American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the Committee on Minority Issues in Anthropology are pleased to announce the selection of Adela Amaral as recipient of the 2014-2015 AAA Minority Dissertation Fellowship. This annual fellowship of $10,000 is intended to encourage members of ethnic minorities to complete doctoral degrees in anthropology, thereby increasing diversity in the discipline and promoting research on issues of concern among minority populations.
Adela received her B.A. in anthropology and history from UCLA and her M.A. in anthropology from the University of Chicago. Her dissertation, “The Archaeology of a Maroon Reducción: Colonial Beginnings to Present day Ruination” combines archaeological, historical and ethnographic work to develop a thorough and long term understanding of African slavery and runaway slavery in Colonial Veracruz, Mexico. Her work centers around the reducción, Nuestra Señora de los Negros de Amapa, founded in 1769 by runaway slaves of African descent or, maroons. Adela’s dissertation examines the political impulses that led to the founding of Amapa and its short and long term ramifications. The project investigates the local creation of the maroon colonial social category and questions the connections between racialized social groups, built environments, and things. Her work also uses the political present as local knowledge and present day relationships are used to interpret the past and to understand how the past is used in the present.
Amaral will be recognized during the AAA Awards Ceremony at the 2014 AAA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. this December. Melissa Y. Artstein-McNassar, PhD Candidate at Washington State University, will be acknowledged as the Honorable Mention.