Jordan Levy

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

  • Professional
  • Biography

Additional Titles/Roles

  • Peace Scholars Committee

Biography

Why do you serve on the Peace Scholars Committee? 

My long-term connections with Honduras are what brought me to anthropology and academic work. The extent to which the country endures vast inequalities and increasing levels of everyday violence is constantly on my mind – whether I’m on campus, or at home. I don’t see any easy solutions, but I do believe in the important role that respectful listening and meaningful dialogue can play for any kind of meaningful steps toward conflict resolution. I am therefore delighted to serve on the Peace Scholars Committee because the program provides students with the opportunity to develop their own abilities to communicate in cross-cultural contexts, to understand multiple and overlapping factors, and the tools to work through conflictive situations in our contemporary globalized world. I also appreciate how much the program is organically aligned with both PLU’s mission statement and some of the most important lessons from anthropology.”

Professional information

Jordan is a sociocultural anthropologist with a research background focused on contemporary Honduras – its policies of governance since the 2009 military coup, and patterns of out-migration. At PLU he teaches a range of anthropology courses within and beyond his specialty, and wherever appropriate, aims to raise awareness about ongoing struggles for social justice in Central America. To this end, he has brought to PLU courses that explore how studies of Latin America have informed anthropological theory and praxis; the impact of free trade policies; what it means to study the state from an ethnographic perspective; and the various ways that international migrants in our contemporary globalized world build their lives between more than one nation-state.

Some of Jordan’s service endeavors at PLU that are most organically aligned with his research and teaching interests include inviting guest speakers and organizing public educational events around land tenure rights in post-coup Honduras, and understanding the localized relevance of the ‘caravan’ of migrants who are seeking political asylum in the US. He has served on the Global Education Committee, and the committee for the Global Studies major. He joins other faculty at PLU in aiming to support students who are negatively affected by current US immigration policies. Currently he is conducting a faculty-student collaborative ethnographic research project about the Salvadoran and Honduran migrant community in Washington State, focused on people’s livelihood strategies and their agency in choosing to remain in the Pacific Northwest amidst increasingly precarious political conditions.