Department of Anthropology and the College
Mareike Winchell is a sociocultural anthropologist whose research focuses on questions of indigeneity and governance, intimacy and exchange, materiality and mediation, and how histories of agrarian servitude have shaped the terms of citizenship and political inclusion in the present. Her current book project, “After Servitude: Indigeneity, History, and the Antinomies of Justice in Reformist Bolivia,” examines how Quechua-speaking villagers draw upon histories of bonded labor in their critical engagements with governmental reforms aimed at achieving indigenous justice. By attending to the ethical workings of exchange practices rooted in the former hacienda system, the book complicates more familiar frameworks of justice as the recovery of an autonomous indigeneity. A related archival project, “Just Documents: Property, Possession, and the Postcolonial Archive,” explores how former domestic servants sought to recast the often-violent intimacies of agrarian servitude as the grounds for land claims following hacienda abolition in 1953. In addition, she is involved in a collaborative media project that focuses on the cultivation of embodied forms of history in the production of Quechua-language documentary films.
After studying at Bard College at Simon’s Rock and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Winchell received an MA in social science from the University of Chicago and a PhD in socio-cultural anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.