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Vanessa Anthony-Stevens Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Studies


Vanessa Anthony-Stevens holds a doctorate in Language, Reading and Culture from the University of Arizona. Her academic formation is in the areas of educational anthropology and Indigenous education. Vanessa has a long history of work and commitment to Indigenous education in the United States and Latin America. She has worked in and alongside Indigenous communities and schools in Arizona, in San Carlos and Tucson, teaching upper elementary and middle school grades (2004-10). Prior to pursuing graduate studies, Vanessa worked in the areas of youth development as an Americorps volunteer (Jacksonville, FL, and Baltimore, MD, 1999-2001) and a Peace Corps volunteer (Paraguay, 2002-04). While at the University of Arizona she served as coordinator and co-Principal investigator of a professional development program for Indigenous elementary educators from diverse regions of Mexico (2010-14).

Vanessa’s research explores (D)discourse, identity, and the construction of school achievement in bicultural/intercultural Indigenous education. Her dissertation research, a multi-year ethnography of an Indigenous charter school, analyzes the production of bicultural schooling in an era of high-stakes standardized testing. Her current research examines the ways Indigenous teachers in rural Mexican schools understand and utilize local Indigenous language(s) and community knowledge(s) as resources in the learning trajectories of Indigenous students. As a researcher and teacher-educator, Vanessa analyzes contexts of education from a sociocultural perspective. Her position on research is as a practice of social justice, privileging community relationships, participation and co-authorships, as central to the process and product of scholarship. The outcomes of which seek to (re)frame the movement of power in marginalized, multilingual and transborder communities.

Vanessa is the mother of two daughters who are proud members of the San Carlos Apache Tribe. Along with her husband, their family participates in many practices central to Apache culture. Vanessa is an avid sports fan and enjoys many team sports. She has been a member of intramural and collegiate sports teams at the University of Arizona and Marquette University. She is fluent in English and Spanish, has intermediate proficiency in Guarani, and emergent ability in Western Apache.


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  • Vanessa Anthony-Stevens