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K. Melchor Hall, PhD - Fielding Graduate University. Santa Barbara, CA, US

K. Melchor Hall, PhD K. Melchor Hall, PhD

Adjunct Faculty - School of Leadership Studies | Fielding Graduate University

Santa Barbara, CA, UNITED STATES

Black feminist scholar-activist crossing disciplinary and national borders


With academic credentials in both computational and social sciences, K. Melchor Quick Hall, PhD is a transdisciplinary scholar-activist. Her dissertation research explored the importance of cassava bread, or "ereba" in the Garifuna language, which is central to development in Honduras’ rural, Black indigenous Garifuna community. Highlighting the importance of Black women’s work in community development is an important aspect of Dr. Hall's socio-political commitments. In addition to working with rural farmers in Honduras, she also works in solidarity with food activists in the US, such as those at Soul Fire Farm, and understands how important science is to Black and indigenous livelihoods. Having taught and trained in various STEM disciplines, including mathematics, computer science, and environmental science, Dr. Hall is committed to increased access and opportunities for historically under-represented populations, including Black and Latino populations.

Industry Expertise (7)

Training and Development

Political Organization

Information Technology and Services



International Trade and Development

Program Development

Areas of Expertise (8)

Black Feminist Theory

International Development

Constructivist Grounded Theory

STEM Education and Training

Transnational Organizing

Food Studies

Latin America

Indigenous Studies

Accomplishments (6)

(2016) Finalist, First Book Prize (professional)

Awarded by the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA)

(2015) Runner-Up, Northedge Essay Prize (professional)

Awarded for “A Transnational Black Feminist Framework: Analyzing Race and Gender in the Context of a Global IR,” Millennium: Journal of International Studies

(2014) Outstanding Scholarship at the Graduate Level Award (professional)

Awarded by American University

(2013) Runner-Up, Kuklys Prize for best graduate student paper (professional)

Awarded for “Ereba Production: Expanding Capabilities through Collective Action,” by the Human Development and Capability Association

(2013) Sylvia Forman Award for best graduate student paper (professional)

Awarded for “The Masculinization of Ereba: Converting Women’s Work Into Men’s Capabilities,” by the Association for Feminist Anthropology

(2011-2012) U.S. Student Fulbright Grant (professional)


Education (5)

School of International Service, American University: PhD (with distinction), International Relations 2014

School of International Service (SIS), American University: MA, International Communication 2013

College of Science and Technology, Temple University: MS, Computer and Information Sciences 2003

Sarah Lawrence College: BA, Mathematics concentration 2000

(2013-2015) Academic Professional Development: Certifications as noted, Various

• Cuba: Race, Gender, and Identity, Witness for Peace delegation, November 28 – December 7, 2015 • Black and Latin@ Farmers Immersion, Soul Fire Farm, July 26 – July 31, 2015, Grafton, NY • Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera Certification, Advanced Proficiency, May 23, 2015 • Women of Color Leadership Project, National Women’s Studies Association (2014 – 2015) • Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models certification, Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research, Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research, June 24-July 19, 2013, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Research Grants (1)

(2015) Władysław Maryan Froelich Research Grant

Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies 

Awarded for “Ereba Iriona Photography Project”

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Articles (5)

Introducing Joint Capabilities: Findings from a Study of Development in Honduras' Garifuna Ancestral Villages

(2017) Journal of Human Development and Capabilities

Vol. 18, no. 1: 60 – 74. This article argues for the family as a unit of analysis within capabilities approaches to human development. Challenging the liberal emphasis on the individual, this article illustrates that individualist approaches to families do not account for the relatively common scenario of families acting as a unit. Building upon Margaret Gilbert’s concept of plural subject agents, the paper suggests a new category of capabilities called joint capabilities that apply to the opportunities afforded to families that function as a unit.

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Agility, Intersectionality, and Deliberation: My Path to an Adaptive and Transformative Research Process

(2017) Critical Methods in Political and Cultural Economy

Edited by Johnna Montgomerie, 83 – 87. New York: Routledge.

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A Transnational Black Feminist (TBF) Framework: Rooting in Feminist Scholarship, Framing Contemporary Black Activism

(2016) Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism

Vol. 15, no. 1: 86–105. What is the role of feminist scholar-activists in contemporary Black freedom movements such as Black Lives Matter? This article proposes a Transnational Black Feminist framework as a theoretical complement to grassroots activism in Black communities. The proposal framework is rooted in Black feminist and transnational feminist traditions, and has as its core the building principles of intersectionality, scholar-activism, solidarity building, and attention to borders and boundaries.

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The Masculinization of Ereba Production: Converting Women's Work into Men's Capabilities

(2014) A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies

Vol. 24: 81 – 97. This article calls for the expansion of the capabilities approach to development, which focuses exclusively on individual opportunities. The call for the inclusion of collective capabilities, or opportunities of groups, is based upon seven months of ethnographic fieldwork in the Afro-indigenous Garifuna community of Honduras, working with the makers of cassava bread, or ereba. Employing a Black feminist epistemology, the paper focuses on the women who bake and sell ereba.

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Developing a Dual-Level Capabilities Approach: Using Constructivist Grounded Theory and Feminist Ethnography to Enhance the Capabilities Approach

(2014) Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research

Vol. 8, no. 3 (Spring 2014): 128 – 143. In this study, a dual-level capabilities approach to development is introduced. This approach intends to improve upon individual-focused capabilities approaches developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum. Based upon seven months of ethnographic research in the Afro-descendant, autochthonous Garifuna community of Honduras, constructivist grounded theory methodology is used to develop a dual-level capabilities approach, inclusive of collective and individual capabilities. The makers of ereba, or cassava bread, are the focus of this study, which describes the ereba-education cycle as interlocking collective capabilities that demonstrate the interdependence of village ereba makers and urban students.

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