I am pleased to share that I have been awarded a Digital Dissertation Fellowship through the Carolina Digital Humanities Initiative at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This support will enable me to integrate many of the diverse data sources I have collected during fieldwork in Dominica and incorporate them into an online, interactive story map. The story map will explore how Dominica’s history and rural traditions are being utilized by farming communities to build alternative agricultural livelihoods in diverse forms of local food production.
I am pleased to share that I have received a PEO Scholar Award, which will fund my dissertation research for the 2018-19 academic year. I am thrilled to be joining this prestigious community of women scholars!
My lecture will report on the findings of my preliminary dissertation research in Dominica, which was generously funded by an IAAR Summer Research Grant. It examines how families in Dominica continue to cultivate sustainable livelihoods from farming despite growing global economic and environmental uncertainties.
I am pleased to share that my paper “The Problem of Women’s Work: Engendering Contemporary Agrarian Transition in the Rural Caribbean,” which is based upon my Master’s research, received an Honorable Mention for the Harold K. Schneider Graduate Student Paper Prize from the American Anthropological Association’s Society for Economic Anthropology.
Paper Abstract: Dominica is a rural island nation in the Eastern Caribbean. It has been classified as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change due to a complex mixture of factors stemming from its geographic location, mountainous topography, and socio-economic settlement patterns. In recent years, the growing frequency of water-based hazards (torrential rains, floods, and hurricanes) has severely impacted many farming communities around the island. Smallholders in these communities supply a vibrant local food economy, which has proved quite resilient despite increasing global economic and environmental challenges to agriculture. Yet recent weather events have begun to bump up against the limits of this local resilience. In the summer of 2015 Tropical Storm Erika dumped massive amounts of rain on the island, which resulted in catastrophic mudslides and flooding. Many villages lost their connecting bridges and roads, while several coastal communities were decimated by landslides. These acute disaster events resulted in the mass displacement and relocation of households from established farming communities. This paper will explore how the island farm is being recreated under growing global realities of climate-based risk. Specifically, it will examine how new geographies of farming generated by weather related destruction and relocation present both challenges and opportunities for farmers and farming communities. When resilience thresholds are crossed, how are local farming livelihoods reconstituted?
I will be presenting my paper “Gender, Food Security, and AgriculturalAlternatives in the Commonwealth Caribbean” at the upcoming British-Caribbean Geographer’s International Seminar “The Caribbean Region: Adaptation and Resilience to Global Change” at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica.