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Ashanté M. Reese

Ph.D., (Anthropology), American University, 2015
Assistant Professor
211-G Sondheim Hall
410 455 5640

Short Bio: I earned a bachelors in History with a minor in African American studies from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. After undergrad, I taught middle school at Coretta Scott King Leadership Academy in Atlanta, GA for two years. I went on to earn a Masters in Public Anthropology at American University in 2013 and a PhD in Anthropology, specializing in race, gender, and social justice two years later. Broadly speaking, I’m interested in Black geographies – the ways Black people produce and navigate spaces and places in the context of anti-Blackness. While I am interested in and committed to documenting the ways anti-Blackness constrains Black life, I am constantly brought back to the question, what and who survives? This question, I think, is animated by my recurring interest in community and vulnerability in both my research and personal life and the human experience more broadly. This question and these themes show up over and over again in my work. I marvel at the ways we make lives, even when constantly surveilled and threatened by state and corporate violence and neglect.

My first book, Black Food Geographies: Race, Food Access, and Self-Reliance in Washington, D.C. was published by UNC Press in April 2019. My second, Black Food Matters, is volume co-edited with Hanna Garth.

Research Interests: critical food studies, black geographies and epistemologies, urban studies (particularly gentrification and city planning), carcerality and agriculture, black feminisms, ethnographic research methods and practice

Recent Publications:

  • Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C. (University of North Carolina Press, 2019)
  • Black Food Matters: Centering Black Ways of Knowing in the Wake of Food Justice – coedited with Hanna Garth (University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming 2020)

Peer Reviewed Articles:

  • 2018   “We Will Not Perish; We Will Flourish: Race, Food Access, and Geographies of Self-Reliance,” Antipode 50:2: 407-424
  • 2016   Wallace, Brandy Harris, Ashanté M. Reese, Sarah Chard, et al. “Understanding the Subjective Experience of Medication Adherence for Older Urban African Americans with Type 2 Diabetes and a History of Illicit Drug Addiction,” Journal of Aging and Health.

Book Chapters 

  • 2018   “Zora Neale Hurston and Ethnography of Black Life.” The New Black Sociologists: Historical    and Contemporary Perspectives. Marcus Hunter, ed.
  • 2018   “Gender in Food Access Research in the U.S.: Gaps and Possibilities.” McMillian Handbook on Gender and Space. Aimee Meredith Cox, ed.

Public Scholarship

2019  “Refusal as Care.” Anthropology News, June 4, 2019.

2019  “When we Come to Anthropology, Elsewhere Comes With Us.” Anthropology News, February 20, 2019.

2017  “What It Means to Study Food at an HBCU.” Gravy, Winter 2017.

2017  “Black Women’s Food Work is from the Future.” Food Anthropology, April 13, 2017.

2017  “Zora Neale Hurston and Refusing One Dimensional Blackness.” Anthropoliteia, January 18, 2017.

Select Recent Presentations: 

  • 2018  Roundtable – Cite Black Women: A Critical Praxis. National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • 2018  Roundtable – Black Feminist Food Futures: Towards a Praxis of Liberation. National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia. (session organizer)
  • 2018  “Between a Corner Store and a Safeway: Constraint and Possibility in an Anti-Black Food System.” Presented at (Anti)Blackness in the American Metropolis, Baltimore, Maryland.
  • 2018  “Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-reliance, and Food Access in the Nation’s Capital.”            Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship Retreat, Tampa, Florida.
  • 2017   “In the Food Justice World but Not Of It: Black Agency in the Age of Hypervisibility.”    Presented at the American Anthropological Association Annual Conference, Washington, D.C.
  • 2017   “Food Studies Didn’t Prepare Me for Death: Grief and Black Feminist Praxis in the Study of Food Access.” Presented at the National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference, Baltimore, Maryland