Interview with Susan Andreatta, March 22, 2019

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:04 - Anthropology across disciplines

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Partial Transcript: This is Barbara Rylko-Bauer, and I'm conducting an interview with Susan Andreatta for the Society for Applied Anthropology's Oral History Project.

Segment Synopsis: Andreatta is asked by Rylko-Bauer to describe her background and education in anthropology. Andreatta describes her beginnings in a medical school where her father was an associate dean, followed by her beginnings in anthropology and Spanish at the University of Delaware. Andreatta explains how she created her own applied anthropology program by taking agricultural and Latin American courses across multiple disciplines. She notes the influence that anthropologists like Juan Villamarin, Norman Schwartz, and Mike Whiteford had upon her early college education at the University of Delaware and Michigan State University. Andreatta then describes her initial experience in the Caribbean working in Jamaica on agroforestry and with farmers who had been displaced by government policies. Andreatta goes on to describe how she then continued to work in the Caribbean.

Keywords: Agriculture; Agroforestry; Antigua; Caribbean; David Watts; Environment; Environmental studies; Human geography; Juan Villamarin; Latin America; Mike Whiteford; Norman Schwartz; Spanish; University of Hull; Water issues; Water usage; Water use; Women in development

Subjects: Agroforestry; Anthropology; Applied anthropology; Latin America; Society for Applied Anthropology

GPS: Link to map
Map Coordinates: Array
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00:16:29 - Applying anthropology

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Partial Transcript: Well, before we, um, switch to talking about your early work experiences, um, when you were doing your, uh, doctoral studies, was it, um--I mean obviously you, you know, you have a very strong applied orientation.

Segment Synopsis: Andreatta describes how she got into applied anthropology without ever taking an applied anthropology course while in university. Andreatta expresses her belief that anthropology is just wasted effort if it isn't put to use for the benefit of those who are being observed and studied. This belief is what grounded her in applied anthropology. However, Andreatta also describes her status in academic anthropology as a university professor and how this hybrid status can be utilized in encouraging students to apply their research towards improvement and development. Andreatta also explains how her work brought her to the intersection of international and domestic agriculture and how work done in either can be utilized when studying the other. She further elaborates this concept by describing her collaboration with other academics specializing in other areas of farming and agriculture.

Keywords: Community engagement; Connecting with community; Domestic work; Environmental anthropology; Farmers; Hybrid anthropologists; Hybrid anthropology; Inter-disciplinary approaches; International work; Intersectionality; John O'Sullivan; Land-based food systems; Medical anthropology; Mike Whiteford; Organic farming; Pragmatism; Scott Whiteford; Student-engagement; Water-based food systems

Subjects: Anthropology; Applied anthropology; Interdisciplinary approach in education; Medical anthropology; Organic farming; Pragmatism; Society for Applied Anthropology

00:30:50 - Work in the Society for Applied Anthropology

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Partial Transcript: But I think now I'd like to turn to your work at the--for the Society of Applied Anthropology.

Segment Synopsis: Andreatta describes her path to becoming the Society for Applied Anthropology president. Andreatta explains to Rylko-Bauer that the society is strongest when there is dialogue between committees, the board, students, and the local communities where events take place. When asked about her achievements, Andreatta states that it is the small, quiet things such as creating liaisons on the board for committees that she is most proud of. Andreatta stresses the importance of networking for students and encourages future board members and society members to make themselves available to students at society meetings.

Keywords: Bureaucracy; Career mapping; Committees; Community outreach; Direct communication; Mike Whiteford; Networking; Student outreach

Subjects: Anthropology; Applied anthropology; Bureaucracy; Community participation; Outreach; Society for Applied Anthropology

00:54:21 - Outreach through community gardens

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Partial Transcript: Well, I think this is a good, kind of, segue to your work at UNCG.

Segment Synopsis: After being asked about her work at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Andreatta describes the courses she teaches and the textbooks she has helped author. Andreatta then begins to describe her involvement in the university's community garden. She explains that the garden serves multiple purposes: it is a social sphere for students, a relief from the stress of university life, a way to teach students skills on how to live a sustainable lifestyle, and a way to help support the local community. When Rylko-Bauer asks about another garden project, Project Greenleaf, Andreatta explains that this particular initiative was targeted at the immigrant community as a way of helping them help themselves. This project received attention and support from Bruce Springsteen and other charitable donors for its goals.

Keywords: Applied perspective; Campus involvement; Charity; Community gardens; Community involvement; Community outreach; Immigrant communities; Immigrants; Networking; Sustainability; Textbooks; University gardens; University of North Carolina; University of North Carolina, Greensboro (UNCG)

Subjects: Anthropology; Applied anthropology; Charity; Community gardens; Immigrants; Outreach; Society for Applied Anthropology; Sustainability; Sustainable agriculture

GPS: University of North Carolina, Greensboro (N.C.)
Map Coordinates: 36.065903, -79.812140
01:14:01 - Work in fisheries: Carteret Catch

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Partial Transcript: And that same website, um, was picked up, and then maybe my articles on community-supported agriculture.

Segment Synopsis: Andreatta and Rylko-Bauer discuss Andreatta's involvement in setting up "Carteret Catch." Andreatta explains that she was approached by a fishery specialist in North Carolina about setting up a similar system based upon the community gardens she had been involved in, but the focus this time being community fisheries. Andreatta describes the importance of promoting seafood products as local to give them an edge in the competition with imported seafood. She then states that the program in North Carolina spread to all U.S. coastlines and beyond under different names.

Keywords: Barry Nash; Buying local; Community fisheries; Community outreach; Community supported fisheries (CSF); Emic perspective; Fisheries; Fisherman; Fishers; Fishing practices; Local businesses; Outreach; Small businesses; Traceability program

Subjects: Anthropology; Applied anthropology; Outreach; Small business; Society for Applied Anthropology

GPS: Beaufort, Carteret County (N.C.)
Map Coordinates: 34.717446, -76.662353
01:24:38 - Ensuring a sustainable future

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Partial Transcript: Well, to kind of conclude, um, I, I want to ask kind of these larger, um, uh, questions relating to impact and vision.

Segment Synopsis: Andreatta responds to Rylko-Bauer's question on the impact of her efforts and work. Andreatta emphasizes that it is important for young people to be involved with farming or at least know the work that goes into it. Andreatta explains that water wars, starvation, climate change, loss of biodiversity, and many other environmental changes that are occurring and will occur if our resource extraction practices do not evolve to be more sustainable. Andreatta discusses the philosophy of degrowth, not placing the value of GDP over the importance of ensuring quality of life and environmental protection. Before the interview closes, Andreatta states her belief that there will be no shortage of issues for applied anthropologists to work on in the future and stresses the importance of helping people's voices be heard, not just the issues that they face.

Keywords: Applied anthropology; Climate change; Degrowth; Global impact; Marginalization; Sustainability

Subjects: Anthropology; Applied anthropology; Climate change; Society for Applied Anthropology; Sustainability