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Department of Social Anthropology

 

Biography

I completed a BA in Anthropology at Columbia University in 2014 and an MPhil in Social Anthropology and Museums at the University of Cambridge in 2016.  My Master’s research examined relationships between ethnographic museums and Indigenous source communities, focusing specifically on critiques of digital and non-material repatriation and disparities in interpretational authority. 

My PhD fieldwork, completed on the North Slope of Alaska, examined the social and political integration of non-Native settlers into the geographically-isolated, predominantly Iñupiaq community of Utqiaġvik.  A central focus of my dissertation, tentatively titled "'Like the Ice Floes:' Iñupiaq Sovereignty and Settler Migration on Alaska's North Slope," is the role that formal and informal cultural education play both in perpetuating a sense of collective Iñupiaq identity in an ethnically-diverse village and in undergirding local Indigenous political sovereignty.  I contextualize this community-level ethnographic work by situating my research findings concerning the lived experience of Utqiaġvik community members amidst the interests of the multinational energy corporations, domestic and international political actors, and local Indigenous organizations competing to determine the future of economic and social development in the Arctic.

Research Title: 'Like Ice Floes': Iñupiaq Sovereignty and Settler Migration on Alaska's North Slope
Supervisor: Dr Anita Herle

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