Lynn Stephen, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oregon, has focused on the intersection of culture and politics. She has a particular interest in the ways that political identities intersect with ethnicity, gender, class, and nationalism in relation to local, regional, and national histories, cultural politics, and systems of governance in Latin America. During the past five years, she has added the dimension of migration to her research. Her two most recent books are Zapata Lives!: Histories and Cultural Politics in Southern Mexico (University of California Press, 2002) and Perspectives on Las Americas: A Reader in Culture, History, and Representation (Blackwell Publishing, 2003), coedited with Matt Gutmann, Felix Matos Rodriguez, and Pat Zavella.
At the Radcliffe Institute, she will be working on a book project exploring how two groups of indigenous Mexican migrants are using their multilayered identities, cultures, and binational (United States and Mexican) living experiences to organize for cultural and political recognition. The two groups examined in this project are: (a) migrants from the Mixtec region of Oaxaca currently residing in the state of Oregon who are involved in struggles for cultural recognition, labor rights, and support for their transnational organizations and (b) Zapotec migrants who lived in the United States and have returned to their community of origin in rural Oaxaca to form weaving cooperatives in an attempt to gain political and cultural rights in their community and in the global market as independent artisans.
Stephen received her BA from Carleton College in 1979 and her PhD in anthropology from Brandeis University in 1987. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for Humanities and the Center for United States–Mexican Studies and research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and the Inter-American Foundation.