Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Vanessa Castañeda

Student - Ph.D. Student

Vanessa Castañeda graduated with her bachelors in Anthropology and Latin American Studies at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. She worked as a Spanish medical interpreter for four years for a free clinic in Kannapolis, North Carolina. She studied in Guadalajara, Mexico, for the summer of 2006 and Salvador, Brazil, for the twelve months of 2007. She completed her Masters in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University in 2014. She was the head student organizer for a two day conference entitled “Feminist Constellations: Intercultural Paradigms in the Americas.” During the summer of 2013, she obtained a Summer Tinker grant and carried out ethnographic research in Salvador, Brazil. Her Master’s thesis entitled “Traditional as Political: the Quotidian Politics of Baianas de acarajé” draws from her experience having worked with the association of Baianas de acarajé and Baiana street vendors and examines the cultural politics of AfroBahian identity. In 2013, she worked as the multi-lingual Communications intern at the International Center for Transitional Justice in New York. Vanessa is the founder of a volunteer program that teaches basic English-speaking skills to Spanish-speaking immigrants working in the restaurant industry in New York City. Her PhD project ideas will continue to examine the cultural identity politics of Baianas de acarajé in Salvador, Brazil.

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