Tracy Ehlers (BA University of Wisconsin, MA, Ph.D. University of Colorado) is Associate Professor Emerita of Anthropology at the University of Denver specializing in the study of underdevelopment, women, women’s work, and gender relations in Latin America and urban, inner city America. She is the author of Silent Looms: Women and Production in a Guatemalan Town, based on her research in a developing Mayan community. Her second book, Sugar’s Life in the Hood, tells the life story of an entrepreneurial African American woman trying to get off welfare. She collaborated with England’s Granada Television to produce a documentary film based on her work in Guatemala for their award-winning series, Disappearing World. Ehlers was awarded a 1995 Fulbright Fellowship to Costa Rica where she studied microenterprise and taught at the National University. It was there that she began to be interested in the anthropology of tourism. In 2001, Dr. Ehlers won the University Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award at DU. She is Founder of Women Work Together, a non-profit organization that partners with community leaders to empower rural women and girls in highland Guatemala.
Over her career, Tracy has sailed three times as a faculty member on Semester at Sea (Spring 1980, Fall 2008, and Summer 2111.) She loves opera, movies, cooking, good books, and her family (husband, Michael and 2-year old Golden Retriever, Tootsie).