Annie Spratt @anniespratt

About The Un/Disciplined Feminist Political Ecology Lab

Discipline: (noun) a field of study, a rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity; (verb) to impose order upon, to bring a group under control (Merriam Webster)

The Un/Disciplined Feminist Political Ecology Lab is run in coordination with Dr. Kimberly Marion-Suiseeya’s Un/Disciplined Environments Lab at Northwestern University and our joint Presence to Influence team. The lab is an interconnected network of scholars who work across the Américas and in transnational borderlands. We share common frameworks for collaboratively partnering with communities and offering critical perspectives to global challenges. Scholars and activists in this lab converge work in innovative ways. We work across place-based and digital interfaces, drawing upon decolonial scholarship, feminist philosophies and feminist political ecology, postcolonial scholarship, critical ethnography, science and technology studies, and justice work to amplify storytelling from spaces which customarily are not represented in dominant discourses that disrupt longstanding narratives to support transformative change. We use emerging and standard digital and media-based technologies to enhance and accentuate data collection, management, visualization, and circulation. We have a strong pulse of engaged and decolonizing threads within and across our projects. Check out all the fabulous projects below that are housed at Purdue!

The lab welcomes Eduardo Rafael Galvão, Maria Gabriela Fink Salgado, Pat-i Kayapó, and Laura Torrejano as visiting scholars this fall semester. A special thanks to the Honors College for inviting Pat-i to be a scholar in residence. They will be working on projects in Colombia and Brazil on socio-environmental impacts of artisanal mining, community-led art and media initiatives, and sustainable solar systems in low electricity environments.

Catalina Garcia Acevedo

Anthropologist from the National University of Colombia. She has experience with peasant populations in central Colombia with indigenous communities in eastern and southern Colombia and the indigenous Kichwa people, originally from Otavalo, Ecuador. She has worked as a civil servant and researcher of public and national institutions such as the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF), the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) and the National University. With this last one she participated in the development of the application UN_RUNASHIMI for the promotion of the use of the indigenous language of the Kichwa people (2015). Her interests are focused on oral and traditional oral history, social history of the armed conflict, rural populations and recently she has focused her studies on cognitive disabilities in Colombia. Although the areas are diverse, transversally has been interested in an ethnographic approach to the population and in a constant dialogue of knowledge between academia and community. She is currently a freshman of the Master of Applied Anthropology at Purdue University.

Sarah Huang

Sarah is an applied anthropologist and interdisciplinary scholar. Her research explores the paradox of rice production in An Giang, Vietnam: that despite producing food for the nation, rice farmers remain food insecure. In her dissertation, she explores the concepts of food security and future making by engaging with temporal and affective dimensions of farmers' livelihoods. She argues that nation-state projects of creating more food secure livelihoods depends on farmers' own food and livelihood insecurity. She received her MS degree from Purdue University in 2016. Her research focused on local food movements with immigrant and refugee communities in Anchorage, Alaska. While she has shifted physical locations in her research, she is still guided by the insecurities of food producers in an increasingly capitalist and imperialist world. She has also worked with Dr. Zanotti on the Leadership and Strength Project in Utqiagvik, Alaska and Presence to Influence at COP21 and WCC 2016. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Cultural Anthropology with concentrations in Applied Anthropology and Ecological Sciences and Engineering.

Virginia Pleasant

Virginia’s research explores the complexity of modern food systems at both micro and macro levels. It is inspired by emergent alternative food systems that espouse more traditional methods and situate themselves within the food justice movement. Virginia is working with smallholder and alternative farmers in Indiana to identify the successes and challenges they face. Although this research is highly localized, it will provide a model for future research in the U.S. as well as abroad. Additionally, as it develops, this research will hold implications for future policy shifts with the capability to greatly impact local livelihoods, food security, and the environment.  Virginia’s research on alternative food systems explores these complexities by situating “counter” food systems in juxtaposition to the more normative institution of big agriculture. She intends to demonstrate that contrary to the highly prevalent rhetoric that espouses modern agriculture as a cure-all for everything from world hunger to poverty to environmental woes, “counter” systems are better equipped to mediate these issues. She proposes that alternative and smallholder food production (and its consumption) are in fact a locus of resilience. This resilience embodies an expanded conceptualization of sustainability and considers it in multifaceted, complex, and interrelated terms: environmental and economic, yes, but also cultural, historical, spatial and agentive.  Due to the complexity of food and food systems, as well as saturation of life by foodways more generally, this research is necessarily interdisciplinary in nature. The sources and perspectives she attempts to illuminate through her research include cultural and medical anthropology, political ecology, history, ag econ, indigenous studies, and media/popular sources.  If we examine food closely, it affects much more than our dinner tables or pocketbooks; it stands to reason, then, that the study of food systems should also be multidimensional.  It is also imperative that this research be accessible to the public and interpretive in nature.  

Shradha Naveen

As an Indian girl who has grown up in East Africa, Shradha has been fascinated with the intersection between the natural environment, culture and economic development and how these cycles and processes are interdependent but also influence each other. This fascination led her to do her BSc in Environment and Sustainability at Keele University, UK, after which she did her MA in Environment, Development and Policy at Sussex University, UK. Through her study, she has been drawn to issues of natural resource management (particularly water) and waste management as she sees them as the most pressing issues in the geographic areas she has researched. Her most recent work has looked at sanitation in India, working with an NGO in Karnataka to document best practices in the outreach, processing, and implementation of government sanitation schemes in India. She is particularly interested in a gendered understanding of the triple bottom line. 

Claudia Moros

Claudia Moros is currently working in visualization using Virtual Reality (VR) environments for Construction Engineering and Management for her civil engineering degree from Industrial University of Santander (UIS). She holds a bachelor’s degree in foreign language teaching (Spanish, English and French) from National Pedagogy University of Colombia (UPN). Her undergraduate research was in language Learning and Technology in Public Education and worked with the Research Center at UPN in Metacognition and Learning Styles. She also studied a Master in Philology from Barcelona University with a thesis topic about religion/theology and literature “Characteristics of Zen Buddhism in two writings of Jorge Luis Borges” published this year by Pittsburgh University. She is a student in the master’s degree in Anthropology. Her research interests are in developing virtual reality applications towards Visual Anthropology for indigenous studies, especially Caribbean tribes in Colombia, with topics related to Food Consumption, Agricultural Studies, Environmental Engineering legislation, World Peace and Conflict, especially Colombian Peace Agreement, Public Policies such as land equality, Feminist Political Ecology, Women (Violence and Family studies), Language, Religion-Theology and Cultural Studies. She has worked in higher education in Colombia teaching language, as an assistant of engineering and as a freelancer translator-interpreter for organizations such as World Vision. Additionally, she likes to write poetry about social, existential issues, children and youth literature as well. She has studied art (watercolor and pastel) and photography with a portfolio that includes people city ,and rural landscapes in South America, North America and Europe.

Ingrid Ramón Parra

Her research interests are in the anthropological study of indigenous media and broader theoretical questions regarding how media alters understandings of politics and representation. She is interested in how new technology serves as a tool for the promotion of land rights, cultural preservation, communication within indigenous groups, and artistic expression. Her geographic area of interest is the transnational Amazon region.