My current research interests involve researching how processes designed to promote cultural diversity seem to instead constrain individual creative endeavors. In particular I am focused on the impacts of UNESCO’s recognition of the indigenous cuisines of Mexico as “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” and the re-imagining of authentic “Maya” cuisine by the tourist industry in Quintana Roo and the greater Yucatan peninsula.
My theoretical area of specialization within food studies is rooted in anthropology with a significant background in gender, identity performance, formation of social hierarchies and conversion theory particularly situated within indigenous Mesoamerica. While I taught to a broader understanding of food studies, my courses emphasized these spheres of study.
I believe that as a student progresses in their education, the courses should become increasingly narrow in scope and deeper in inquiry. Introductory courses should provide a broad survey of the current topics, disciplines and methodologies in order to present students with a wide variety of subject matter from which they can pick their particular interest and proceed within the program.
Specialties: Food Studies/Gastronomy, Mesoamerica, Yucatec Maya, Identity Formation, Religious Conversion, Gender, Social Stratification