Robin O'Brian header

Research Interests

My longtime interests have focused on women's work, especially in the highlands of Chiapas, in Mexico. Recently, I've become very interested in traditional weaving produced by Maya women in this region. Women here have woven since before the invasion of the Spanish, but patterns, colors and methods are changing widely and dramatically. I've presented posters on this and have begun designing a course on traditional weaving.

It affects my teaching more than my research, but after a 6-week visit to major Maya sites in the summer of 2006 as part of the "Maya Worlds Summer Institute," I've become more interested in the ancient Maya as well as their contemporary descendants.

I'm also very interested in how Americans, us (no pun intended) think about the economy--not in the business sense, but how it shapes our cultural and social lives. I'm currently considering ways to explore this as well.