Though he was born in Toronto, Jason truly hails from Barbados where he progressed through the British primary and secondary school system (think polyester uniforms and forty degree heat). While there, he developed a love for Anthropology and Archaeology, volunteering on excavations of various local sites. Graduating high school with a Barbados Government Scholarship, Jason went on to complete an Honors. B.A. in Anthropology and Religious Studies at McGill University in Montreal (so from forty above zero to forty below). There, he wrote a senior thesis on the role of politics and perception in the cartography of colonial Mexico.
He took such interests with him to graduate school at the University of Chicago. Beginning as a student of Archaeology, he participated in excavations in New Orleans and conducted one of his own on an abandoned 18th century hacienda in Yucatán. Upon completion of his M.A., he transitioned to the subfield of Cultural Anthropology in which he pursued ethnographic study of development conflict on an obsolete but still-inhabited Yucatecan hacienda. This involved 15 months of fieldwork among a small rural community of Maya-speakers, examining the tensions over historic preservation that emerged with the sudden interventions of outside developers. The resulting dissertation, on cross-cultural perceptions of ruin and renovation, was awarded the Daniel K. Nugent Prize for Historical Anthropology.
He is currently a full time instructor at the University of the Fraser Valley where he teaches courses on themes ranging from urban life to the cultural constructions of trash. Whether in fieldwork, research, or teaching, Jason is devoted to the ways in which curiosity and appreciation of cultural difference can improve social outcomes, strengthen cosmopolitan communities, and encourage greater self-awareness and collective reflection.
Jason is now hoping to set down roots in the area. He is relatively new to Vancouver, so feel free to recommend him things to do. When not teaching, you might find Jason kayaking, record collecting, or infiltrating the local Latino community.
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