Erica Kowsz is a cultural anthropologist and filmmaker. Her most recent research brings together semiotic approaches to social difference in contemporary liberal democracies, political and legal anthropology, and critical indigenous studies. From 2009 through 2014, she worked on issues related to cultural heritage & archaeological practice in North America. From 2015 through 2021, she undertook dissertation research on Indigenous experiences of social and political recognition in the United States and Norway. She completed her PhD in cultural anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2022.
Currently, Dr. Kowsz is Assistant Director of Fellowships at the Fries Center for Global Studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. At Wesleyan, she draws on her own track record with grants and fellowships and her many years working with student applicants at UMass to support Wesleyan students and alumni applying for nationally competitive awards. She also teaches the capstone course for Wesleyan’s Global Education Minor.
In the longer term, Kowsz has worked in university teaching, documentary film and video production, museum consultation, web content development, academic publishing, and qualitative research instruction and consulting with the Institute for Social Science Research. She has been a Fulbright fellow (Canada, 2011-2012), a Beinecke Scholar (2012-2015), a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow (2014-2019), and a Mellon-Council for European Studies Dissertation Writing Fellow (2020-2021).