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Kristen Adler

Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology

Contact Information

223 McGregor Hall

937-319-6139 ext. 3223


Kristen Adler, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, has taught anthropology at University of New Mexico and John Wood Community College. She taught Sociology at Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute and, while living in Honduras, taught sociology, psychology and English at a bilingual high school. She also worked as an Assistant Editor at University of New Mexico Press. Her ethnographic research has been funded by a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, The Jacobs Research Funds of the Whatcom Museum, and the Antioch College Faculty Fund.


Dr. Adler’s research examines political process and ideological pluralism in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, focusing on the Tsotsil-speaking community of Zinacantán. Her work explores the constructed dichotomies of tradition and modernity and considers the diverse ways in which Zinacantecos are traditionalizing the modern and modernizing the traditional through reflexive communicative means. Although her research focuses on Zinacantán, it also looks at the influences of the Zapatista movement, the “indigenization” of the nearby ladino town of San Cristóbal and broad patterns of shifting political ideologies. Building on her dissertation research, Adler’s current work explores the ways in which the local and global intersect, focusing on political patronage and global tourism. Broad areas of interest include globalization, neoliberalism, language use, and the politics of ethnicity.

Ph.D., Anthropology, University of New Mexico
M.A., Anthropology, University of Denver
B.A., Anthropology; Cert. in Latin American Studies, Colorado State University
A.A., Social Sciences, Casper College
Selected Publications: 

Saints and Officials: Rethinking Political Patronage. Political and Legal Anthropology Review, (under review).

Review of The Village is Like a Wheel: Rethinking Cargos, Family and Ethnicity in Highland Mexico by Roger Magazine. Journal of Anthropological Research, 69(2):292-294, 2013.

Selected Presentations: 

Political Patronage and Global Tourism in Zinacantán: Exploitation or Empowerment?, American Anthropological Association, Washington D.C. 2014.

Globalization and Zinacantán: Debates Present and Past, American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, CA. 2012.

ANTH 105 Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 110 Culture Conflict
ANTH 210 Language and Culture
ANTH 220 Contemporary Indigenous Peoples
ANTH 310 Anthropology of Globalization