Research

I am currently involved in three projects, at different stages of development.

(1) I am preparing a book manuscript tentatively entitled Migrating, Within and Without: An Ethnography of Internal and Transnational Migrations in an Indigenous Oaxacan Community, based on my dissertation. Migrating, Within and Without analyzes how masculinity and femininity shape, and are shaped by, internal and transnational migration focusing on a transborder indigenous Zapotec community of Oaxaca. This particular community exists simultaneously in Oaxaca, Mexico City, and in the state of Oregon (in the U.S.). I focused on the experiences of women internal migrants, men who join the Mexican military, and transnational migrants.

(2) My second research project examines the emergent animal rights movement in urban Mexico in the midst of continuous violence and ongoing challenges to the Mexican legal system. More specifically, I ask: What explains the rise of animal rights activism in a country where human rights are constantly violated? What is the role of legality in the establishment of animal rights in a flawed judicial system? What can the fight for animal rights in Mexico tell us about violence and corruption? I have been conducting fieldwork with animal rights activists in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico since December 2016.

If you are interested in learning more about this project, you can listen to a radio interview I did with KTEP:

http://ktep.org/post/act-radio-dr-ivan-sandoval-cervantes

(3) I am also developing a project that will investigate the lives of indigenous Oaxacan soldiers in the Mexican military. Based on archival research, oral histories, and ethnographic fieldwork, I will analyze how the institution of the military shapes the lives and identities of active and retired soldiers, of their families, and of their communities. In particular I will focus on the ambiguous position of being both subjects and agents of the nation-state. This project will address how joining the military redefines both femininity and masculinity for male and female soldiers, and how indigenous and national identities are racialized in the barracks, at home, and in the public sphere.

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