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Joseph WiltbergerJoseph Wiltberger

Joseph Wiltberger (PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) joins the Kellogg Institute for the 2013–14 academic year. A cultural anthropologist who focuses on Latin America, his research is situated at the intersection of development, transnational migration, and social movement studies.

At the Institute he is embarking on a book project, “Sueños Salvadoreños: Struggles to Build Other Futures in El Salvador’s Migration Landscape,” with the aim of exploring collective struggles to construct viable alternatives to undocumented emigration in El Salvador and Central America.  To what extent and how are citizens challenging state-led strategies that view emigration and remittances as crucial to national progress and development?

Based on more than two and a half years of fieldwork in El Salvador as well as with Salvadoran migrants in the United States, the project entails an ethnographic investigation of the marginalized rural communities that were at the heart of El Salvador’s civil war. It also engages with the work of national and cross-border civil society networks of migrant community advocates.

Wiltberger was the winner of the 2012 Roseberry-Nash Award from the American Anthropological Association for “Beyond Remittances: Contesting El Salvador’s Developmentalist Migration Poiltics,” an expanded version of which is forthcoming in the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology.

A 2001 graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a Latin American Studies Program minor, Wiltberger received the Institute’s John J. Kennedy Prize for the best senior essay on Latin America.




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The Kellogg Institute promotes scholarship, learning, and linkages that address issues of critical importance to our world. At the center of our interdisciplinary community’s work are two key themes: democratization and human development. 

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