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Modern Languages and LinguisticsPart of Humanities

Professor Laura A Lewis PhD

Professor of Anthropology

Professor Laura A Lewis's photo

Professor Laura A Lewis is a Professor of Anthropology in Modern Languages and Linguistics at the University of Southampton.

I completed my PhD in Anthropology at the University of Chicago and have worked mostly in Mexico for many years. I am a dedicated ethnographer whose teaching and research areas include the history and ethnograpy of race; Latin America and the Caribbean (including the Anglophone); the slave trade; Mexico; the ethnography and history of Afro-Latin America and the Caribbean; colonialism, nationalism, social movements, migration/transnationalism; globalisation; visual and material culture; U.S. Latinos; gender; space and place.

My first book, the anthropological history Hall of Mirrors: Power, Witchcraft, and Caste in Colonial Mexico (Duke University Press) won the 2004 Erminie-Wheeler Best Book Award from the American Society for Ethnohistory. My second book, the ethnography Chocolate and Corn Flour: History, Race and Place in the Making of ‘Black’ Mexico, was published also by Duke University Press in 2012. I have been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the National Endowment of the Humanities, a Smithsonian Institution Fellow, and a resident at the Rockefeller Foundation's Study Center in Bellagio, Italy. I joined the Modern Languages and Linguistics staff at the University of Southampton in October 2012. Previously, I was at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, USA.

I was co-editor of the American Anthropological Association journal Visual Anthropology Review for six years and sit on several editorial boards. I also peer-review for numerous journals, academic presses, and foundations

My first book is an anthropological history of "caste" and witchcraft in colonial Mexico, with particular attention to the relationships forged among subaltern groups, particularly African descent and indigenous peoples, and the cultural construction of gender and power.  Follow this link to find out more.

My most recent book is an ethnography of identity, and the making of community and place, in a rural Mexican African descent community.  Further information available here.

I am currently working on two projects. One focuses on Afro-Indigenousness and mestizaje in Latin America. The other on race and place among young adult African descent Mexicans in the U.S.

I am also a Co-Investigator on the new four year RCUK-GCRF funded ‘BRECcIA’ project led by Geography. This project develops research capacity and strengthens existing research capabilities in three sub-Saharan African countries (Kenya, Malawi, and Ghana) in the related areas of water and food security.

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I teach the second year undergraduate module, Ethnography of Latin America. I also research skills to Masters students and contribute to modules related to our Masters Degree in Transnational Studies.

Potential PhD students with interests in a range of topics should feel free to get in touch. I would be interested in hearing especially from students seeking supervision in anthropology (ethnography and anthropological history); the Americas (especially Latin America); the African Diaspora in Latin America; gender, race and class; and colonialism, nationalism and transnationalism/migration.

Professor Laura A Lewis
Building 65 Faculty of Arts and Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom

Room Number: 65/3073

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