Skip to content

CV Summary

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Oregon. I was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, where I completed my BA and MA in Anthropology and Archaeology at the Universidad de Los Andes. I completed an MA (2009) and PhD (2016) in Anthropology at Stanford University.

I am interested in cultural heritage, race, diversity politics, ethnicity, and inequality in Latin America. Prior to joining the Anthropology Department at the University of Oregon, I was a 2015-2016 Dissertation Fellow in the Department of Black Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara.

Based on multi-sited ethnographic research in Colombia, my current book project “Becoming Heritage: Recognition, Exclusion, and the Politics of Black Cultural Heritage in Colombia” examines the consequences of cultural public policy on marginalized communities and minority groups. Specifically, my research traces how the declaration of cultural practices of Afro-Latino communities as “intangible cultural heritage of humanity” may further marginalize already vulnerable community members and leave structural racial inequities intact. I am particularly interested in understanding how and why certain multicultural policies that are ostensibly inclusive, can end up replicating, rather than dismantling, inequality and segregation across Latin America.

My second major research project is a long term ethnographic and archival study of the way in which the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) is operationalized. Specifically, I am examining how communities are represented within the UNESCO system by tracing the inner workings of non-governmental organizations as governing bodies of the UNESCO 2003 ICH Convention.

My third and most recent project examines how COVID-19 amplifies pre-existing inequalities among faculty members and disproportionally impacts academic caregivers, especially women. I am particularly interested in understanding not only the negative effects the pandemic is having on faculty caregivers, but also in assessing if and how colleges and universities in the United States are able to narrow the long-existing equity gaps now exacerbated by COVID-19.

My research has received support from a variety of sources, including the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Wenner Gren Foundation, the Social Sciences Research Council, the Fulbright Program, the Mellon Foundation, and the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. My most recent work appears in Cultural Anthropology, the International Journal of Cultural Property and the International Journal of Heritage Studies.

Before starting my doctorate, I worked in sustainable development and heritage policy-making for non-governmental organizations and Colombian public entities, including the Ministry of Culture and Bogotá’s Secretary of Culture and Tourism.