PhD Candidate

Dissertation Title: History (Dis)Possessed: Haunting, Theft, and the Making of Monumental Heritage in Oaxaca, Mexico


Hilary Leathem is a PhD candidate in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Chicago and a Digital Knowledge Sharing Fellow at the American Philosophical Society with over a decade of experience conducting research in Oaxaca, Mexico. A recent exchange fellow at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and 2017-2018 Fulbright-Hays scholar and Visiting Researcher at Centro INAH-Oaxaca, Leathem's doctoral research explores the ways Indigenous Zapotec and Mixtec stakeholders form social and affective relations with monumental heritage sites, and specifically traces emerging tensions over state possession and Indigenous dispossession. Leathem's writing appears or is forthcoming in the Archaeological Review from Cambridge (2019), Current Anthropology (2020), Cultural Anthropology's Visual and New Media Review (2019), and the edited volume Culture Work: Folklore and the Humanities for a 21st Century Public (2022). They currently serve as a member of the Early Career Research Network Coordinating Team for the Association for Critical Heritage Studies and as editor for both ARK Magazine (Mexico City) and the History of Anthropology Review.