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Jennifer Esperanza

Jennifer Esperanza
Office phone: x2144

General Interests

Jennifer’s research is driven by two main interests: globalization and consumption. She approaches the study of globalization from the ground up, looking at its effects on communities and local life. Her dissertation research was a multi-site study of the global handicrafts market in which she followed woodcarvings from sites of production in Bali to sites of consumption in various cities in the United States such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Atlanta.

Jennifer also studies the impact that food production and consumption have on society, including topics like fair wages for food workers and producers, production and preparation of healthy foods, leaving a smaller ecological footprint, and maintaining sustainability. She has focused on food security in community gardening and the motivations behind food security activism. Her goal is to link issues like the politics of food to Beloit College student involvement. Through increasing her students' understanding of anthropological concepts, Jennifer hopes that students can learn to pursue volunteering and activism while becoming aware of issues involving privilege, class, and race.

Professor at Beloit Since: 2008

Ph.D., Anthropology. 2007. University of California, Los Angeles.
M.A., Anthropology. 1999. University of California, Los Angeles.
B.A., Anthropology and Linguistics. 1996. University of Southern California.

Teaching Philosophy
Jennifer’s motto? “Anthropology is everywhere.” Anthropology is a methodological approach that we can use to consider the ways our culture affects how we view the world around us. Jennifer displays a piece of modern media, such as music or a video clip on YouTube, at the beginning of every Society and Culture class in order to help students understand why it is relevant. Students do not have to major in anthropology only if they plan on becoming anthropologists; just learning to think like an anthropologist impacts people’s lives and will be useful no matter what career they choose.

Selected Professional Accomplishments

2010 Associated Colleges of the Midwest, FaCE (Faculty Career Enhancement) Grant to fund workshop on Teaching International Development in the Liberal Arts

2001-2002 SSRC/Rockefeller Foundation Dissertation Fellowship on the Arts

Jennifer S. Esperanza. 2008. Outsourcing otherness: Crafting and marketing culture in the global handicrafts market. In Hidden Hands in the Market: Ethnographies of Fair Trade, Ethical Consumption, and Corporate Social Responsibility (Research in Economic Anthropology 28). Dr. Donald Wood ed. Pp. 71-95. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

2011 “Bali’s Ethnic Arts Industry: Crafting Global Identities amidst a National Tourist Agenda” Material Culture Review, Vol. 71: 14-23

2008 “Outsourcing Otherness: Commodifying Culture and Modernity in the Global Handicrafts Market” Research in Economic Anthropology, Vol. 28: 71-95.

2004 “Crafting Place: Discourses of Culture and Otherness in the Handicrafts Industry of Tegallalang, Bali” Antropologi Indonesia: Indonesian Journal of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 28 (75), 22-32. 

2011 “Crafting Culture, Crafting Cosmopolitanism:  Invited lecture to the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison. February 4.

2009 “This is Wild, Wild East: ” Paper presented at the Association for Asian Studies Meeting, Chicago, IL, March 29. 

2007 “The Generic Ethnic: The Commodification of Ethnicity in Bali’s Tourism Industry”

Paper presented at the American Anthropological Association Meeting, Washington, D.C., November.

2007 “Outsourcing Otherness: Commodifying Culture and Modernity in the Global Handicrafts Market” Paper presented at the “Hidden Hands in the Market” Conference, University of Sussex, England, April.

Field Work
Research on woodcarvings in the global handicrafts market. Bali, Indonesia. 2000-2003.

Professional Service
Faculty mentor for the McNair Scholars Program, Beloit College.

2009 National Women’s Studies Association, Women of Color Leadership Project.

2007 Panel Organizer, Visual Art in Asia, American Anthropological Association Meetings, Washington, D.C.

Campus and Community Involvement
Involvement in the Student Food Co-op, Beloit College.

Faculty sponsor of the Slow Food Club, Beloit College.

Educated Committee for Beloit Public School for improving nutrition in K-12 on healthier eating habits for parents and teachers.