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Visiting Research Associates

SAR is no longer accepting applications for Visiting Research Associate appointments.

Term: 2008–2009
Project: “Ancient Midwestern Immigrants: Willing and Unwilling”
Affiliation at time of fellowship: Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Indiana University

The role that immigration played in the formation of Cahokia is explored in this proposed book. Drawing on unpublished data, this study reveals that immigrants at Cahokia included people from at least two separate locations. Their impact on the community is examined. The results will be used to develop a model of the relationship between cultural diversity and political change in pre-Columbian North America.

Jeanne Arnold, Research Associate

Jeanne E. Arnold
Visiting Research Associate
Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz

Term: 2012
Project: “Cross-cultural Approaches to Apprenticing in Western North America”
Affiliation at time of fellowship: Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles

Sponsored by UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology

Lucas Bessire, Research Associate

Lucas Bessire
Visiting Research Associate

Term: 2010–2011
Project: “Behold the Black Caiman: Modernity and Indigeneity among the Ayoreo of the Chaco”
Affiliation at time of fellowship: Postdoctoral Fellow, Mellon/ACLS Recent Doctoral Recipients Fellowship Program

In March 2004, seventeen of the world’s last “voluntarily isolated” hunter/gatherers who called themselves Ayoreode left Paraguay’s Gran Chaco forest as it was being bulldozed by ranchers. Less than five months later, they had been taught by their more settled Ayoreo relatives to be contemporary “indigenous people” by cutting their hair, converting to evangelical Christianity, and relying on wage labor. Lucas Bessire’s research aims to foster an understanding of how recently contacted Ayoreo envision viable futures within daily realities of poverty, disease, and violence in a region where Indians are severely discriminated against.

Bessire focuses on how Ayoreo articulations, specifically indigenous appropriation of radio technology, transnational discourses of indigenous rights, and local understandings of evangelical Christian doctrine change Ayoreo imaginations of possible futures, and both expand and condition Ayoreo political agency. In the book project he will be working on at SAR, Bessire elaborates on the premise that internal colonization and the politics of “becoming indigenous” entails embodying uneven global power relations as collective feelings of trauma, shame, and hope, and addresses changing Ayoreo concepts of such social sentiments. This book will be the first ethnographic study of the Ayoreo based on long-term participant observation by someone with a working knowledge of the language.

Abigail Winslow Bigham, Research Associate

Abigail Winslow Bigham
Visiting Research Associate

Term: 2014
Project: “Natural Selection and Genes Determining Higher Arterial Oxygen Saturation in Peruvian Quechua”
Affiliation at time of fellowship: Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


Deborah Boehm, Research Associate

Deborah Boehm
Visiting Research Associate

Term: 2013
Project: “Return(ed): Going and Coming in an Age of Deportation”
Affiliation at time of fellowship: Associate Professor, Departments of Anthropology and Women’s Studies, University of Nevada, Reno