Melissa Forbis is currently Assistant Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Sociology at SUNY Stony Brook. She received her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in Social Anthropology, and her MA from Temple University in Visual Anthropology. In the summer of 2011, she received a FAHSS Individual Grant from Stony Brook to continue her fieldwork in Mexico. She will also be teaching at the New York - St. Petersburg Institute of Linguistics, Cognition and Culture in Russia.
Her dissertation, "Never Again A Mexico Without Us": Gender, Autonomy, and Indigenous Rights in Neoliberal Mexico, examines the EZLN's local autonomy project in Chiapas. It focuses on local changes in gender equity and relations of power, and the way that these changes strengthened the movement's challenge to neoliberal multiculturalism in Mexico. She has published several book chapters and articles on gender and indigenous rights.
Her research interests include gender and feminist theory, race/ethnicity, indigenous rights, anthropology of the state and nationalism, immigration, and Latin America. One of her key interests is in theorizing and developing engaged and collaborative research methodologies. Her teaching while at Rice included courses on cultural anthropology; gender, social movements and Latin America; and an engaged research seminar and practicum.