Ieva Jusionyte

Ieva Jusionyte PhotoIeva Jusionyte
Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Social Studies
Department of Anthropology
Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Ieva Jusionyte is assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies. Before coming to Harvard, she was assistant professor of anthropology and Latin American Studies at the University of Florida, where she coordinated the Crime, Law, and Governance in the Americas program. Jusionyte holds a PhD and an MA in Anthropology from Brandeis University, and a BA in Political Science from Vilnius University.

As a political and legal anthropologist of Latin America, Jusionyte studies security, crime, statecraft and the media. Her first book, Savage Frontier: Making News and Security on the Argentine Border (University of California Press, 2015) is based on ethnographic research conducted in the border area between Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay between 2008 and 2014. While the so-called “Triple Frontier” region has been an alleged haven of international organized crime, which the global media portrays as the hub of drug and human trafficking, contraband, and money laundering, Jusionyte’s work shows how local journalists both participate in and contest these global and national security discourses and practices. Drawing on Jusionyte’s professional background as a news reporter and her experience of producing an investigative television program “Proximidad” in Argentina, the book probes politics and ethics of representation and knowledge production in ethnography and in journalism. In addition to the book, Jusionyte’s work on the tri-border area has appeared in scholarly journals, including Cultural Anthropology and American Ethnologist.

In 2015, Jusionyte received a Senior Research Award from the National Science Foundation and a Post PhD research grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation to support her new ethnographic project on security infrastructures and emergency services along the border between Sonora and Arizona. Jusionyte is currently writing her second book, tentatively called Threshold: Emergency and Rescue on the U.S.-Mexico Border, in which she explores the everyday practices and experiences of first responders under heightened security on both sides of the international boundary (http://www.borderrescueproject.com). Written from the perspective of Mexican and Mexican-American firefighters and paramedics, who work in the marginalized social space on the edges of two states, where the harsh physical terrain has been further militarized by the “war on drugs”, “war on terror,” and the undeclared war on undocumented migration, the book shows what happens when security politics and humanitarian ethics violently collide. The manuscript has been selected as the finalist for the 2016 Public Anthropology competition.

Jusionyte is the recipient of the 2015 Junior Faculty Teaching Award from the Consortium for Latin American Studies Programs. At Harvard, she will be teaching an anthropology seminar on State and Violence in Latin America (Spring 2017), a junior tutorial in social studies on crime and governance in Latin America (Spring 2017), and an introductory course Grounding the Global: Anthropological Perspectives (Fall 2016).

Faculty website http://anthropology.fas.harvard.edu/people/ieva-jusionyte