Julia Murphy

BA Honours (Carleton), MES (York), Graduate Diploma in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (York), MA (York), PhD (York)
Surrey Office: Fir Building, Room 207
Surrey Campus: (604) 599-2497

I am a Cultural Anthropologist with special interests in Latin America, Indigenous peoples, development discourses and ethnography, environmentalism, women and gender, feminist research - and teaching undergraduate students! I speak English, Spanish, French and a little Maya.

I came to KPU in 2012 from Mount Royal University in Calgary. Before that I was a faculty member at the University of Calgary for ten years. I am inspired by working with Kwantlen students, exploring our multicultural lives and worlds. I believe that understanding human cultural diversity is an essential skill for contemporary life. The courses I currently teach are listed below. I am currently developing a new 4th year course on culture and sound that might be offered in the 2021-22 academic year.

I did the research for my PhD in southern Mexico on a Canadian development project, the Calakmul Model Forest. This involved participant observation research with development workers, campesino/a leaders, and Maya campesino/as. The Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA) gave me its Richard F. Salisbury Award in 1995 to support this research. In 2016 I started a new research project in Calakmul on climate change and its effects on indigenous agricultural practices,.  KPU awarded me an Educational Leave (sabbatical) to travel to Mexico to work on this research for six months in 2018.

I am an Associate Fellow of the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) at York University in Toronto, and a member of the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Latin America and the Caribbean Studies (CJLACS).

Courses taught

  • ANTH 1100: Social & Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 2120: Cross-Cultural Women’s and Gender Studies
  • ANTH 2133: Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft
  • ANTH 2142: Indigenous Peoples in Canada
  • ANTH 3100: Anthropological Theory
  • ANTH 3501: Special Topics in Cultural Anthropology: Food, Culture, and Agriculture
  • ANTH 4502: Regional Focus in Anthropology: Latin America and the Caribbean

Scholarly Work

  • 2011. Feminism and the Anthropology of ‘Development’: Dilemmas in Rural Mexico. Anthropology in Action 18(1):16-28. Special Issue: Feminist Anthropology Confronts Disengagement.
  • 2009. Recent Research on Rural Mexico: New Politics, Indigeneities, and Political Economies [Review Essay]. Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 34(67): 197-2008.
  • 2007. Anthropological Perspectives on Environmental Concerns in Rural Mexico: Ethnography in the Calakmul Model Forest, Campeche. In Across Borders: Diverse Perspectives on Mexico: Collected Essays of Contributors to the 11th Annual International Studies Symposium. J. Perkins and K. Campbell, eds. Pp. 71-96. Toronto, ON: International Studies Symposium, Glendon College.
  • 2004. Celebración y Cambio [Celebration and Change]. National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City. Interpretive text for exhibition of photographs of Indigenous peoples of Canada and Mexico by Valerie Burton.
  • 2003. Embroidery as Participation? Women in the Calakmul Model Forest, Campeche, Mexico. Canadian Woman Studies / les cahiers de la femme, Special Issue on Women and Sustainability: From Rio de Janeiro (1992) to Johannesburg (2002) 23(1):159-167.
  • 2001. “Studies in Ethnicity and Change” for Teaching about Indigenous Peoples [Review Article]. American Ethnologist 28(2): 438-448.