Vanderbilt University Department of Anthropology
Tristan studies migrant labor, agriculture, and people’s history. After graduating from Brigham Young University and spending several years doing participatory ethnography with peasant unions struggling for land reform in Guatemala, he began studying the processes of dispossession and alliance-building among Tennessee farm laborers. This research forms the basis of his current dissertation work, where he utilizes collaborative social-movement centered methods to engage in participatory worker-to-worker research and popular education work. He is based out of the Nashville Greenlands community, an agrarian social justice collaborative in North Nashville.
2016-2017 Curb Scholar Project
As Nashville develops into a rising ‘creative economy’ the low-wage workforce behind the entertainment, tourism, and cultural sectors has grown as well. More specifically, the hotels and tourist centers that make Nashville’s “Southern Hospitality” famous are predominantly cleaned by women of color, whose wages are stagnant or declining while performing some the most strenuous and physically-unhealthy jobs in the city. Tristan developed a worker-owned grassroots media infrastructure designed and managed by the low-wage workers as it seeks fair labor practices, living wages, education opportunities and humane working conditions.