Dr. Jeanne Simonelli

Professor EmeritusDr. Jeanne Simonelli Cultural Anthropologist - Wake Forest University
Cultural/Applied Anthropology
E-mail: simonejm@wfu.edu

Research and Scholarly Activities

Jeanne Simonelli is an applied cultural anthropologist and writer who currently teaches at Wake Forest University. Like Sherlock Holmes, she is author of a huge number of infinitely boring but scientifically significant monographs. She has published four books with good titles, Uprising of Hope: Sharing the Zapatista Journey to Autonomous Development  (2005); Crossing Between Worlds: The Navajo of Canyon de Chelly  (2008; 1997); Too Wet To Plow: The Family Farm in Transition (1992) and Two Boys, A Girl, and Enough! (1986). She has spent summers wearing a Smoky-the-Bear hat as an interpretive Park Ranger at Canyon de Chelly National Monument and doing development projects with a rebel organization in southern Mexico.  Her goal in life is to have a novel featured  in the Albuquerque Airport bookstore.

Jubilando: First Phase!

In Mexico, you don’t retire; you jubilate. For the last year and a half, I’ve been “phasing” into doing just that, and it has been a whirlwind of travel, reflection and preparation.  Following both my heart and my head, I wintered back home in Oneonta, NY.  This small community sitting on the headwaters of the Susquehanna River is one of several in the southern tier of New York about to be fracked.  The notion of turning our gentle countryside into the devastation of the fracking gas fields of Pennsylvania is one that has given rise to a social movement that is as strong and as vibrant as the Zapatistas of Chiapas.  As both a homeowner and an anthropologist I am looking at what this means for rural populations in NY, NC and Colorado whose lives will be irrevocably changed.
With the arrival of summer, I set out on my roots trip; a quest to meet myself in the villages of my family in Italy.  What fun!  I met cousins, we compared hands, and exchanged pictures of our grandparents.  Seeing southern Italy explains to me why I love the American Southwest so much.  The Roots trip (read about it at http://rootsandrevelations.blogspot.com) was followed by a month of Abuelita Camp.  I have renewed respect for grandparents raising their grandchildren after a month with mine!

Returning to Winston and a final semester of teaching didn’t put a damper on travel.  I planned and carried through on the SAR/SfAA seminar on artisan production, held in Santa Fe.  My development class took on the job of assisting some of the community groups in NY with research about the impact of natural gas drilling.  And I got ready to conclude the year with a trip to Chiapas for the end of 2012, and the long count cycle of the Maya Calendar.

What will I do after I retire?  Hope to heaven there is still social security and medicare!  Do everything I do now except teach….but not get paid for it.

Jeanne Simonelli awarded SAR/SfAA Seminar Grant

The School of Advance Research (SAR), Santa Fe and the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) have selected the proposal Artisan Production and the World Market:
Collaborating in Theory, Methods, Practice for  its 2012 biannual short seminar and SfAA’s 2013 Plenary Session.  Co-organized by Jeanne Simonelli, (WFU) June Nash (CUNY) and Katherine O’Donnell (Hartwick College), the goal of this two-day seminar is to provide anthropologists and scholars from related disciplines with the opportunity to address critical human problems and social issues through the application of anthropological insights and methods. The outcome of the seminar will be twofold: 1) a plenary session at the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology and 2) an edited volume to be submitted to SAR Press for publication in its Advanced Seminar Series.

 As designed by Simonelli, Nash and O’Donnell “the seminar brings together an interdisciplinary, intercultural group of artisans and the scholars who work with them to discuss ongoing work in all areas intersecting with the production, marketing and consumption of crafts and boutique food products. We analyze learning as an interactive process functioning on three levels: providing practical marketing and business skills for small-scale producers; developing methodologies for understanding and enhancing networks of accompaniment; and evaluating the process, to enrich cultural and economic theory. Our seminar becomes the basis for wider discussion at SfAA, as well as the source of two publications.”

The international panel will also include WFU’s Betsy Gatewood, and builds on work on collective entrepreneurship begun by Simonelli and Gatewood three years ago.

Occupy Wall Street Consensus General Assembly and the Zapatistas: Into the American Zócalo

With the emergence of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement around the US, evolving from a small encampment near the financial center of global fiscal crisis, we are finally exposed for the first time nationally to the process well-developed by the rebels of Chiapas, Mexico—consensus governance.  As with the Zapatista case, now almost a generation ago, major news outlets expressed frustration with the lack of a single, focused cause or demand—ignoring the real news story, which has to do with the process they have established and advocated for; Read Entire Article Here….

Her principal publications include:

Curriculum Vitae (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader*):

Current CV

Additional Reviews of her works:

Crossing Between Worlds site

SAR Press-publisher of “Crossing Between Worlds”

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