Kim Clark

Professor -Sociocultural Anthropology

PhD 1993 (New School for Social Research)
Office: Social Science Centre 3412
Tel: 519 661-2111  ext. 85090
Twitter: @A_Kim_Clark


Research Interests

My research as a political anthropologist and historical anthropologist has examined the tensions and contradictions of nation and state formation in highland Ecuador in the first half of the twentieth century. This general interest has been explored through such projects as: an analysis of how the construction of the national railway reorganized regional, ethnic and class relations (my 1998 book); consideration of racial and national ideologies especially in the triangular relation between indigenous peasants, agrarian elites and state actors (2007 co-edited volume and various articles); and most recently how women participated in state formation as both objects and agents of gendered social policy (2012 book). My current book project takes this program in new directions by examining the everyday practices of the Public Health Service to probe how it is that the state comes to seem real and functional and present in people’s lives – and how the reification of the state occurs in social processes (not just in academic accounts) as it begins to be experienced as separate and above society.

Selected List of English-Language Publications

2023   Conjuring the State: Public Health Encounters in Highland Ecuador, 1908-1945. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press [in press].

2015    “New Arenas of State Action in the Ecuadorian Highlands: Public Health and State Formation, c. 1925-1950,” in State Theory and Andean Politics: New Approaches to the Study of Rule, edited by Christopher Krupa and David Nugent (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press), 126-141.

2012    Gender, State and Medicine in Highland Ecuador: Modernizing Women, Modernizing the State, 1895-1950. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. 255 pp.

2012    “A Project of Governing and its Contradictions: Maternal-Infant Care in Highland Ecuador,” in Governing Cultures: Ethnographic Perspectives on Political Labor, Power, and Government, edited by Kendra Coulter and William R. Schumann (New York: Palgrave-MacMillan), 47-67.

2009    “Railway and Nation in Liberal Ecuador,” in The Ecuador Reader: History, Culture, Politics, edited by Carlos de la Torre and Steve Striffler (Durham, NC: Duke University Press), 126-135.

2007    Highland Indians and the State in Modern Ecuador. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. 348 pp. (co-edited with Marc Becker; reissued 2011 in paperback)

2005    “Ecuadorian Indians, the Nation and Class in Historical Perspective: Rethinking a ‘New Social Movement’.” Anthropologica 47: 31-43.

2002    “The Language of Contention in Liberal Ecuador,” in Culture, Economy, Power: Anthropology as Critique, Anthropology as Praxis, edited by Winnie Lem and Belinda Leach (Albany: SUNY Press), 150-162.

1998    The Redemptive Work: Railway and Nation in Ecuador, 1895-1930. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources. 244 pp. (reissued 2001 in paperback)

1998    “Racial Ideologies and the Quest for National Development: Debating the Agrarian Problem in Ecuador (1930-1950).” Journal of Latin American Studies 30(2): 373-393.

1998    “Race, ‘Culture’ and Mestizaje: The Statistical Construction of the Ecuadorian Nation, 1930-1950.” Journal of Historical Sociology 11(2):185-211.

1997    “Globalization Seen from the Margins: Indigenous Ecuadorians and the Politics of Place.” Anthropologica 39: 17-26.                 

1994    “Indians, the State and Law: Public Works and the Struggle to Control Labour in Liberal Ecuador.” Journal of Historical Sociology 7(1): 49-72.

Selected List of Spanish-Language Publications

2008    “El ferrocarril y las políticas de redención en el Ecuador,” in El camino de hierro: Cien años de la llegada del ferrocarril a Quito, edited by María Pía Vera (Quito: FONSAL), 83-109.

2007    “Raza, ‘cultura’ y mestizaje en el primer censo de Ecuador,” in Formaciones de indianidad: Articulaciones raciales, mestizaje y nación en América Latina, edited by Marisol de la Cadena (Bogotá: Envión Editores), 149-171.

2007    “Política e inclusión en la primera mitad del siglo XX en la sierra ecuatoriana,” in Cultura política en los Andes (1750-1950), edited by Cristóbal Aljovín and Nils Jacobsen (Lima: Fondo Editorial de la Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos/Embajada de Francia en Perú & Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos), 439-60.

2005    “Los feminismos estéticos e anti-estéticos en el Ecuador de comienzos del siglo veinte: Un análisis de género y generación.” Procesos (Quito) 22: 85-105.

2004    La obra redentora: El ferrocarril y la nación en Ecuador, 1895-1930 (Quito: Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar and Corporación Editora Nacional).

2003    “La formación del estado ecuatoriano en el campo y la ciudad (1895-1925).” Procesos (Quito) 19: 117-130.

2001    “El sexo y la responsabilidad en Quito: Prostitución, género y el estado, c. 1920-1950.” Procesos (Quito) 16: 35-59.

1999    “Indigenistas, indios e ideologías raciales en el Ecuador.” Iconos: Revista de FLACSO Ecuador 7 (1999): 78-85.

1999 “Raza, ‘cultura’ y mestizaje: El racismo oculto en la construcción estadística de la nación ecuatoriana, 1930-1950,” in El Racismo en las Américas y el Caribe, edited by José Almeida (Quito: Departamento de Antropología PUCE, MARKA, and AEDA-PUCE), 15-24.

1997    “Población indígena, incorporación nacional y procesos globales: Del liberalismo al neo-liberalismo (Ecuador, 1895-1995).” In Globalización, ciudadanía y política social en América Latina: Tensiones y contradicciones, edited by Andrés Pérez Baltodano (Caracas: Nueva Sociedad), 149-171.

1995    “Género, raza y nación: La protección a la infancia en el Ecuador, 1910-1945.” In Palabras del silencio: Las mujeres latinoamericanas y su historia, edited by Martha Moscoso (Quito: Abya-Yala, DGIS-Holanda, and UNICEF), 219-256.

1995    “‘El bienestar nacional’: Experiencias del mercado interno en el Ecuador, 1910-1930.” Procesos (Quito) 7: 59-88.

Teaching and Graduate Supervision

My undergraduate teaching has generally been in the area of history of anthropological thought, Latin American ethnography, and introductory courses. I regularly teach Anthropology 3350F and Anthropology 3351G, two core anthropology courses that give students in our modules a sense of where anthropology came from, how some of the field’s central questions have evolved, and some of the ways anthropologists study identity, power and social formations.

I have supervised graduate students working on a wide range of research projects, many of which are in the areas of political anthropology, Latin America, or health issues.

Graduate students in 2022-23

Daniela Barba, "Transnational disciplinary networks and the configuration of Ecuadorian anthropology" (PhD student)

Pat Galler, “Processes of Becoming: An Ethnography of Embodiment, Identity and Performance in Boxing” (PhD student)

Luis Meléndez Guerrero, "The Governance of Mineral Resources in the Northern Peruvian Andes" (PhD student)

Natalia Parra, "Refugees, Borders and Displacement in the Darien Gap" (PhD student)

Zsofia Agoston Villalba, "Navigating Institutional Spaces in Ontario: How Educators Approach Difficult Knowledge in Schools" (MA student)

Kate Mahoney, "Institutional ruling relations, nursing, and the privatization of Canadian health care" (MA student) 

Recently completed graduate students:

Beatriz Juárez Rodríguez, “Blackness, Gender and the State: Afro Women's Organizations in Contemporary  Ecuador” (PhD, 2020) -

Jordan Levy, “The Politics of Honduran Schoolteachers: State Agents Challenge the State” (PhD, 2014) -

Dallas Hauck, “Indigenous Coaches and the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships" (MA, 2020) -

Jutta Zeller-Beier, “Newcomer Integration Programs and London, Ontario’s Diversity Agenda: Views from within and without” (MA, 2020) -

Marcelo Herrera, "Soccer, Space, and Community Integration: Being and Becoming Canadian in London, Ontario through the World's Game" (MA, 2018) -

Hilary Agro, “Prohibited practice: Consciousness alteration, harm reduction and 'benefit enhancement' in Toronto rave culture” (MA, 2016) -

Pat Galler, “Teaching Restless Bodies: The Negotiation of ADHD in the Classroom” (MA, 2015) -

Jordan Levy, “Honduran Political Culture and the 2009 Coup” (MA, 2010)

Christian Español, “Everyday Encounters between the Piaroa of Alto Carinagua and the Venezuelan State” (MA, 2009)