Megan Carney

Director, Center for Regional Food Studies

Megan A. Carney is Assistant Professor in the School of Anthropology and the Director of the Center for Regional Food Studies. She is the author of the award-winning book The Unending Hunger: Tracing Women and Food Insecurity Across Borders (University of California Press, 2015) based on ethnographic fieldwork that she conducted from 2008-2011 with Mexican and Central American migrant women in Santa Barbara, California, a region with a deep history of seasonal labor migration and some of the highest rates of food insecurity and poverty in the nation. Her book was named one of the “Best Books on Food Insecurity” by Healthline in 2018 and selected as a California Book to Action in 2019.

Dr. Carney is a sociocultural and critical medical anthropologist with research and teaching specializations in transnational and gendered migration, food and food systems, immigration policy, and health inequality. She conducts the bulk of her research in the western United States with Latinx, Mexican, and Central American communities and in Italy with a particular focus on migration in the Mediterranean. Some of her most recent work has examined migrant solidarity networks in Sicily, the social organization of labor within the Pacific Northwest hops industry, critical perspectives on the human microbiome, and approaches to community health among diasporic populations in the American Southwest. At the University of Arizona, she teaches courses on: food and migration; the anthropology of food, fermentation, and microbes; ethnographic research methods; and migrant health in the Americas and the Mediterranean. She has published in many peer-reviewed journals such as Social Science and Medicine, Gastronomica, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Food and Foodways, Food, Culture, and Society, International Migration, among others. 

From 2018-19 she is a Public Voices Fellow with The OpEd Project. Her op-eds have appeared in places such as The Hill, Civil Eats, Arizona Daily Star, Scientific American, and Sapiens. At the UA, she is also affiliated faculty in Latin American Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Middle Eastern and North African Studies, and Food Studies. She earned her PhD and MA in Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her BA also in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Center for Regional Food Studies Profile

The School of Anthropology Profile