University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Krista Harper

Associate Professor, Anthropology and Public Policy
Family Research Scholar, 2008-2009



Krista Harper is a cultural anthropologist whose research interests include environmentalism and other social movements, political culture, postsocialist societies, critical heritage studies and the anthropology of food. She has conducted ethnographic research in Hungary, Portugal and the United States. In her book, Wild Capitalism: Environmental Activists and Post-socialist Political Ecology in Hungary (2006), she examined how the meanings of “civil society” and “environment” have changed as environmentalists encounter the political and ecological realities of life after state socialism. As a Family Research Scholar, Harper combined a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach and digital media to investigate how environmental inequalities are produced and how residents experience environmental and social exclusion in a city in northeastern Hungary and in two other communities. In recent projects she investigated the farm-to-school food systems in the United States using the PhotoVoice research method.