BiographyI am a socio-cultural anthropologist who has worked in the Andean region of Latin America for over forty years. My research has focused on agrarian issues, gender relationships, and the dynamics of the informal economy in the Andes. I also completed a comparative research project on transnational and transracial adoption and changing faces of American families in the U.S. (Broken Links, Enduring Ties: American Adoption across Race, Class, and Nation [Stanford, 2013]). Dr. Kathleen Fine-Dare and I, most recently, edited a 42-chapter volume, The Andean World (Routledge, 2018), which offers a comprehensive overview of Andean lifeways. My other books include, Peruvian Street Lives: Culture, Power, and Economy among Market Women of Cuzco (Univ. of Illinois Press, 2004), which was cited as an Anthony Leeds Honor Book, an edited volume, Women Traders in Cross-Cultural Perspective: Mediating Identities, Marketing Wares (Stanford, 2000), and Between Reform and Revolution: Political Struggles in the Peruvian Andes (Stanford, 1995), as well as numerous articles and book chapters.
My current book manuscript, Quinoa: The Intertwined Worlds of Soup and Super-food in the Peruvian Andes, is forthcoming. The research, funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, probes how quinoa, a substance that has been of significance to the livelihoods and well-being of Quechua inhabitants in the Andes for centuries, has experienced transformations in its place, value, and meanings in light of the demand for it internationally as a super-food. The book takes special account of gender ideologies, labor, household social reproduction, and differing aesthetics with respect to food and cuisine as these dynamics unfold.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
agrarian issues, quinoa, agrarian reform, informal economies, gender relations, anthropological theory and methods, Latin America, Andean region, transnational and transracial adoption, U.S.