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Summer Field School in Ethnography
MIRA: Multimedia Interdisciplinary Research in Anthropology
A collaborative and comparative study of tourism destinations and cultures

MIRA Faculty
Dr. Quetzil E. Castañeda
Anthropology, OSEA Director and MIRA Program Director
PhD 1991, University at Albany, SUNY

Castañeda has worked in the Yucatán region of México for over twenty years, and has extensive experience and knowledge of all things Yucatecan. Among Castañeda's publications is the book In the Museum of Maya Culture (University of Minnesota Press 1996) and the documentary ethnographic film Incidents of Travel in Chichén Itzá (D.E.R. 1997). Castañeda critically explores the invention of “culture” and the collusion and complicity of the diverse interests of its producers including the tourist sector, anthropological institutions, governments, and the maya community. Castañeda’s recent publications include commentaries in Current Anthropology on Maya essentialism and on Mesoamerican archaeologies as well as essays published in Critique of Anthropology on Manuel Gamio and Boas, American Ethnologist on the ethnographic study of modern Maya art, and the Journal of Latin American Anthropology on Maya identity politics. He is currently writing on the theory, methods, and ethics of ethnographic fieldwork and has essays under review at Cultural Anthropology and Cultural Studies»Critical Methodologies. In 2002–2003 Castañeda was a Fulbright Fellow at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán in Anthropology. He has taught at the University of Houston, University of Hawaii, and Princeton, and is an Affiliate Faculty in Anthropology at the University of Washington. He is the Co-Founder and Director of OSEA, which he developed as an innovative and socially responsible research and teaching institution in Yucatán. more information »

Affiliate Faculty
Dr. Juan Castillo Cocom
Anthropology, Universidad Pedagógica Nacional–Mérida
PhD 2000, Florida International University

Castillo Cocom’s doctoral dissertation was an ethnographic study on Maya identity and the related North American cultural anthropology discourse. He is the author of various articles on identity and specifically has written on Maya identity politics. Castillo Cocom’s current research project is an ethnography and history of the protestant mission in Xocenpich, Yucatán. He is an authority on the infamous “Cultivo Yucateco,” and characters types, personalities, and the popular culture of Yucatán. If one spends an afternoon with Castillo Cocom, it will become clear that he circulates freely in the popular and intellectual circles of Mérida and provides unique insight on both, not to mention he is an excellent resource on the people, practices, and place of Yucatán. He teaches at the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional-Mérida and has taught at Florida International University, the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, CINVESTAV, and the Universidad de la Habana, Cuba. In 2003, he was the Yucatán academic seminar leader for the Fulbright Hays Summer Seminar on Indigenous Cultures and Environmental Issues in México and Costa Rica. Castillo Cocom is the Co-Founder of OSEA.

Dr. Patricia Fortuny Loret de Mola
Anthropology, CIESAS Peninsular
PhD 1995, University College London

Fortuny, who has directed and participated in national and international research projects in Yucatán and Jalisco, México, has in-depth experience of the anthropology of religion. She has participated in projects that focus on international migration and religion at the University of Houston, University of San Francisco, and the University of Florida. Fortuny is a Professor and Researcher (Title C) at CIESAS, where she has worked since 1988. She is the author of two books and more than 60 articles and chapters on religion, conversion narrative, secularization, and transnational migration. She is a National Researcher of the Sistema Nacional de Investigadores Nivel II and the recipient of Fulbright and Rockefeller Foundation Grants.

Dr. Betty Faust
Anthropology, CINVESTAV Mérida
PhD, Syracuse University

Faust is a Full (category 3 of 3) Professor at CINVESTAV (Mérida, Yucatán) at the department of Human Ecology. She is also a member of the Sistema Nacional de Investigadores [SNI] (Category 2 of 3). The SNI is an elite academic Mexican organization that unites the topmost researchers of Mexico of all scientific disciplines. Her research has focused on questions of the cultural interface between Maya communities and the natural world, cosmology, healing and healers, development, applied anthropology, and cultural ecology. She has been the primary advisor and reader on more than a dozen masters theses and doctoral dissertations in anthropology and inter-disciplinary studies. She has been the primary advisor and reader on more than a dozen masters theses and doctoral dissertations in anthropology and inter-disciplinary studies. She has many articles published in US and Mexican journals and has authored the ground-breaking ethnographic study, Mexican Rural Development and the Plumed Serpent: Technology and Maya Cosmology in the Tropical Forest of Campeche, México (1998). more information »