As a cultural anthropologist, I explore questions of ecology, international migration, economic development, and social justice.
How does globalization affect rural people? How do rural people shape globalization? My research answers these questions by examining the effects of rain forest conservation, international migration, and economic development policies on small-scale farmers. For the past twenty-five years, I have focused on the region of Calakmul in southern Mexico. I have also collaborated with colleagues on research in North Carolina, Mississippi, and elsewhere. Due out from Oxford University Press in 2020, my book Marriage after Migration: An Ethnography of Money, Romance and Gender in Globalizing Mexico shares the stories of five women who help build globalization without ever stepping foot outside Mexico.
At North Carolina State University, I teach in the Anthropology and International Studies programs and am affiliated faculty with the Genetic Engineering and Society Center, the Southeast Climate Science Center, and the Global Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WaSH) Cluster. Click on the Sandbox link above to see popular writing, celebrations of student success, and thoughts on a range of topics.
Banner photo credit: Luis Melodelgado
My research focuses on the livelihoods of smallholding farmers in Mexico and increasingly emphasizes the gendered quality of global engagements.
Research & Data
My research falls within a few areas: , political ecology, agrarian studies, international development, labor migration, and globalization.
Teaching & Mentoring
I use ideas of cultural difference to expand students' imaginations and sharpen critical thinking. My classes emphasize reading and writing.