Department of Anthropology
University of New Mexico



Catherine R. Rhodes’ research focuses on the creation of disciplinary linguistics in the Yucatec Maya language, through which she explores the production of indigenous scientific knowledge; the  negotiation of indigenous and Maya identities; and conceptualizations of indigeneity, and modernity more broadly. Rhodes received Fulbright-Hays funding for this work and is currently preparing a book manuscript on her over 18 months of ethnographic research with Maya linguists and their students. In this book, she shows how being a Maya linguist makes possible new ways of being and defining what it means to be Maya; these new ways of being and defining Mayaness, however, rest upon challenging widely circulating notions about indigeneity and modernity. In addition to her work in the Yucatan, Rhodes participates in a collaborative ethnographic research team that studies the experiences of Mexican immigrants to a New Latino Diaspora community in the US.

Rhodes has been a Visiting Lecturer in the Ethnology program in the Anthropology Department at the University of New Mexico since 2017. She teaches both graduate and undergraduate cultural and linguistic anthropology courses, most with substantial Latin American content. She also teaches a doctoral writing workshop three times a year at the University of Pennsylvania. Rhodes received a joint PhD in anthropology (four-field, linguistic specialization) and education form the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds an MA in the Social Sciences (specialization in linguistic anthropology) from the University of Chicago and a BA with highest honors in Latin American studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Rhodes has published on topics including scale, narrative, social identification, language standardization, and the New Latino Diaspora and co-produced the ethnographic film Adelante.


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