6047 Silsby Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
lourdes.gutierrez.najera at dartmouth.edu
I am a cultural anthropologist whose broad interests include transnational migration, indigeneity, conflict, development, and social movements. I received my bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles before pursuing graduate work at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where I earned a joint Ph.D. in Social Work and Anthropology. I also hold a professional degree in Social Work (M.S.W), with a concentration in Health Policy and Evaluation also from the University of Michigan.
As an assistant professor I have developed courses that combine my anthropological interests on transnationalism and Latino/indigenous experiences specifically. These include courses on Latino ethnographic representation, transnational migration (ANTH 33), globalization (ANTH 44), and borders/borderlands (ANTH 34). I also teach more generalized anthropology courses including Cutlural Anthropology (ANTH 3) and Anthropological Methods (ANTH 18).
I am currently revising my book manuscript entitled Tripping Over Stones: Zapotec Struggles to Define Community, which expands on my dissertation research. The manuscript explores the relationship between migration, conflict, and belonging. It highlights the complicated relations between indigenous people and transnational migration between the Zapotec indigenous town of Yalálag in Oaxaca, Mexico, and Los Angeles, California, and how this process alters the social and political bases of communal conflict by transforming a seemingly “local”conflict over a contested election into a “transnationalized” dispute. The book is based on more than twenty months of ethnographic research in both Mexico and the United States. I argue that transnational migration reconfigures the basis of intra-village political conflict by relocating it beyond systems of local power; that is, away from localized political bosses and towards competing visions of progress and development. I suggest that ultimately this particular political conflict, which factionalized the community, has provided a social space where contested notions of indigeneity, community, and belonging are negotiated. .
I am an active member of several professional associations including the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS) and the American Anthropological Association (AAA). I have presented my research at numerous national and international professional conferences and contributed essays to Beyond el Barrio: Everyday Life in Latina/o America, Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development, Latino State by State, and Health Education Quarterly. I am also currently co-editing a comparative volume on experiences of indigeneity and indigenism in the western hemisphere.
In the future I will continue to explore issues of indigeneity more extensively. In particular, I want to examine the ways that current ideas of race, citizenship, legality and indigeneity in the United States shape indigenous encounters with the legal system through an analysis of a rising number of court cases involving indigenous Mexican migrants in the United States’ legal system. In sum, this research will continue to expand upon the experiences of indigenous Latin(o) American migrants while building a comparative framework for understanding indigenous transnational experiences.
Last Updated: 2/28/11