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  About en francais!

Welcome! Bienvenue! Maeva!

Marquesan Now

Marquesan Phrasebook

Projects & Publications

Creative Writing

Landscape History Work

Marquesas Links







I am a writer, researcher and anthropologist specializing in how culture influences our relationships to the environment.  Here you can find information about my latest work and projects, useful links, and information about my home away from home, the Marquesas Islands (where "maeva" means welcome! More on that, below).  My life currently has two halves:  

My work as a writer, researcher and copyeditor includes drafting proposals and full-length books relating to American culture, anthropology, science, economics and social issues.  Topics I have worked on include the impact of the transparency revolution on the modern workplace, the burgeoning field of neuraesthetics, the potential social benefits of data science, the influence of the sharing economy on workers' rights, and the power of collective illusions.  Projects include copyediting a book on the origins of early seafaring in South China and Southeast Asia, Prehistoric Maritime Cultures and Seafaring in East Asia; research and consulting in collaboration with the Aspen Institute and Johns Hopkins International Arts + Mind Lab; and research and writing for Todd Rose's forthcoming book, Collective Illusions: Conformity, Complicity and the Science of Why We Make Bad Decisions (Hachette 2022).

Together with Marquesan cultural leader Débora Kimitete, I am co-authoring a young adult historical novel set in the Marquesas Islands before European contact. Entitled The Weaver, here's the Twitter pitch: The Marquesas Islands, 1300 A.D. Thirteen-year-old Keata is torn between her warrior aspirations and the strict rules of tribal tradition. When her cousin disappears on an enemy raid, she sets out on a journey to find him...and herself. See Creative Writing for more on this project!

Please email me if you are interested in my writing work or would like my assistance with writing, consulting, research or copyediting projects!

My work as an anthropologist focuses on the intersection between people, place, and culture, drawing upon ethnographic fieldwork and my professional experience as an archaeologist, landscape historian and curatorial assistant. I specialize in French Polynesia and the Marquesas, in particular. Among other things, I have written about the relationship between land use and sovereignty; the impact of feared places on indigenous connections to the land; Marquesan language; tapa (traditional bark cloth); cultural appropriation; the symbolism of the Marquesan staple, breadfruit; and the concepts of critical and living heritage (see Projects & Publications). I have also worked as adjunct faculty in the anthropology departments of both Saint Michael's College and the University of Vermont. 

Check out my book!

Published by the University of Washington Press in July 2019.  Order your very own copy here.

Working with the Ancestors Cover

Marquesan Now 

Marquesan Now is a blog that shares Marquesan words, news and photos inspired by my phrasebook (see below).  Stay up to date on all the latest in the islands!  Live vicariously.  Learn Marquesan.  Follow Marquesan Now!  

Marquesan Phrasebook

The Marquesan language has been skirting extinction for over a century.  The Marquesan Phrasebook promotes the distinct Marquesan language and cultural identity of today.  It contains a Marquesan dictionary that translates Marquesan directly into English for the first time since the early 19th century.  It is also the first book to translate between Marquesan, English, and French.  The Marquesan Phrasebook is a valuable resource for scholars, tourists, and local Marquesans alike.  

Check out Marquesan Phrasebook to learn more!

Archaeology in the Marquesas

The AFAR Summer Field School in the Marquesas operates bi-annually from June to August.  Students learn about the archaeology of the islands, how to speak an endangered language, and engage with a community museum.  The field school is partially sponsored by the Andover Foundation for Archaeological Research and directed by University of Hawaii professor Barry Rolett.  A unique opportunity you don't want to miss!  Visit www.afargo.org for details and to apply.