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"Informal States": Neoliberal Governance and Border Crossings along the Pan-American Highway
June 04, 2013-July 02, 2013

 

The primary purpose of the project is to conduct 28 days of exploratory fieldwork in preparation for my dissertation research. I follow the Pan-American Highway through Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicargua, Costa Rica and Panama and observe informal work at each border crossing along the way. My specific goals for this trip are to:

  • select 3 field locations for a multi-sited ethnography

  • establish contacts with border community residents

  • secure institutional affiliations

Finding Rhythms in the Road: Ethnography of Road Experiences in Central America 

​March 04, 2015-March 14, 2015

The "Finding Rhythms in the Road" project is a continuation of the work conducted during the "Informal States" research. During this field work I continue along the Pan-American Highway--through Costa Rica and Panama--with the goal of reaching the end of the Central American leg of the highway in Yaviza, Panama-at the edge of the Darien Gap. The specific goals for this trip are to:

  • conduct follow-up research at my primary field site of Paso Canoas, Panamá

  • strengthen institutional contacts and conduct library research at the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí

  • conduct non-participant observation at the field site of Yaviza, Panamá.

Finding Rhythms in the Road: How Mobilities become Livelihoods on Central America's Pan-American Highway 

​Research in Progress (Read the Full Story Here)

The second phase of the "Finding Rhythms in the Road" project is the start of my long term PhD Dissertation research for the University of Florida. While the Pan-American Highway at large is always at the heart of my work, I have narrowed my regional focus to the 1,300 kilometer stretch of the highway between the Panama Canal (Panama City, Panama) and the construction site of the Gran Canal of Nicaragua (south of Managua, Nicaragua). For this field work I have set-up base camp in the border community of Paso Canoas (Panama/Costa Rica border)and will be spending the bulk of my time working with community members who use the highway to earn an income. I will also continue to move along the Pan-American to experience highway mobility and observe other communities along this stretch of road. The specific goals for this trip are to:

  • Document how road travelers react to and counter mobility barriers.

  • Examine how community members use the traffic patterns that mobility barriers create to generate livelihoods.

  • Analyze the histories of mobility, mobility barriers, and highway work on this section of the Pan-American Highway

Finding Rhythms in the Road: How Mobilities Become Livelihoods on the Inter-American Highway- Phase II

May 01, 2017-October 01, 2017

The second phase of the "Finding Rhythms in the Road" project is the continuation of my long-term PhD Dissertation research for the University of Florida. As such, my research focus remains the same as in Phase I of the long-term research. I will continue to work out of the Panama/Costa Rica border community of Paso Canoas (Panama/Costa Rica border)and will use my time following-up on previously completed research tasks, as well as, pursuing remaining unfinished tasks. A key goal of Phase II is to complete interviews, archival research, and observations on the Nicaragua leg of the Inter-American Highway. Again, I will spend the bulk of my time working with community members who use the highway to earn an income and I will continue to move along the Inter-American to experience highway mobility and observe other communities along this stretch of road. The specific goals for this trip are to:

  • Continue to document how road travelers react to and counter mobility barriers

  • Continue to examine how community members use the traffic patterns the mobility barriers create to generate livelihoods

  • Continue to analyze the histories of mobility, mobility barriers, and highway work on this section of the Inter-American Highway; with special attention to the Nicaragua stretch of the road.

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