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Susanna Donaldson, Ph.D.

Teaching Associate Professor - Anthropology


Dr. Donaldson completed her graduate work in cultural anthropology at the University of Iowa.

Her research focuses on agricultural work and identity in southern Appalachia; though the majority of her field research has been conducted in a rural community located in Northeast Tennessee.

Her dissertation explores the ways in which farmers and farmworkers organize and experience agricultural labor within the context of social, political and economic change. She is particularly interested in the transition from reciprocal labor to wage labor as it has occurred in the rural United States and the Appalachian region. Her dissertation demonstrates how reciprocal traditions – replaced relatively recently in Northeast Tennessee by hiring local and (im)migrant labor – influences contemporary ideas, values and decisions made about agricultural work.

More broadly, Susanna’s research interests include U.S. agriculture, the anthropology of work, informal economies, cultural ecology, agrarian identity, and gender, race and class in rural communities.

Courses Taught

  • SOCA 105: Introduction to Sociology
  • SOCA 254: Cultural Anthropology