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

"Emotional Overlap and the analytic potential of emotions in Anthropology," Co-authored by Lindsey Raisa Feldman, Ethnography: 1-18, doi: 10.1177/1466138118768620

"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 Consumo

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

"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

"A fear that never ends." A Virtual Lab of Legal Anthropology.

"Notes from the field: Inequality and Fear in a Brazilian destination for 'Academic Tourism,'” Arizona Anthropologist, Vol. 26

Courses Taught


ANTH150: Many ways of being human for the New Start Program (designed for first-generation 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).


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