Affiliated Institutions

Lawrence University

An Arabic and Italian-speaking cultural anthropologist, my scholarship concerns forced migration and food and culture. My broader teaching and research interests at Lawrence University (Appleton, WI) include Middle East and North Africa, immigration in Italy, refugee issues, food and culture, and gender, race and ethnicity across cultures. My post-doctoral scholarship stems from my dissertation work with southern Sudanese displaced in Cairo, Egypt. When my 2010 Fulbright year in Cairo was cut short by the political revolution, my family and I spent the balance of that year in my husband's hometown of Forlì, Italy, where I started research on migration, food and identity with immigrants in Italy from Eastern Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa. In Fall 2014 I will serve as Visiting Faculty at AMIDEAST in Amman, Jordan where I will mentor semester-abroad students, advise their independent study projects, and teach a course exploring Arab Food and Culture.

Areas of Research

food and culture, forced migration, globalization


2007 “The Study of Refugees before ‘Refugee Studies'” (co-written with Claudena Skran) Refugee Survey Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 3, Pp. 15-35.

2007 “Migration Policies and Laws: Egypt” In Suad Joseph (ed) Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures: Economics, Education, Mobility and Space, Vol. 5, Pp. 431-433.

2006 “Conflict and Community in Church-Based Refugee Havens in Cairo: The Quest for Space to be Dinka” Arab Studies Journal, Vol. 14, No. 2, Pp. 39-59.


Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Food, Migration and Culture

Emilia-Romagna is also home to immigrants from Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, North Africa and the Middle East who adapt their own food and eating habits to local cuisine and culture. My project draws on face-to-face interview conversations and first-hand visits to homes, retail stores, and restaurant establishments to present the perspectives and experiences of immigrant men and women and their families. What can food tell us about the migration and immigrant experience?

Middle East, New Valley Governorate, Jordan

Food and Culture

This project explores what Jordanian food and eating habits communicate about local culture and society with a focus on more contemporary issues such as the impact of globalization on tastes, food tourism in Amman, and how television cooking shows, local cooking schools, or cookbooks reflect national cuisine and influence food and eating habits.