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Annie Wilkinson

Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology, UC Irvine

Non-Resident Fellow: September 2021 – December 2021

Research Project: Illiberal Insecurities: Truth, Democracy, and Anti-Gender Activism in Mexico

Research Interests: Anti-feminism, post-truth populism, conspiracy theories, disinformation, security culture, democracy, polarization, transnational social movements, U.S.-Mexico political traffic, ethnographic methods


Annie Wilkinson is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at UC Irvine. Wilkinson’s dissertation examines how gender and sexual politics have become polarized and instrumentalized in times of intense political, economic and social upheaval and uncertainty under the conditions of Mexico’s dual crises of security and democracy. The manifestation of popular transnational anti-gender campaigns to oppose gender and feminism in Mexico in recent years raises pressing scientific and political questions about how crisis, in/security and rapid social change are reshaping prospects for equality and democratic conditions in Mexico. 

Drawing on more than a year of ethnographic research with anti-gender activists across Mexico, Wilkinson explores how they articulate their political grievances and proposals in ways that make appeals to security and to secular democracy, even while they resignify them. As she analyzes their efforts to re-naturalize traditional gender norms and reassert these ideals as imperatives for both democracy and security, Wilkinson traces how their dispute over the “truth” of gender unfolds in movement discourse and practice across various modes of in/security—physical, epistemic and ontological— and how these appeals are understood and engaged by various supporters of the movement both online and off. Wilkinson’s research has been generously supported by the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Fulbright Commission and the Institute for Citizens & Scholars (formerly Woodrow Wilson Foundation).