ISSR Social Science Research Scholar - Biography
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Department of Anthropology
Archaeology of Violence
My research will examine the symbolic aspect of drug cartel killings and the messages they convey in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Analysis of specific types of trauma will be used as part of a project that will examine how the symbolic aspects of violence have the potential to create order and disorder depending on the specific social context within which the violence is expressed. The autopsy reports, along with police records, will be used to synthesize variation in wound patterning with the location of the body in order to explore the preformative nature of the event. Bodies evidencing such trauma become the parchment upon which the literal writing of violence codifies meaning and structure to the objective world they occupy. The literal “language” of violence is then reproduced in written and oral forms that are used by a variety of individuals (politicians, activists, survivors) to explain and exploit these events. This research will be part of a Wenner-Gren Foundation International Collaborative Research Grant.