Sociocultural Anthropology Profiles

Alexia Arani

Alexia is working towards a PhD in Anthropology with a specialization in Critical Gender Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Her doctoral research examines everyday practices of care among queer, trans, and feminist activists in Southern California. She is interested in potentiality, affective politics, ethics, and queer and feminist epistemologies.

Maya Azarova
Maya Azarova

Maya is interested in innovation and diverse multidisciplinary teams solving complex sociotechnical problems.

Madelyn Boots
Maddie Boots

Maddie is interested in the political socialization and efficacy of the post-dictatorship generation in Chile. How do young adults understand and navigate their positions within larger political and economic systems, and how do they participate in the collective task of creating meaning of the past and future? She hopes to explore the intersections of state institutions and discourses, neoliberal market structures and rationalities, affective family spaces, and contentious memory debates.

Dylan Hallingstad O'Brien

Dylan Hallingstad O’Brien

Dylan Hallingstad O’Brien is a sociocultural anthropologist working in Japan with macrobiotic communities in the Tohoku region. His current project examines macrobiotics’ role in quotidian life as a orienting philosophy and set of interventions aimed at dominant biomedical modes of governance and the representation of Japaneseness. Broadly, his interests include semiotics, embodiment and the senses, and the place of alterity in anthropological theory and popular philosophies.

At UCSD, Dylan is director of the Anthropology Mentor-Protégé Program, which helps to support undergraduates in pursuing research and other goals in the discipline.

E. Frances King
E. Frances King

Frances is currently in the process of setting up a new project in the context of the Anglican Communion (including the Episcopal church) that engages with the ideas of modernity, text, missions in the 21st century and how ideas travel around the world. Previously she worked on a project concerned with the historical role of women missionaries in colonial Africa through the examination of women’s writing as expressions of morality and modernity as well as looking at social media among women in conservative fundamentalist groups in the USA. Her other research interests include US based conservative Christian groups, mainline Christianity, nationalism, social media, other media, politics, gender, extremism, non-western modernities, and whatever she just heard on a podcast.

Sofia Lana
Sofia Lana

Sofia is a second-year sociocultural anthropology student interested in melting glaciers in the Cordillera Real of the Bolivian highlands. In particular, she is exploring the extractive opportunities that proliferate as glaciers recede and how various actors, such as miners, local Aymara communities, scientists, the state and transnational capital, negotiate their rights to a transforming landscape. Current topics of interest include climate change, Latin America, temporality, political anthropology and science studies. In the past, she focused on sexual violence during the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile and the incarceration of women on minor drug offenses in Quito, Ecuador.

David Lindstrom

Gloriana Lopez Montealegre

Damini Pant

Taciana Pontes

Belinda Ramirez
Belinda Ramirez

Belinda is a graduate student of sociocultural anthropology and works in San Diego County investigating the concepts of urban agriculture, sustainability, food (in)security, social movements, and political economy. This work builds off of her previous research. She has experience with ethnographic fieldwork in northern Thailand, where she analyzed the intersection between ethnicity, nationalism, religion, and recognition among a Hmong messianic religious group. She has also conducted linguistic and cultural fieldwork in the Ecuadorian Amazon, where she analyzed the spatial deixis of two dialects of lowland Kichwa as well as the political mobilization around indigenous (Kichwa) cosmology and human-nature relations. Her Master’s Thesis, “An Anthropological Perspective: The Cultural, the Political, and the Ontological in Kichwa Studies,” delved into popular and productive ways of studying Kichwa political cosmology.

Christopher-Michael Rojas Moreno

Nancy Turtletaub

Jennifer Thunstrom

Marianinna Villavicencio

Marianinna is a graduate student who works on reproductive health, indigeneity, and human rights in rural Guatemala. Her work focuses on how women’s understanding of reproductive rights and choices are impacted by religion, generational gaps, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. She is interested in analyzing changing discourses of the body, family, and gender relations. Her research focuses on the daily interactions between healthcare professionals, NGOs, community health volunteers, and patients―categories that often overlap―in order to analyze how reproductive health is negotiated at different levels.

Rabindra Willford
Rabindra Willford

Rabindra’s work focuses on issues of indigeneity and development in the Western Ghats region of South India. More recently, he is looking at transnational projects of aid, constituted within the matrix of NGOs, communities, and the state. Drawing on sociocultural and psychological/medical anthropology, Rabindra’s interests span postcolonial theory, indigenous studies, and subjectivities of care and the environment. Before coming to UCSD, Rabindra earned a B.A. in Anthropology at Cornell University.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s