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Jessica Pouchet, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD 2018 Anthropology, Northwestern University
Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests 

Linguistic & Sociocultural Anthropology; Environmental Studies & Political Ecology; African Studies; Kiswahili; Biodiversity Conservation; International Development; Value; Inequality; Political legitimacy; Participation; Conversation, Oratory, and Humor; Meetings; Place-making 


Jessica Pouchet (pronounced: puʃɜt) is a sociocultural and linguistic anthropologist whose research explores the intersection of language use and political ecology. Her current book project examines the ways in which people who live on the borders of a protected forest in Tanzania negotiate environmental value, debate political legitimacy, and participate in conservation governance. 

During the 2018-2019 academic year, Pouchet is the P.I. on a NSF postdoctoral fellowship (Award #1810025) to conduct a spatial and historical analysis of agricultural and protected land in the East Usambara Mountains of Tanzania. Drawing on archival research and GIS-based mapping, this project complements Pouchet’s ethnographic research to illustrate the challenging political-ecological circumstances that people who live next to protected areas face as well as the strategies that people employ to navigate those circumstances. 

Pouchet’s research has also received funding from Fulbright-Hays, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship, the Buffett Institute for Global Studies, and the Program of African Studies. 

Pouchet earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Northwestern University and her A.B. in International Relations from Brown University. 

Prior to joining Northwestern, Pouchet conducted research on sustainability and desert agriculture in Egypt with the American University in Cairo, worked at an international development organization in Washington, D.C., and served as a reporter at TheTrinidad Guardian in Trinidad & Tobago. 

In addition to conducting original research, Pouchet also pursues opportunities to share her work with scholarly and public audiences, to collaborate internationally, and to enhance the presence of underrepresented groups in higher education. 

You can view her CV here.

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