Chelsea Abbas

Chelsea Good Abbas, PhD

  • Associate Professor
Media Expertise:
  • Gender & Sexuality
  • International Relations
  • Arts & Culture
  • Social Justice

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Affiliated Programs


  • PhD, Applied Anthropology (2020)
    Columbia University (NY)
  • MPhil, Applied Anthropology (2017)
    Columbia University (NY)

About Me

My understanding of learning is that it takes place during experiential moments in any community of practice—in a mechanic’s shop, a cramped dishwashing room at a restaurant, or on a street corner in Chester, PA. I value learning as it occurs in the action of doing and through subsequent reflection and application of new knowledge.

As an educator, I believe in facilitating meaningful student encounters with communities, cultures, and perspectives different from their own. Therefore, I focus my teaching on creating immersive learning environments where students engage with the “real-world” and grapple with problems of global concern. I challenge students to explore the boundaries of their knowledge and worldviews, and I hold them to high standards when defending their conclusions, whatever they ultimately may be.

Research Interests

My general research interests lie in border studies, migration and the anthropology of conflict and violence in the Central American context. Within the U.S., my work focuses on issues central to Latino communities and advocacy, such as Latino representation in mainstream media, immigrant rights, language and education. Most recently, my dissertation work examines the dynamics of an international border dispute between Costa Rica/Nicaragua and how this conflict affects the lives of local villagers in the region. Over the course of summer 2018 & 2019, I will be traveling to Nicaragua on a Fulbright grant to teach and help develop an interdisciplinary research agenda on migration in Central America at the Universidad Centroamericana in Managua.

Media Expertise

  • Anthropology
  • Border Studies
  • Migration
  • Conflict & Violence
  • Central America


  • Negron-Muntaner, F. & Abbas, C. (2016, April 22). With media mergers, Latino roles drop and stereotypes skyrocket on TV. Fox News Latino.
  • Negron-Muntaner, F., & Abbas, C. (2016). The Latino Disconnect: Latinos in the Age of Media Mergers. The Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, Columbia Univ. New York.
  • Negron-Muntaner, F., with Abbas, C., Figueroa, L. & Robson S. (2014). The Latino Media Gap: A Report on the State of Latinos in U.S. Media. The Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, Columbia Univ. New York.


  • Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award, Nicaragua (2017-2018)
  • Graduate Fellowship, The Earth Institute, Columbia University (2014-2015)
  • National Science Foundation, Summer Institute for Research Design (2012)