Ann Kingsolver

  • Professor of Anthropology
  • Anthropology
  • Appalachian Center
  • Center for Equality and Social Justice
  • Environmental and Sustainability Studies
  • Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies
203A Lafferty Hall
859-218-4088
Education

B.A. in Anthropology & Sociology with Honors, Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College), 1982; M.A. in Anthropology, U Mass. / Amherst, 1987; Ph.D. in Anthropology, U Mass. / Amherst, 1991. Dissertation: "Tobacco, Toyota, and Subaltern Development Discourses: Constructing Livelihoods and Community in Rural Kentucky."

Biography

In 2011, my career came full circle when I moved back to Kentucky to direct the Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies Program at UK. I have completed that administrative term now, and am teaching and doing research full-time in the Anthropology Department. I grew up in Nicholas County, Kentucky. In the 1980s, I returned to there to do ethnographic research for my dissertation in the Ph.D. program in Anthropology at U. Mass. / Amherst, where I was inspired by colleagues in a participatory research collective and by collective conversations at the intersections of political ecology, cultural geography, anthropology, and political economy. I continue to learn from residents in my home community along with residents of a number of other rural regions in the world. In the early 1990s, I participated in starting the Culture & Power Ph.D. program in Anthropology as a faculty member at UC Santa Cruz, and then in the late 1990s I helped start the Ph.D. program focused on comparative diasporas and social justice in Anthropology at the University of South Carolina (as a faculty member and then department chair), before coming to the University of Kentucky. 

Research

As a cultural anthropologist, my topical focus is political anthropology and my ethnographic fieldwork has been primarily in the U.S., Mexico, and (as a Fulbright researcher) in Sri Lanka. My work is informed by writings on political economy and power; interpretive approaches; and postcolonial, womanist, and participatory research perspectives, along with those I interview and the students I learn from in every class. I assume epistemological parity between those inside and outside academic contexts, and believe that everyone constructs, acts on, and reworks theories about social contexts all the time.

For over 30 years, I have been talking with people about how they make sense of the many events and processes glossed as “globalization” and act on those understandings to craft identities and livelihoods. This began with conversations in my hometown about imagined futures in relation to the changing global tobacco, textile, and auto industries and how the local activity of “placing” was used to situate not only people in social networks, histories, counterhistories, and landscapes, but also to situate ideas, power, and transnational decision-making. Related to that long-term project on interpretations of capitalist logic and practice, I have been interested in what gets articulated in the space opened by discussions of policies – free trade agreements and anti-immigrant legislation, for example – about cultural and market citizenship. I am especially interested in possibilities for people to communicate across different perspectives to find points of convergence in work toward economic, environmental, and social justice.

Cultural anthropology’s strongest contribution is engaged listening, I think, and I have listened to stories (and silences) situated widely across social, national, political, disciplinary, identity and occupational borders. In studying capitalist globalization, I have tried to avoid drive-through ethnography and have instead participated in transnational, interdisciplinary collaborations between residents/researchers in rural regions doing long-term work on related issues in each of our own national contexts. In 2012, Dr. Sasikumar Balasundaram and I organized such a conversation between activists, artists, and scholars from economically and socially marginalized mountain regions in sixteen nations; that has led to an edited volume forthcoming from Indiana University Press in 2018, and a number of collaborative projects and exchanges. My individual research program is focused currently on interpretations of foreign trade zones and jurisdictions of place in the U.S..

Teaching

In addition to individual and collective work with doctoral and postdoctoral scholars, I will be teaching these courses in 2017-2018:

Fall 2017

ANT 315 Culture through Film and Sound

ANT 631 Research Ethics in the Social Sciences

ANT 770.001 Topical Seminar: Law and Public Policy

Spring 2018

ANT 104 First-Year Seminar: Global Jobs

ANT 536 Global Appalachia

Selected Publications: 

Books:

Appalachia in Regional Context: Place Matters. Co-editor, with Dwight Billings. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky. Forthcoming in 2018.

The Routledge Companion to Contemporary Anthropology. Co-editor, with Simon Coleman and Susan B. Hyatt. NY: Routledge. 2017.

Tobacco Town Futures: Global Encounters in Rural Kentucky.  Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press. 2011.

The Gender of Globalization: Women Navigating Cultural and Economic Marginalities.  Co-editor, with Nandini Gunewardena. Santa Fe, NM: School for Advanced Research Press. 2007.

NAFTA Stories: Fears and Hopes in Mexico and the United States. Boulder, CO:  Lynne Rienner Publishers. 2001.

More than Class: Studying Power in U.S. Workplaces. Editor. Albany: SUNY Press Series in the Anthropology of Work. 1998.

Selected Articles and Chapters:

Introduction to an engaging discipline: The challenge of creating a companion to contemporary anthropology. Simon Coleman, Susan Brin Hyatt, and Ann Kingsolver. In: The Routledge Companion to Contemporary Anthropology. Simon Coleman, Susan Brin Hyatt, and Ann Kingsolver, eds., pp. 3-24. New York, NY: Routledge. 2017.

Ann Kingsolver, Manuel Boissiere, Michael Padmanaba, Ermayanti Sadjunin, and Sasikumar Balasundaram. Cultural and participatory mapping. In: Mapping Across Academia. S.D. Brunn and M. Dodge, eds. Pp. 305-322. Springer. 2017.

Zones of in/visibility: Commodification of rural unemployment in South Carolina. In: Anthropologies of Unemployment: New Perspectives on Work and its Absence. Jong Bum Kwon and Carrie M. Lane, eds. Pp. 187-212. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press (ILR). 2016.

Practical resources for critical science education in rural Appalachia. Cultural Studies of Science Education. August 2016: 1-7. doi:10.1007/s11422-016-9755-3.

When the smoke clears: Seeing beyond tobacco and other extractive industries in rural Appalachian Kentucky. In: The Anthropology of Postindustrialism: Ethnographies of Disconnection. Ismael Vicarro, Krista Harper, and Seth Murray, eds. Pp. 38-55. London: Routledge. 2016.

Farming the edges: Women’s natural resource management on small farms in eastern Kentucky. In: Gender, Livelihood and Environment: How Women Manage Resources. Subhadra Mitra Channa and Marilyn Porter, eds. Pp. 50-75. Delhi: Orient Blackswan. 2015.

The role of regional policy in reimagining the rural: Comparing contexts in Sardinia, Italy and Appalachia, U.S.A. Domenica Farinella and Ann Kingsolver. Proceedings of the European Society of Rural Sociology 2015: 43-44.

Applying anthropological practice through global engagement in the University of Kentucky Appalachian Center. Practicing Anthropology 36(4): 47-51. Fall 2014.

Everyday reconciliation. Invited essay. American Anthropologist 115(4): 663-666. December 2013.

A year in the life of cultural anthropology. Publication of invited lecture. Teaching Anthropology: SACC Notes 19(1&2): 44-49. September 2013.

Neoliberal governance and faith-based initiatives: Agentive cracks in the logic informing homeless sheltering in South Carolina’s capital. Rethinking Marxism 24(2): 202-214. April 2012.

Worker well-being: Uniting economic, environmental, and social justice concerns in the anthropology of work. Anthropology of Work Review 32(1): 2-3. July 2011.

Talk of `broken borders’ and stone walls: Anti-immigrant discourse and legislation from California to South Carolina. Southern Anthropologist 35(1): 21-40. 2010. [Republished as Chapter 11 in Reflecting on America: Anthropological Views of U.S. Culture, second edition. Clare L. Boulanger, ed., pp. 121-134. London: Routledge. 2016.]

Introduction: Researching living wage possibilities globally. Anthropology of Work Review 31(1): 2-3. 2010.

Living wage considerations in the right-to-work state of South Carolina. Anthropology of Work Review 31(1): 30-41. 2010.

`Like a frog in a well’: Young people’s views of the future expressed in two collaborative research projects in Sri Lanka. Human Organization 69(1): 1-9. 2010.

Ann Kingsolver and Sasikumar Balasundaram with Vijayakumar Sugumaran, Jennifer Engel, Timothy Gerber, Craig Spurrier, Colin Townsend, and Kristen Wolf. Collaborative research on food security in the U.S. and Sri Lanka. Practicing Anthropology 32(4): 24-28. 2010.

Learning from activist anthropologists’ praxis. New Proposals: Journal of Marxism and Interdisciplinary Inquiry 2(2):73-77. 2009.

Walking with Amman: Young Malaiyaha Tamils’ views of their identity in practice. Ann Kingsolver and Sasikumar Balasundaram. In: New Demarcations: Essays in Tamil Studies. R. Cheran, Darshan Ambalavanar, and Chelva Kanaganayakam, eds. Pp. 31-42. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press. 2009.

`As we forgive our debtors’: Mexico’s El Barzón movement, bankruptcy policy in the U.S., and ethnography of neoliberal logic and practice. Rethinking Marxism 20(1):13-27. 2008. (Reprinted in English and in Greek in Re-Public: Imagining Democracy 10/8/2009.)

Capitalism. Encyclopedia of Race and Racism (volume 1). John Hartwell Moore, ed. Detroit, MI: Macmillan Reference USA. Pp. 268-271. 2008.

Farmers and farmworkers: Two centuries of strategic alterity in Kentucky’s tobacco fields. Critique of Anthropology 27(1):87-102. 2007.

Strategic alterity and silence in the promotion of California’s Proposition 187 and of the confederate battle flag in South Carolina. In: Silence: The Currency of Power. Maria-Luisa Achino-Loeb, ed. Pp. 73-91. New York: Berghahn Books. 2006.

 

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