Luminita-Anda Mandache

About Luminita-Anda Mandache

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Socio-cultural Anthropology at the School of Anthropology, University of Arizona. My dissertation research focuses on the strategies of collective problem solving that people put in place in a context of scarcity, and the ways in which such solutions challenge/are challenged by powerful actors (such as the state, the drug gangs etc.) I thus conducted over 15 months of ethnographic fieldwork on this topic at the periphery of Fortaleza, Brazil.  I am interested in understanding the ways in which materiality shapes ideas about the political, power and possibilities of change. My research interests focus on Latin America but also Eastern Europe, poverty, social movements, activism, urban violence, cities, and alternative economies.

Prior to starting the Ph.D. at the University of Arizona, I completed my MA degree in socio-cultural anthropology at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. My MA thesis explored the multi-faced aspects of the urban informal economy, and relied on five months of ethnographic fieldwork in Santiago de Chile's largest marketplace "La Vega Central de Santiago." My interests for the hidden, less visible sides of large cities started earlier while a BA student in Communication in Bucharest when I conducted an ethnographic research on the local graffiti movement. 

Selected Publications

Referred Journal Article

In revision for Ethnography

"Emotional overlap and analytic potential of emotions in anthropology," Co-authored by Lindsey Feldman.


"Identity, history and image in the process of creation of the Conjunto Palmeiras brand during the 2014 World Cup", Co-authored by Silvia Helena Belmino and  Emylianny Brasil da Silva, Revista do Programa de Pos-Graduação  em Midia e Cotidiano, 11 (2)


"Neoliberal Policies and the Reshaping of the US-Mexico Border: the Case of Arizona." Co-authored by James Greenberg, In Anthropological Visions of the U.S.-Mexico Transborder Region, by Carlos Velez-Ibanez and Josiah Heyman (ed.). Tucson: University of Arizona     Press.


We lost the meaning of life' or short reflection on the  genocide of the souls in a                                            Brazilian periferia." Arizona Anthropologist, Vol. 24


Book Reviews


Review of "Black Women Against the Land Grab: The Fight for Racial Justice in Brazil. Keisha-Khan Y. Perry," Transforming Anthropology, Vol. 24 (1).


Review of "Living an Impossible Living in a Transborder World. Culture, Confianza, and Economy of Mexican-Origin Populations. Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez," Arizona Anthropologist, Vol. 26.


Book review of "Dance lest we all fall down: breaking cycles of poverty in Brazil and beyond (second edition), Margaret Wilson." Transforming Anthropology, Vol. 22 (2)



Courses Taught

As an instructor of record:


ANTH150: Many ways of being human for the New Start Program (designed for first generation to college students from Arizona, 6 weeks format), University of Arizona.


ANTH150: Many ways of being human for Center for English as a Second Language (designed for international students, 8 weeks format).


As teaching assistant:












What is politics? (Prof. Noam Chomsky and Prof. Marvin Waterstone)

Anthropology in a Global Context (Prof. Mamadou Baro)

Many ways of being human (Prof. Therese de Vet; Prof. Susan Shaw; Prof. Thomas Park)

Patterns in Prehistory (Prof. Daniela Triadan);  

Political Ecology (Prof. James Greenberg)

Development Anthropology (Prof. Timothy Finan)

Art History of the Cinema (Prof. David Soren)

Culture and the Individual (Prof. Mark Nichter)


Areas of Study

Latin America (Chile, Brazil), Europe

Research Interests

urban poverty, activism, alternative economies, urban violence, social movements, political anthropology, economic anthropology

Luminita-Anda Mandache's picture


M.A. in Anthropology, University of Louvain, Belgium

B.A. in Communication and Public Relations, National School of Political and Administrative Studies, Bucharest, Romania