I am a graduate student in cultural anthropology at the University of Oregon. My research is broadly concerned with the intersection of political ecology, discourse, and gender in the Windward Islands of the Eastern Caribbean. Specifically, I am interested in the interplay between ideas and practices of sustainable development and existing systems of food production and consumption as well as how such interactions influence and influenced by gender.
Women and women’s economies are often differentially impacted by formalized development initiatives. My current research on the island of Dominica focuses on women’s networks of food production in relation to new sustainable development projects designed to shift production to meet organic agriculture standards. This project seeks to understand and contextualize the sustainable development processes at work in Dominica and the ways in which such initiatives are changing and changed by Dominican society, particularly as represented through the lives of women engaged in the agricultural economy.
In understanding the nature of sustainability both in theory and practice - what it is, how, when, and why it is mobilized, and its results - my research helps to assess the value, potential, and risks associated with sustainable development programs. In the future, I hope to expand my research to include comparative studies within and among several neighboring islands in the Eastern Caribbean, namely St. Lucia and Guadeloupe.
I have also conducted previous research in hexagonal France on heritage, identity, and the modernization of produits de terroir (France’s regional-specific food products).