About Me

Dr. William L. Alexander, Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology     

University of North Carolina Wilmington

I am a cultural anthropologist with a regional specialization in Latin America. I have conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork in rural Chile. My research interests include: economic and environmental anthropology, political ecology, medical anthropology and migration. I am currently studying migrant farmworker health issues in North Carolina.


Curriculum Vitae

Contact Me: (910) 962-2227, alexanderw@uncw.edu


I have published two books on Chile: my ethnography of an agricultural community in the semi-arid north and an edited volume of research on the social and environmental consequences of neoliberal economic policies. I am co-editor of a book on neoliberalism and commodity production in Mexico.

 Lost in the Long Transition: Struggles for Social Justice in Neoliberal Chile (editor) (Lexington Books, 2009)
    Chapter 1 "Introduction: Enduring Contradictions of the Neoliberal State in Chile"
    Chapter 7 "Cultural History Written in the Margins: Political Ecology of Copper and Community in the Little North"









Resiliency in Hostile Environments: A Comunidad Agrícola in Chile's Norte Chico (Lehigh University Press, 2008)













Neoliberalism and Commodity Production in Mexico , co-edited with Thomas Weaver, James B. Greenberg, and Anne Browning-Aiken (University Press of Colorado, 2012)     co-author with Rebecca H. Carter Chapter 4 "Tracing the Trail of the Table Grapes: The Effects of Neoliberal Policies in Sonora, Mexico"











  • "Cowboys and Indians and Comuneros: Policy-Positioned Ascriptions of Ethnicity, Identity, and History in Chile" Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation, and Culture 12(2): 139-165 (2006)
  • "Clandestine Artisans or Integrated Producers?: Standardization of Rural Livelihood in Chile's Norte Chico" Culture & Agriculturere 26(1-2): 38-51 (2004)
  • "Organization and Advocacy in Rural Chile: Peasant-Worker Consciousness in the Transition to Democracy" Anthropology of Work Review 23(3-4): 25-30 (2002)


  • Review of Intimate Migrations: Gender, Family, and Illegality Among Transnational Mexicans by Deborah A. Boehm, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (forthcoming)
  • Review of Linkages of Sustainability edited by Thomas E. Graedel and Ester van der Voet, Human Ecology 40(1):161-163 (2012)
  • Review of Capitalizing on Catastrophe: Neoliberal Strategies in Disaster Reconstruction edited by Nandini Gunewardena and Mark Schuller, Human Ecology 38(2): 313-316 (2010)
  • Review of Stories of Globalization: Transnational Corporations, Resistance, and the State by Alessandro Bonanno and Douglas H. Constance, Culture & Agriculture 32(2): 103-104 (2009)


  • Co-organizer & Co-chair: "Migrant Risks, Vulnerabilities, and Coping Strategies: Perspectives from Critically Applied Medical Anthropology and Political Ecology" session at the SfAA annual meeting, Denver, March 21, 2013 (Paper: "Impacts of Immigration Law and Detention Policies on Medical Care for Farmworkers")
  • Paper: "Medical Risk in a Privatized Immigration Detention System: Questions of Abuse and Accountability" co-author Thomas Weaver, Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) annual meeting, Baltimore, March 31, 2012 (Session Chair: "Immigration Risks and Roles")
  • Paper: "After 'Shock': Disaster Capitalism Discourse and Counter-Discourse Following the 2010 Earthquakes in Chile and Haiti" American Anthropological Association annual meeting, Montreal, Nov. 20, 2011 (Session Chair: "Local Voices and Enduring Legacies Within Chile's Neoliberal State")
  • Paper: "A Bi-national Study of TB among Migrant Workers in Arizona and Sonora" Society for Applied Anthropology annual meeting, Seattle, March 30, 2011 (Session: "TB among Migrants in the Arizona-Sonora Borderlands")
  • Paper: "A Bi-National Assessment of the Disease Burden of Tuberculosis in Migrant Communities in Arizona and Sonora" American Anthropological Association annual meeting, New Orleans, Nov. 21, 2010 (Session: "Methods and Motives for Collaborative Research: Reflections from the Field")
  • Paper: "From Taking Credit to Owning Up: Considering the Crisis in Chile" AAA annual meeting, Philadelphia, Dec. 2, 2009 (Session: "Engaging the State: Ethnographic Perspectives from Latin America")
  • Paper: "Environmental Justice Ethnography in the Classroom" Society for Applied Anthropology annual meeting, Santa Fe NM, March 21, 2009 (Session: "Environmental Justice and Community Responses")
  • Discussant: "Local Identity, Neoliberalism, and the Regulation of Natural Resources in Chile" session, AAA annual meeting, San Francisco CA, November 21, 2008
  • Paper: "Immigration Trends and Issues in North Carolina" Society for Applied Anthropology annual meeting, < Memphis TN, March 27, 2008 (Session: "The Face of Neoliberalism in America")
  • Paper: "Reflections on Ethnographic Fieldwork and Ecological Resilience" AAA annual meeting, Washington DC, Dec. 1, 2007 (Chair: "Comparative Case Studies in Ecological Consciousness, Class Inequality, and Reflections on Resilience" session)
  • Paper: "Revolution, Repression, and Remembrance in Chile: The Films of Patricio Guzman and What They Offer Cultural Anthropology", AAA annual meeting, San Jose CA, Nov. 17, 2006 (Session: "Information Wars: Propaganda, Conflict, and Hegemonic Struggle")
  • Co-organizer & Co-chair: "Origins and Expressions of Neoliberalism in Latin America: A Comparative Approach" session at the SfAA annual meeting, Vancouver BC, March 29, 2006 (Paper: " 'Lost In Transition' In Chile: Matters of Growth With(out) Equity from Pinochet to 'The Third Way' ")
  • Organizer & Chair: "Neoliberalism in Place, Identities in Places: Political Economy of Space and Culture in Chile" session at the AAA annual meeting, Washington DC, Dec. 4, 2005 (Paper: "Cultural History 'Written in the Margins': Spatialized Identity in Development Discourse")
  • Organizer & Chair: "Chile in Transition: Social Change, Critical Questions" session at the SfAA annual meeting, Santa Fe NM, April 9, 2005 (Paper: "The Diligence of 'La Guerra Bruta ' and the Persistence of Memory: Continuity of the State and Discontinuities of Development in Rural Chile")


I teach the cultural & linguistic anthropology core courses, our senior capstone class on history and theory, and other classes in my research areas.

  • ANT 206  Cultural Anthropology                      
  • ANT 208 (.PPT)   Language and Culture  (FALL 2013)
  • ANT 309   Environmental Anthropology   
  •   ANT 317   Social Issues in Latin America
  • ANT 327   Globalization and Culture Change  
  • ANT 329   Environmental Justice Ethnography   (FALL 2013)
  • ANT 330   The Immigrant Experience             
  • ANT 346   Medical Anthropology
  • ANT 450   History of Anthropological Theory 

Office Hours

Tues. & Thur. 3:30-4:30, Wed. 10-12, or by appointment in SB 100F (inside the archaeology lab)