state, and the corruption of the judicial system. The project investigates how rural communities have responded to kidnapping, extortion, and violence. I examine notions of popular sovereignty, the state of exception, policing, the rule of law, legitimate violence, and liberal democracy in Mexico.
The second research project focuses on the politics of the green economy in Argentina. Previous research has attended to conservation, ecotourism, and sustainable development in Patagonia. Ongoing research examines environmental philanthropy, tourism investment, and how political contestation between federal and provincial governments shapes conservation outcomes.
My forthcoming ethnography, The Patagonian Sublime, provides a vivid and accessible investigation of the green economy and New Left politics in Argentina. Based on extensive field research in Los Glaciares National Park and the mountain village of El Chaltén, I examine the diverse social worlds of alpine mountaineers, adventure trekkers, tourism entrepreneurs, seasonal laborers, park rangers, land managers, scientists, and others involved in the green economy. Situated beside the forbidding Southern Patagonian Icefield, El Chaltén is a dynamic hub of globalized ecotourism, national park conservation, and sustainable development—one of various destinations in the fabled Patagonia region that have become de rigueur for affluent travelers in the twenty-first century. The book explores the fraught intersection of the green economy with the New Left politics of the Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007) and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (2007-2015) governments. I document the strategies of capitalist development, national representation, and political rule embedded in the “green productivist” agenda pursued by Kirchner and Fernández. I show how Andean Patagonian communities have responded to the challenges of community-based conservation, the fashioning of wilderness zones, and the drive to create place-based monopolies—symbolic and territorial—that allow ecotourism destinations to compete in the global consumer economy. Attending to the many contradictions implicit to the Kirchnerist agenda, I demonstrate how the green economy and post-neoliberal politics converge around efforts by state and capitalist elites to control what I term the “semiotic estate.” The Patagonian Sublime develops a unique theoretical approach to understanding the intersection of subjectivity, risk, capitalism, and resource politics at a time of weakening faith in global neoliberalism.
I’m happy to advise graduate and undergraduate students on projects related to Latin America, or that focus on topics such as globalization, capitalism, environmentalism, contentious politics, social movements, consumption, aesthetics, or extreme sports.
The following is a list of selected publications. A full list of publications is listed on my cv.
Books & Monographs
In press. The Patagonian Sublime: The Green Economy and Post-Neoliberal Politics. New Brunswick and London: Rutgers University Press.
Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
2017. Marcos Mendoza, Robert Fletcher, George Holmes, Laura Ogden, and Colombina Schaeffer. “The Patagonian Imaginary: Natural Resources and Global Capitalism at the Far End of the World.” Journal of Latin American Geography 16 (2): 93-116. doi:10.1353/lag.2017.0023
2017. “Post-Neoliberal Labor In Patagonia: Informality and Citizenship in the Green Economy.” Dialectical Anthropology 41 (1): 55-76. doi:10.1007/s10624-017-9446-9
2016. “Educational Policing: Park Rangers and the Politics of the Green (E)state in Patagonia.” Journal of Latin American & Caribbean Anthropology 21 (1): 173-192. doi:10.1111/jlca.12195