Dissertation Research: In my dissertation I focus on the cultural dimensions of alcohol use in a recently sedentarized Native American community in northern Argentina. By viewing alcohol not as a singular cultural object, but rather as a complex substance that can be repurposed and marshaled by a variety of actors for disparate purposes depending upon context and agenda, I aim for an ethnography of alcohol that neither reifies the psycho-physiological effects of the substance, nor downplays the social hardships it sometimes occasions, but illuminates the meanings and narratives constructed through the experience of and ideas surrounding this controversial substance. Toward this end, I explore the ways in which alcohol use/non-use has, from pre-colonial times until the present, touched upon various spheres of community life including athletics, aging, economics, religion, politics, solidarity, violence, gender, and memory. What emerges is a complex narrative, in which alcohol presently occupies the intersections of rebellion/resignation, purpose/futility, distraction/contemplation, power/submission and destruction/renewal.
Primary Research Interests: substance use, alcohol(ism) and sobriety, indigenous studies, power and social inequality, political economy, land rights and property use, foragers
Other Research Interests: biocultural anthropology, medical anthropology, human ecology, Latin America, evolutionary morphology and human evolution, public anthropology, philosophy and history of science, anthropological theory, Africa, anthropological and bio-ethics, ethnoecology, ethnobotany
Fieldwork Experience: Argentina, Zambia
B.S., B.A. Saint Vincent College, 2006 Majors: Biology and Anthropology