Jessica Cattelino


Jessica Cattelino


Office: 397 Haines Hall


Phone: 310-825-4400

Curriculum Vitae

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I study and teach about sociocultural life in the contemporary United States.

My research focuses on economy, nature, indigeneity, and settler colonialism. My book, High Stakes: Florida Seminole Gaming and Sovereignty (Duke University Press, 2008; winner of the Delmos Jones and Jagna Sharff Memorial Book Prize from the Society for the Anthropology of North America), examines the cultural, political, and economic stakes of tribal casinos for Florida Seminoles. Currently, I’m writing an ethnography about the cultural value of water in the Florida Everglades, with focus on the Seminole Big Cypress Reservation and the nearby agricultural town of Clewiston. This project tells the human story of Everglades restoration and theorizes the co-production of nature and indigeneity in settler societies like the United States. Additionally, I lead a research team at the Center for the Study of Women that is completing an ethnographic study of gender and everyday household water use in Los Angeles. The study is funded by the UCLA Grand Challenge on Sustainable Los Angeles. I write about indigeneity and money, the anthropology of the United States, and indigenous sovereignty, and I am collaborating with photographer Adam Nadel on a museum exhibition about the inextricability of people and nature in the Everglades.

My work is influenced by scholarship in American Indian Studies and Gender Studies, and I hold faculty affiliations in both programs at UCLA. My current research is funded by the National Science Foundation (Law and Social Sciences), the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Howard Foundation. Additionally, I am funded through participation in a National Science Foundation Long Term Ecological Network on the Florida Coastal Everglades, for which I am undertaking wildly interdisciplinary collaboration as a co-author of a paper on phosphorus and will conduct ethnographic research on the social life of a stormwater treatment area. Recently I was a Visiting Associate Professor of American Studies at Yale University.


2019  Of Climate and Chilling Effects. Public Culture 31(2). Forthcoming.

2019  Victor H. Rivera-Monroy, Jessica R. Cattelino, Jeffrey R. Wozniak, Katrina Schwartz, Gregory B. Noe, Edward Castañeda-Moya, Gregory R. Koch. The Life of P: A Biogeochemical and Sociopolitical Challenge in the Everglades. In The Coastal Everglades:  The Dynamics of Social-Ecological Transformation in the South Florida Landscape. Daniel L. Childers, Evelyn Gaiser, and Laura Ogden, eds. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Forthcoming

2018  From Locke to Slots: Money and the Politics of IndigeneityComparative Studies in Society and History 60(2):274-307.

2018  Indian Gaming, Renewed Self-Governance, and Economic Strength. An interview by J. Kēhaulani Kauanui in Speaking of Indigenous Politics: Conversations with Activists, Scholars, and Tribal Leaders. J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, ed. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Pp. 65-77.

2016  Loving the Native: Invasive Species and the Cultural Politics of FlourishingIn Ursula Heise, Jon Christensen, and Michelle Niemann, eds. The Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities. London: Routledge, pp. 129-137.

2016  Jessica R. Cattelino and Adam Nadel. Getting the Water Right: The Cultural Politics of Water in the EvergladesLens Magazine. October 6. (Wrote Editor’s Note and most of caption text.)

2015  The Cultural Politics of Water in the Everglades and Beyond. 2015 Lewis Henry Morgan Lecture, University of Rochester. Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 5(3):235-50 (video also available)

2015  Valuing Nature. Fieldsights – Theorizing the Contemporary, Cultural Anthropology Online, March 30, 2015.

2015  North America: Sociocultural AspectsIn: James D. Wright (editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 17. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 22–26.

2011 “One Hamburger at a Time”: Revisiting the State-Society Divide with the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Hard Rock international: with CA comments by Thabo Mokgatlha and Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi. Current Anthropology 52(S3): S138-149. Supplementary issue: Corporate Lives: New Perspectives on the Social Life of the Corporate Form. D.J. Partridge, M. Welker, and R. Hardin, eds.

2011 Thoughts on the U.S. as a Settler Society (Plenary Remarks, 2010 SANA Conference). North American Dialogue: Newsletter of the Society for the Anthropology of North America 14(1):1-6.

2010 Anthropologies of the United States. Annual Review of Anthropology 39:275-292.

2010 The Double Bind of American Indian Need-Based Sovereignty. Cultural Anthropology 25(2):235-62.

2010 Termination Redux? Seminole Citizenship and Economy from Truman to Gaming. In B. Hosmer, ed. Native Americans and the Legacy of Harry Truman. Pp. 122-135. Kirksville, MO: Truman State University Press.

2009 Fungibility: Florida Seminole Casino Dividends and the Fiscal Politics of Indigeneity. American Anthropologist 111(2):190-200.

2008 High Stakes: Florida Seminole Gaming and Sovereignty. Duke University Press. 2008 Gaming. In Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 2, Indians in Contemporary Society, Garrick A. Bailey, vol. ed., William C. Sturtevant, general editor. Pp. 148-156. Washington: Smithsonian Institution.

2007 Florida Seminole Gaming and Local Sovereign Interdependency. In D. Cobb and L. Fowler, eds. Beyond Red Power: Rethinking Twentieth-Century American Indian Politics. Pp. 262-79. Santa Fe, NM: SAR Press.

2006 Florida Seminole Housing and the Social Meanings of Sovereignty. Comparative Studies in Society and History 48(3):699-726.

2005 Tribal Gaming and Indigenous Sovereignty, with Notes from Seminole Country. American Studies (Special issue on Indigenous People of the United States) 46:(3/4): 187-204; co-published in Indigenous Studies Today 1 (Fall 2005/Spring 2006).

2004 Casino Roots: The Cultural Production of Twentieth-Century Seminole Economic Development. In Hosmer, B. and O’Neill, C., eds. Native Pathways: Economic Development and American Indian Culture in the Twentieth Century. Pp. 66-90. Boulder: University of Colorado Press. Winner of the Western History Association Arrell M. Gibson Award

2004 (with William Sturtevant) Florida Seminole and Miccosukee. In Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 14, Southeast, Raymond D. Fogelson, vol. ed., William C. Sturtevant, general editor. Pp. 429-449. Washington: Smithsonian Institution.

2004 The Difference that Citizenship Makes: Civilian Crime Prevention on the Lower East Side. PoLAR (Political and Legal Anthropology Review) 27(1):114-137.

Awards & Grants

Research Excellence Award for Associate Professors, UCLA Institute of American Cultures and Center for the Study of Women (2017)

Annette Kolodny Environmental Studies Prize, American Studies Association (awarded by the Environment and Culture Caucus to the best environmentally themed paper presented at the ASA annual meeting, for “Invasive Species and Flourishing in the Florida Everglades”) (2015)

Cultural Horizons Prize (best article in Cultural Anthropology during 2010, for “The Double Bind of American Indian Need-Based Sovereignty”), Society for Cultural Anthropology (2011)

Delmos Jones and Jagna Sharff Memorial Book Prize (best book published in previous two years), Society for the Anthropology of North America (2010)

Honorable Mention, Gregory Bateson Book Prize, Society for Cultural Anthropology (2009)

Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, University of Chicago (2008)

Western History Assn. Arrell M. Gibson Award for year’s best essay on Native American history (2005)


Ph.D., New York University (2004)