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Spring 2011

From the Chair

Photo of Bettina Shell-DuncanUndoubtedly all of you have heard about the significant cuts facing higher education in Washington State. The squeeze is particularly tight for our deparment, since anthropology remains the fastest growing major in our college, with nearly 6oo undergraduate majors. Yet even in these dire times we have a number of successes to celebrate, including the launch of a new Anthropology of Globalization track, a new study abroad program in Italy, and our first-ever fundraiser, "A Taste of Spring" to be held May 26. Read more from Bettina Shell-Duncan.


Of Course ... ANTH 361: Thought-provoking and Tasty

Photo of a pizza cooked by students in ANTH 361“My friends are all envious because we get to cook in class,” a student told anthropology professor Ann Anagnost in 2007, the first time Anagnost taught “Food for Thought” as an early fall start seminar for freshman. Since then, the class—which includes hands-on activities with food—has been turned into an upper division course for both anthropology majors and a growing number of non- majors, to raise awareness of how food connects issues of the body and health, with concerns for the environment and for social justice. Read more.


Foraging Wild Foods in Urban Spaces

Photo foraged urban foodstuffs on a plateAnthropologists have written extensively about foraging traditions in small-scale societies, but few have examined wild food foraging practices in urban, post-industrial spaces. To address this gap, Melissa Poe (PhD 2009), with a team of geographers and policy analysts, has worked since 2008 to better understand urban foraging practices. Their ethnographic studies in Seattle, Philadelphia, and New York City have included several UW Anthropology graduate and undergraduate students. Read more.


Dumpsters, Forbidden Fruit, and the Social Afterlife of Things

Photo of man hanging over the side of a dumpsterDumpsters at the Pike Place Market overflow with slightly bruised or wilted produce—part of an estimated 96 billion pounds of edible food thrown away in the U.S. every year. Fortunately there are people working to intercept such food before it hits the dumpster, including Anthropology doctoral student Dave Giles. Giles' research investigates the economic and cultural relationships between waste and want, through the work of groups like Food Not Bombs, which solicits leftover produce from vendors and distributes it publicly, for free, to anyone who wants it. Read more.