Post-Ph.D. Research Grant
'Entangled Lives: Human Encounters with Rhesus Macaques on Florida's Silver River'
Preliminary abstract: In an era of global conservation and development, unpacking notions of belonging is paramount: lives are at stake. Globally deployed colonial ontologies that separate human from nature and native from alien inform local policies. Yet, how these ontological politics manifest in individual tourist behaviors is less clear. As tourism becomes more prevalent at a global level and human-environmental contexts become more complex, anthropologists are needed to query multispecies encounters. Researching the entangled lives of human tourists and Rhesus Macaques on Florida's Silver River offers a compelling case for anthropologists to further the discipline both theoretically and methodologically. Theoretically, this project attends to issues that are at the forefront of current anthropology, namely debates on notions of nature-culture, technology, place and multispecies entanglements. As a methodological intervention, it builds on postconial, feminist visual anthropology to capture, analyze and portray certain assemblages of conceptions, perceptions and interactions that occur in human-macaque entanglements. To explore human encounters with the only wild monkeys in the United States, this project integrates intersubdisciplinary collaborations of a multispecies ethnographer, an ethnoprimatologist and a visual and ecological anthropologist to be the first examination of a human-macaque interface in the U.S.
Research for University Degrees
My research has emphasized improving methodological and theoretical inquiry. For the bachelor's, I investigated music as a pedagogical tool to learn foreign languages in Ecuador. For the master's, I used photographs taken by residents to help assess the impact of ecotourism as a path for socially just, environmentally sustainable, and locally crafted development in the Dominican Republic. For the doctorate, I employed visual techniques
Future research Projects
I am developing three research projects. One is on water in Florida, one is on envisioning development and the future in Cuba, and one is on documenting the people and beliefs involved with Ecadorian textile and tagua fair trade markets. In Florida, I propose to make a documentary for residents and homeowners to better grasp the connections between their individual practices and the Floridan aquifer. The need has been voiced by residents, agencies and government workers alike.