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Jayne Howell

Image of Jayne Howell

Title: Professor of Anthropology
Phone: (562) 985-5192
Office: F03-312

Education History

M.A./Ph.D. in Anthropology, SUNY Stonybrook, 1993


Courses Taught

ANTH 120 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 314 Global Ethnography
ANTH 323 Peoples of Mexico and Central America
ANTH 440/540 Ethnographic Field School
ANTH 490/699 Economic Development in Latin America
ANTH 478 Anthropology and Film
ANTH 498 Internship
ANTH 503 Anthropological Perspectives
ANTH 522 Anthropology of Gender
ANTH 560 Ethnographic Methods


Research Focus and Teaching Specialties

Ethnography, applied anthropology, Latin America, Visual Research: Education and employment, economic development, gender, migration, urban anthropology, tourism, violence, indigenous identity. Areas of Fieldwork: Oaxaca, Mexico, Southern California.



Jayne Howell received her Ph.D. in 1993 from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is currently Professor of Anthropology and Co-Director of Latin American Studies at California State University, Long Beach. She has conducted research on gendered employment patterns and cityward migration in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, since 1986. Her research interests also include the realities of Zapotec-speaking women’s lives in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec Mexico’s rumored matriarchy. Her publications have focused on rural teachers, domestic servants, gender role change, and prostitutes. She is preparing a book length manuscript that incorporates all of these topics titled, Educating Maria: Gender Role Change through Schooling in Southern Mexico. Recently, she was awarded the 2006 Carlos and Guillermo Vigil Prize for her article “Constructions and Commodifications of Isthmus Zapotec Women” that appeared in Studies in Latin American Popular Culture based on her research among Isthmus Zapotec women in Oaxaca. She is co-editor of Practicing Anthropology and a board member of the Society for Applied Anthropology. She is secretary of the Society for Urban, National and Transnational Anthropology (SUNTA) of the American Anthropological Association and editor of the monthly SUNTA column in Anthropology News.


Selected Publications

  • 2006 “Constructions and Commodifications of Isthmus Zapotec Women.” Studies in Latin American Popular Culture Volume 25:1-26 (Awarded the Carlos and Guillermo Vigil Prize Prize)
  • 2006 “Women’s Cityward Migration, Domestic Service and Schooling in Southern Mexico.” Migration Letters Volume 3:125-135
  • 2008 “Me Llamo Lupe: estilos de vida mujeres prostitutas en Oaxaca.” Invited essay, Pp. 187-196 in Calles, Cuartos, y Patios: Lo Cotidiano de la diversidad en el Oaxaca Urbano. Michael J. Higgins and Tania L. Coen. Oaxaca: Universidad Autonoma “Benito Juarez” de Oaxaca
  • 2009 “Union Struggles in Urban Mexico: Oaxaca City Revisited.” Anthropology News 50(4): 53-542009
  • 2009 “Vocation or Vacation: Perspectives on the Oaxacan Teachers’ Strike.” Volume XXX(3):87-98. Practicing Anthropology and Secretary for the Society for Urban, National and Transnational Anthropology (SUNTA)