- 1997 Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Rice University (Houston, TX)
- 1989 B.A. in History and English from Cornell College (Mount Vernon, IA)
- Sustainability Educator Advisory Board, Institute on the Environment
- Co-editor Emeritus of Anthropology and Humanism, a publication of the American Anthropology Association (served as Editor-in-Chief from 2015-2020)
- Co-founder, The Participatory Media Lab at UMD.
- Graduate Faculty, Masters of Environmental Education Program
- Board Member (Starting Nov. 2021), Society for Humanistic Anthropology
- Board Member (Starting Nov. 2021), Society for Visual Anthropology
- 2021-2022, Convener (with Dr. Jennifer Liang, Dr. Katy Chapman, and Dr. Peter Levin), “Transdisciplinary Engagements with Contemporary Indigenous Thinkers,” Faculty Collaborative, Institute for Advanced Study
Courses I Teach
- Cultural Anthropology
- Digital and Participatory Research Methods
- Anthropology and Environment
- Latin American Cultures
- Cultural Theory for Wicked Problems
- Anthropology Senior Seminar
- Exploring Sustainability in Ecuador (short-term study abroad course)
- Graduate courses: Theories, Methods and Applications of Graduate Study; Community Engagement
Research and Teaching Interests
My research and teaching agenda focuses on humanistic approaches to resilient food systems, human-environment relationships, globalization and craftwork, sustainability as a theoretical framework and practical approach to addressing contemporary issues of social inequality, and participatory media creation with community groups. This agenda emerges from my early work on human perceptions of the landscape, and from the work I did for some years in the environmental nonprofit sector. I pursue this interest in a number of directions, including research within the United States and in Ecuador. I have conducted major community scholarship research projects revolving around sustainable regional food systems in the Western Great Lakes. I regularly conduct fieldwork in Saraguro, Ecuador, and am completing a series of participatory media pieces (films and digital stories) with the indigenous community I work with there. In addition, I have worked with multiple nonprofits in the Great Lakes region to teach participatory media making, specifically digital storytelling, to community groups.
The Participatory Media [email protected]
I co-founded (with Dr. Mitra Emad) the Participatory Media [email protected] The Participatory Media Lab (PML) serves as a collaborative space for faculty and students exploring the techniques of critically informed, digitally enhanced social research. Faculty empower students to bring critical thinking and technology skills to the larger community by creating integrated experiences on such topics as regional food systems, ethnic identity in urban environments, water resource issues, interpreting the final statements of death row inmates and more. Find examples of student-created media on the PML’s YouTube channel.
If you are an individual or organizational leader who would like to talk about how the PML might support your community work, please contact me.
- 2015 With the Saraguros: The Blended Life in a Transnational World. University of Texas Press.
- 2001 Places in the World a Person Could Walk: Family, Stories, Home and Place in the Texas Hill Country. University of Texas Press.
Articles, Book Chapters, Reviews & Reports
- 2021: “Humanistic Anthropology: Diverse Weavings about the Many Ways to Be Human.” Chapter in The SAGE Handbook of Cultural Anthropology, edited by Lene Pedersen and Lisa Cliggett
- 2020: “Genres, Experiments, and Blog Posts Re‐Curated: Three Edited Volumes on Anthropological Writing.” Review Essay, Anthropology and Humanism 45(2):379-405.
- 2020: “Golden Animals: A Lyric Essay on Animacy and Resilience.” Anthropologica 62(1).
- 2014: “Service-Learning, Sustainability and the Need for Cosmopolitan Experiences in Undergraduate Education: A View from Anthropology.” eJournal of Public Affairs Vol. 3(3).
- 2012: “Exploring the Potential for a More Local Food System in the Western Lake Superior Region.” CURA Reporter 42(3):10-16.
- 2010: “Defining the Agricultural Landscape of the Western Lake Superior Region: Realities and potentials for a healthy local food system for healthy people.” Report prepared for The Healthy Food, Healthy Lives Institute, Dept. of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
- 2009: “La Vida Matizada: Time Sense, Everyday Rhythms and an Emergent Critique of Globalized Ideas of Work.” Anthropology and Humanism 34(2):119-142. Lead article and cover photo for issue.
- 2008: Success Stories: Great Lakes Restoration. Prepared for the Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Network and Fund.
- 2007: “Sweet Water and Exotic Fish: Ethnographic Reflections of Environmental Imaginations in Ecuador and the Great Lakes.” Anthropology and Humanism 32(1):62-80. Cover photo for issue.
- 2011-ongoing: Participatory Media Production with the Saraguros of Ecuador. Alternative method of reporting on on-going ethnographic fieldwork using enriched media (photos/videos/sound) to communicate about my research to the public. Video of traditional dances of the Saraguros. This and other examples may be found on my Youtube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/professornmarion/videos.