Hello, I’m Debra Lattanzi Shutika, a mystery writer and folklorist. For the 2022-23 academic year, I will be a Fulbright Scholar in Ireland, teaching in Galway at Atlantic Technical University‘s Heritage Studies Program and conducting research in County Mayo in three Gaeltacht communities: Achill, Crossmolina, and Erris. I’ll be detailing my research and adventures through my newsletter: The Buzz.
About my fiction: my short story, “Mala Suerte” appeared in Diamonds, Denim and Death, the 2019 Bouchercon Anthology and “Frozen Iguana” was published in the 2018 Bouchercon anthology Florida Happens. “Mirrors” appeared in Richard Peabody’s Abundant Grace: The Seventh Collection of Fiction by D.C. Area Women. I’m revising a novel, The Other, a mystery about postmodern changelings.
I am also author of Beyond the Borderlands: Migration and Belonging in the United States and Mexico (2011, University of California Press), an ethnography that explores the lives of Mexican immigrants and their American neighbors in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania and the transformation of their home community in Mexico. Beyond the Borderlands is the winner of the 2012 Chicago Folklore Prize.
I direct the Field School for Cultural Documentation, a collaborative project with the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Our next field school is scheduled in Washington DC summer 2023 where we’ll be working on community gardens in National Parks. \We have completed ten community-based documentation projects, including the occupational culture of Arlington National Cemetery, two years in the Columbia Pike neighborhood in Arlington, VA (2011-12) the Alexandria Waterfront (2014), Arlington County Community Gardens in 2016 & 2017. We have also held two residential field schools in West Virginia. One in Morgan County in 2012 and the West Virginia Coalfields in 2018. In January 2020 the field school was conducted on Achill Island, County Mayo, Ireland.
My current academic projects include a book-length ethnography about the National Park Service on the 50th Anniversary of Summers in the Parks.
I teach Folklore, digital storytelling, ethnographic writing and ethnographic research methods at George Mason University.
Email: DebraLattanzi96 AT gmail DOT com
Blog: Living Ethnography