Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Faculty Fellow
616 Flanner Hall
574.631.6993

The research investigates how the Wauja people of Brazil’s Xingu Indigenous Park use language to describe their relationships to places in their territory, to perform ritual connections to ancestral, spirit, and animal beings who share their spaces, as well as to make political claims in defense of their territory to state and nonstate actors who threaten its integrity. I theorize indigenous epistemologies of place in terms of connections between discourses, or “interdiscursivity,” to explore how indigenous cosmology is tied to the politics of shaping indigenous futures in civil society. Methodological focus is on audiovisual digital recording and analysis of narratives, fieldwork-based ethnography, and collaborative digital mapping. Specific outcomes include GIS maps based in a digital database of indigenous knowledge of the Brazilian Upper Xinguan landscape. 

Selected Publications

Kellogg Institute Grants

Current Research:

The political economy of language in Amazonian ritual performance and development; narrative, place, and territorialization in Brazil’s Xingu Indigenous Park; dialect, religious historicity, and local revitalization in rural Japan.

Research Areas:
Linguistic and sociocultural anthropology, discourse and interaction, cultural symbolism, and the politics of communication