Professor of Anthropology
Karen Porter teaches cultural anthropology and courses for the International Studies program.
Her international experience includes ethnographic field research conducted in Tanzania, Kenya, Honduras and Israel. She has traveled to more than 30 countries.
As an anthropological consultant, Porter has worked with United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Organization Resource Counselors (Mercer), Mars Incorporated, the Episcopal Church and with the Puyallup Nation on the Pacific Northwest Coast. She is a Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology.
Porter's research areas include social organization; international development, culture and agriculture; gender, kinship, marriage and family; work; social and cultural change; East Africa; and Native Pacific Northwest Coast.
Ph.D, M.A.,University of Rochester
B.A., University of Washington-Seattle
Teaching Areas / Expertise / Specializations:
Cultures of Eastern and Southern Africa
Cultures of Native North America
Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Food, Body, and Culture
Immigration and Transnationalism
Methods in Anthropology
Porter served for four years as the general editor of The Anthropology of Work Review, published by the American Anthropological Association. Her recent professional presentations focus on water rights; children's work; gender, kinship and identity; and international development and food security.
"Child Labor in Tanzania." The World of Child Labor: An Historical and Regional Survey. Hugh D. Hindman, Editor. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe Inc., 2009.
"Review of Generations and Globalization: Youth, Age, and Family in the New World Economy." American Anthropologist 110 (1):93-94, 2008.
"Economics: Small Businesses, East Africa." Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, Volume 6. Suad Joseph, General Editor. Pp. 190-192. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill Academic Publishers, 2007.
"Review of Life Skills, Sexual Maturation and Sanitation: What's (not) happening in our schools? An Exploratory Study from Kenya." African Studies Review 50 (1):199-201, 2007.
"Children's Work in Africa." In Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience, 2nd ed. Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., eds. Pp. 54-56. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
"Marriage is Trouble: An Analysis of Kinship, Gender Identity, and Sociocultural Change in Rural Tanzania." Anthropos 99.2004:3-13, 2004.
"Shared Work." In Encyclopedia of Community. Karen Christensen and David Levinson, eds. Pp. 1232-1237. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2003.
"Review of Congo-Paris: Transnational Traders on the Margins of the Law." Africa Today 50(1):132-35, 2003.
"An Anthropological Defense of Child Labor." Chronicle of Higher Education, November 19: B-11, 1999.
"The Agency of Children, Work and Social Change in South Pare, Tanzania." Theme Issue, "On the Backs of Children: Children and Work in Africa." Karen A. Porter, Guest Editor, Anthropology of Work Review 17(1&2):8-19, 1996.
"Rapporteur summary of Institutional Aspects of Impact Assessment - of and in National Agricultural Research Systems." Assessing the Impact of International Agricultural Research for Sustainable Development: Proceedings from a Symposium at Cornell University. David Lee, Steven Kearl and Norman Uphoff, eds. P. 160-161. Ithaca: Cornell University International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development, 1992.
"Rapporteur summary of Assessing Current and Potential IARC/NARS Networks: A Focus on Institutional Impact. In Assessing the Impact of International Agricultural Research for Sustainable Development: Proceedings from a Symposium at Cornell University. David Lee, Steven Kearl and Norman Uphoff, eds. P. 170. Ithaca:Cornell University International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development, 1992.