Professor of Anthropology and Folkore, University of Oregon

My research and teaching cover cultural anthropology, folklore, public and popular culture. My research area is the Caribbean and Caribbean diaspora, with primary research interests in the politics of heritage and cultural identity, popular and public culture, tourism and transnationalism. I began my research career in the Caribbean in 1993 in Trinidad and Tobago where I researched the Trinidad Carnival and its relationship to cultural identity, migration and tourism. While in Trinidad I also explored the politics of religious identity within the Orisha community of practitioners. I have a longstanding interest in the folklore and expressive cultural practices of the Caribbean as well.

Most recently I have been working in Barbados on the politics of heritage and historic preservation. I am interested in the ways in which people interact with and think about their own historical sites. I was fortunate to have been able to do research on the World Heritage site in Barbados before, during and after its official designation by UNESCO. I am currently writing a book on this process and its implications.

I have written or edited three books: Carnival and the Formation of a Caribbean Transnation, published by the University of Florida Press in 2003; Trinidad Carnival: The Cultural Politics of a Transnational Festival (Indiana University Press 2007 with Dr. Garth Green) and; Perspectives on the Caribbean: A Reader in Representation, Culture and History (Blackwell Publishers, 2010). Other recent publications include “Copyright Heritage: Preservation, Carnival and the State in Trinidad (Anthropological Quarterly, Summer 2002), “The Devil and The Bedwetter” in Western Folklore (2007), and “Heritage Tourism in The Caribbean” in the Bulletin of Latin American Research (2010). My latest work will be called An Economy of Souls: The Politics of Heritage and the Performance of Culture in a Neoliberal World.

Experience

  • –present
    Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Oregon