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Department of Anthropology College of Arts and Sciences
One Discipline, Four Fields

L. Shane Greene

L.

Associate Professor, Anthropology Department
Director, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Faculty Associate, Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change (ACT)

CV

(812) 856-1317 | Email | Office Hours

  • Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of Chicago (2004)
  • M.A. in Social Sciences, University of Chicago (1995)
  • B.A. in Anthropology, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (1993)

Geographical Areas of Specialization: Peru; Amazonia/Andes; elsewhere, although mostly Latin America

Topical Interests: Social theory, social movements, race, urban subcultures, music and society, indigenous and afro-descendent rights, political ecology.

Profile

Stated broadly, my research interests lie at the intersection of urban subcultures, ethnicity, environment, and the politics of culture in the Latin American context. While I have conducted research in multiple different contexts and on diverse topics there exists an underlying interest in movements for social justice and political transformation. This work is driven by a long-standing interest in social theory.

In past research I conducted extensive fieldwork in the upper Peruvian Amazon. The result is a recently published book titled Customizing Indigeneity about the indigenous Amazonian movement. The book is an ethnographic history of the role of the Amazonian movement in Peruvian politics and culture. And it examines indigenous politics in this context by offering a novel theoretical framework via the concept of customization and a critical reading of contemporary debates about forms of anthropological engagement with subaltern populations.

Following this research I moved to study cultural politics and social movements at a broader national level in Peru. The emergence of a state-led multicultural initiative by Peru’s President Alejandro Toledo in 2001 led me to expand my interests in ethnic politics to the national level and brought me into contact with a range of other social movement actors outside the realm of Amazonian activism. As a result in I initiated another research project that resulted in various publications about the complex negotiations between indigenous Andean, Amazonian, and Afro-Peruvian activists in response to state multicultural policy.

In 2009 I launched an entirely new project with the aim of writing a second book. The new research examines the unique position of punk rock musicians and artists in Lima during Peru's historical period of massive political violence between the state and two armed groups in the 1980s and early 1990s. I explore the way that punk subcultures have primarily been theorized as symbolic expressions of class rebellion by "first world" urban youth, and historically proven susceptible to mass commercialization. By relocating punk in the intensely insecure context of Peru in the 1980s we are forced to contemplate punk's militant message as something that goes beyond merely symbolic forms of subversive activity. Peruvian punks ultimately deliberated both the possibilities and confronted the inherent contradictions of using armed action as a means to protest social inequalities and pursue social transformation as a result of the historical and geo-political context in which they built their scene.

Selected Publications

Books

2009 Customizing Indigeneity: Paths to a Visionary Politics in Peru. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.

2009 Caminos y Carretera: Acostumbrando la Indigenidad en la Selva Peruana. Lima, Peru: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos. [Translation of Customizing Indigeneity]

Articles/Chapters

2008 "Tiwi's Creek: Indigenous Movements and Masculinity on the Contested Peruvian Border." Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies. 3(3): 227-252.

2007 "Introduction: On Roots, Race, and Multicultural Sovereignty in Latin America" for special issue of Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology. 12(2): 441-474.

2007 “Entre lo indio, lo negro, y lo incaico: The Spatial Hierarchies of Difference behind Peru’s Multicultural Curtain” for special issue of Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology. 12(2):441-474.