Areas of Expertise
The African Diaspora/ Political Economy/ Urban Anthropology/Ethnographic Method & Theory [Collaborative Anthropology]/ Race and Social Theory
2005 Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Tennessee
2000 M.A., Anthropology, University of Tennessee
1997 B.A., Anthropology, University of Tennessee
Hargrove's scholarship and research interests converge around five distinct areas of anthropological inquiry and praxis: a) the political economy of racism as a "postcolonial predicament," as well as an offshoot of capitalist globlization; b) the ‘New World’ African Diaspora, particularly within the context of "race" and race theory, and the ways in which race, class, and gender intersect to produce shared experiences of local and global inequality; c) the web of relationships connecting culture, power, and history to space and place (both real and imagined); d) the politics and ethics of ethnographic research; and e) collaborative anthropology.
Hargrove's ethnographic specialization lies in and around the Sea Islands of South Carolina, Georgia, and Northeast Florida, where she has cultivated an ongoing relationship with Gullah/Geechee communities combating the forces of heritage tourism, resort, and gated community development. In adjacent urban areas, displacement and redevelopment agendas bring similar results, while tourism operators continue to thrive by exploiting an invented, romanticized version of Southern history (further developed within Hargrove's writing as an integral component of the “New South”). In this version, there is no credit given to the enslaved Africans and Gullah/Geechee who built the glorious antebellum homes, or the unpaid labor on surrounding plantations that produced one of the wealthiest planter classes in North America.
In response, Gullah/Geechees have taken their concerns to the international arena via the United Nations, seeking rights to self-determination as an American linguistic minority. With assistance from IHRAAM (International Human Rights Association for American Minorities) grassroots organizations are invoking “Africa” to redefine their predicament within a broader context as descendants of an historical event of genocidal proportions. In 2006, the U.S. Congress passed The Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Act, thus establishing the “Gullah/Geechee Heritage Corridor” and allocating $15 million dollars to the region over the next ten years “to enhance the preservation and interpretation of the Gullah/Geechee cultural heritage.” Chronicling this ongoing struggle (which is where Hargrove comes in) is of extreme significance to various Diasporic communities seeking justice based upon human rights, while their expressions of postcolonial agency and redefined nationalism have much to contribute to current theoretical (re)imaginings of the anthropology of the African Diaspora.
Publications & Presentations
Peer Reviewed Publications
2009 “Mapping the Social Field of Whiteness: White Racism as Habitus in the
City Where History Lives” Transforming Anthropology 17(2): 93-104.
2007 “Will ‘the Fools’ Always Live Off the ‘Damn Fools’? The Politics of ‘Lowcountry”
Tourism’.” Practicing Anthropology 29(3)
2002 “Culture for Sale: Marketing Gullah Identity in the South Carolina Sea Islands.”
Southern Anthropologist 29 (1): 24-31.
2009 Lorenzo Dow Turner: Father of Gullah Studies (Margaret Wade-Lewis). Journal of
Southern History 75:837-838.