Dr Marie-Eve Carrier MoisanMarie-Eve Carrier-Moisan has been appointed as an Assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.  Carrier-Moisan recently completed her PhD in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia.  At UBC, Carrier-Moisan was a Liu Institute Scholar and member of the Research Group on Gender and Sexuality in Latin America.

A native of Quebec City, Carrier-Moisan spent her post graduate years studying migrant female factory workers in Brazil, and how they dealt with and dissented against the harsh realities of dependently living on oppressive labour structures.

Before studying anthropology, Carrier-Moisan achieved a college degree in special education.  Upon completion of college, she made the decision to go volunteering in Central America and West Africa. This experience was eye-opening in that it challenged her to rethink her assumption that “development” is necessarily good, and she thus began to see the paradoxes and fallacies of the “development industry” and the post-colonial relations it sustains. Carrier-Moisan made the decision that she wanted to learn more about this, among other things, and she opted to attend University to study anthropology.

In her time as both an undergraduate and graduate student, her interests shifted more specifically to the study of the global political economy and its impacts on disadvantage or marginalized groups with a first project on factory female workers in Brazil and a second on sex tourism in the same region.

In her study of female Brazilian factory workers, Carrier-Moisan noticed a very apparent trend:  many of these workers were leaving factory work to take part in Brazil’s prominent sex tourism industry.  Her research in the field of global sex tourism revealed, perhaps surprisingly, that some of the younger Brazilian women chose to make their livings in the sex tourism industry rather than following in the footsteps of their mothers and work in what they perceived as the more exploitative world of factory work.  Carrier-Moisan’s research attributed this to her finding that many young Brazilian women are fuelled by dreams of economic and social mobility, and for some of them, sex tourism is a point of access to what they perceive as a better life in Europe. In sex tourism, these women are oftentimes seeking to develop transnational ties with foreign men beyond the strict realm of sex tourism.

In fact, Carrier-Moisan found that the encounters between these Brazilian women and foreign men extended beyond business, meaning the study of this subject could not be confined to the parameters of the term ‘labour’.  For her PhD Carrier-Moisan linked scholarship on labour to the academic research of Feminist scholars on affect, power and mobility in the processes of global capitalism.  Her dissertation entitled Gringo Love: Affect, Power, and Mobility in Sex Tourism, Northeast Brazil, examined the intersections of gender, migration and globalization while presenting the argument that ‘gringo love’ (i.e. love with foreigners) provides these Brazilian women with both a cultural script to engage in practices of mobility and functions as an escape from their estranged lives.

“In many ways, what brought me to anthropology in the first place remains at the centre of my intellectual journey: I now engage with what Laura Agustín terms the ‘rescue industry’ (i.e. attempts to ‘save’ migrant sex workers) and I am still driven by an intellectual curiosity to grasp the working of power, as well as issues of social justice.”

Carrier-Moisan is very excited to bring her research to Carleton University, and will hit the ground running as a new faculty member this fall semester.

“I feel extremely fortunate to be joining Carleton University, as it allows me to pursue what I most cherish, that is, to be engaging in critical teaching and meaningful research. I think that Carleton is an interesting place to be at the moment; it is growing, and increasingly recognized for both its cutting-edge research and teaching excellence. It is exciting to join such a vibrant institution where progressive and innovative ideas are fostered, and where there is a real commitment to provide students with a meaningful education.”

Teaching is a huge point of pride for Carrier-Moisan.  She hopes to relay to her students an understanding of the ubiquitous relevance of anthropology.

“As a teacher, I hope to convey to my students that anthropology may be applicable in their everyday lives and may provide them with a lens through which to rethink the world they inhabit. I also hope that my students may rethink their assumptions and biases through their engagement with the class materials. Anthropology is a vast field of study, but it does invite us to think about our humanity beyond some pure defining essence. As such, it provides us with the tool to think critically about the world we live in.”

She also wishes to convey to her students that research and theory can be interesting and important to their everyday lives.

“Another thing that I hope my students may walk away with from my classroom is a sense that theory is not this scary, unapproachable, obscure, and purely abstract thing bearing no connection to their lives. Rather, I see theory as something that we all engage in and I want my students to realize that we all develop worldview based on our practical engagement with the world which in turn influence our actions. I’d like to demystify theory as something that is disconnected from their lives and be able to apply the critical thinking developed in class to contemporary social issues.”

Prior to her appointment at Carleton, Carrier-Moisan has taught courses in the anthropology of gender ethnography of Latin America, globalization, and sexual labours.

At Carleton, in 2012-2013 she will be teaching undergraduate courses such as:

  • Introduction to Anthropology; (syllabus) and Anthropology & Gender; as well as a graduate seminar in Anthropology, Love & Globalization

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 in
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