Research and Teaching Interests: Political anthropology; Legal anthropology; Public anthropology; Security; Crime and violence; Urban infrastructures; Emergency management and response systems; Statecraft, borders, and governance; News media and journalism; Argentina, Paraguay, Mexico, U.S.-Mexico border.
Ieva Jusionyte is assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies at Harvard University. She holds a PhD and an MA in Anthropology from Brandeis University and a BA in Political Science from Vilnius University. Between 2012 and 2016 Jusionyte was assistant professor of anthropology and Latin American Studies at the University of Florida, where she coordinated the Crime, Law, and Governance in the Americas program.
As a social anthropologist of Latin America, Jusionyte focuses on the ethnographic study of security, crime, statecraft and the media. Her first book, Savage Frontier: Making News and Security on the Argentine Border (University of California Press 2015; www.savagefrontierbook.com) is based on ethnographic research conducted in the border area between Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay between 2008 and 2014. While the “Triple Frontier” region has been an alleged haven of international organized crime, which the global media portrays as the hub of drug and human trafficking, contraband, and money laundering, Jusionyte’s work shows how local journalists both participate in and contest these global and national security discourses and practices. Drawing on Jusionyte’s professional background as a news reporter and her experience of producing an investigative television program “Proximidad” in Argentina, the book probes politics and ethics of representation and knowledge production in ethnography and in journalism. In addition to the book, Jusionyte’s work on the tri-border area has appeared in scholarly journals, including Cultural Anthropology and American Ethnologist.
Jusionyte is currently working on her second book, tentatively entitled Threshold: Emergency and Rescue on the U.S.-Mexico Border, in which she explores the everyday practices and experiences of emergency responders under heightened security on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border (http://www.borderrescueproject.com). Multiyear research for the book has been supported by a Senior Research Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and a Post PhD research grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation. The book, written from the perspective of emergency responders who operate on the edges of the law in between two states, where security politics and humanitarian ethics violently collide, confronts the practical dilemmas and the conceptual paradoxes of sovereignty and governance, where none of them can be taken for granted.
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