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In projects that focus on local food, artisanal production, and economic revitalization, I explore how cultural assets and independent enterprises intersect to shape the careers and wealth of a community. The central proposition of this work is that trades such as local food production or  native craft manufacture, with hundreds of small, independent operators and with shared public marketplace, are effectively a commons.  These will fail for the same reasons that pastures, forests or fisheries do.  A breakdown in the practices of stewardship and in the local boundaries of economic control will ruin the resources that all depend on. Alternatively, these enterprises can foster new public, economic spheres in which proprietors defend shared the value which can support innovation and business longevity.

2019 The Anthropology of Economic Regeneration. Economic Anthropology (6) 147-149. (PDF)

2018 (with Juliane Mueller) Introduction: Popular Economies and the Remaking of China-Latin America Relations. Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 23(1): 9-17 (PDF)

2018 The Rise and Fall of Cheap Chinese Goods in Ecuadorian Popular Markets: Lessons in post-Neoliberal Development in Correa’s Ecuador. Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 23(1): 37-55. (PDF)

2018 (with Meenu Tewari, Sophie Kemelson, Andrew Guinn, and Gabriel Cumming) Mission driven intermediaries as anchors of the middle ground in the American food system: Evidence from Warrenton NC. Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment. 40 (2) 114-123

Our work on North Carolina Local food is reported on here:

2014 (with Meenu Tewari, Alena Steen, Alice Brooke Wilson, and Dorothy Holland) Communities, Supermarkets, and Local Food: Mapping Connections and Obstacles in Food System Work in North Carolina. Human Organization 73(3) 247-257. (PDF)

In much of this work, I have partnered with Jason Antrosio.  He and I bring these ideas together in:

2015 Fast, Easy, and In Cash: Artisan Hardship and Hope in the Global Economy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Preliminary findings and the foundations for this approach can be found in a series of publications:

2014           (with Jason Antrosio) Risk-seeking Peasants, Excessive Artisans: Speculation in the Northern Andes. Economic Anthropology 1(1) 124-138. (PDF)

2012           (with Jason Antrosio) Economías  públicas y escondidas en Atuntaqui (Ecuador): los desafíos de la cooperación sostenible en la producción (Public and Hidden Economies in Atuntaqui Ecuador: The Challenge of Sustaining Cooperation in Textile Production). Eutopia 3: 69-92. (PDF)

2012           (with Jason Antrosio and Paola Mantilla)Rafael Correa’s Multicolored Dream Shirt: commerce, creativity and national identity in post-neoliberal Ecuador. Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies (7)3: 275-294. (PDF)

2011           Antrosio, Jason and Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld. From Workplace to Heritage: Renovating and Reinventing an Ecuadorian Textile Factory. Anthropology News 52(7), October, p.9.

2011           Colloredo-Mansfeld, Rudi and Mark Peterson. Dancing the “Republican Two-Step” with Copyrights, Patents, and Corporations. Common-Place, Vol 12, no. 1 October 2011. (LINK)

2011.          Colloredo-Mansfeld, Rudi, J. Antrosio, E.C. Jones. Creativity, Place, and Commodities: The Making of Public Economies in Andean Apparel Industries. In Textile Economies: Power and Value from the Local to the Transnational, edited by P. McAnany and W. Little. pp. 39-55. Walnut Creek: AltaMira. (PDF)

2011           (editor) “Cultural Resources, Community Commodities, and the Defense of Work in the Global Economy” a special issue of Anthropology of Work Review 32(2). (LINK)

2011           Work, Cultural Resources, and Community Commodities in the Global Economy. Anthropology of Work Review 32 (2)51-62. (PDF)

2009.         Colloredo-Mansfeld, Rudi and J. Antrosio. Economic Clusters or Cultural Commons? The limits of Competition-Driven Development in the Ecuadorian Andes. Latin American Research Review (44)1:132-157. (PDF)

2006           “Ecuadorian Apparel, Apparently Global” (with Jason Antrosio) Anthropology News, September 2006, pp.14-15. (PDF)

2002           An Ethnography of Neoliberalism: Understanding Competition in Artisan Economies. Current Anthropology 43(1):113-137.[receiving full *CA treatment, accompanied by author’s Response]

2001           Artesanías, competencia económica, y expresión cultural en las comunidades de los Quichuas. Ecuador Debate 52(April):135-150. (PDF)