Hanna Garth

Assistant Professor of Anthropology
On sabbatical for academic year 2023-2024
129 Aaron Burr Hall

Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles (2014)


Anthropology of Food; Consumption; Inequality; Medical Anthropology; Race and Racism; Social Justice; Activism; Latin America and the Caribbean; Women and Gender Studies; Black/African American Studies

Short Bio

Hanna Garth is a sociocultural and medical anthropologist focused on the anthropology of food. Garth’s scholarship is broadly focused on the ways in which marginalized communities struggle to overcome structural inequalities and prejudice as they attempt to access basic needs. Garth studies these questions in Latin America and the Caribbean, and among Black and Latinx communities in the United States. She has focused on the ways in which the global industrial food system affects food access inequalities.

Her first book "Food in Cuba: The Pursuit of a Decent Meal" (Stanford University Press, 2020), is based on ethnographic research in Santiago de Cuba, the island's second largest city. Her research reveals the ways that even food distribution systems, which ostensibly supply sufficient nutritional needs, can also have detrimental effects on individual and community wellbeing. Her next book project will draw on ethnographic research she has conducted on the Los Angeles Food Justice Movement from 2008-2021. This project analyzes the work of organizations that are trying to improve access to healthy food in South Los Angeles. Based on this work she co-edited the volume Black Food Matters: Racial Justice in the Wake of Food Justice (University of Minnesota Press, 2020). She is also conducting new research in South Los Angeles on emergency food programming during and after COVID-19, and developing future work on fish and seafood in the Caribbean.

Prior to arriving at Princeton she was an assistant professor in Anthropology at UC San Diego from 2016-2021. She received her PhD in Anthropology from UCLA, an MPH from Boston University, and was a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Irvine in Anthropology.

Selected Publications

2020  Black Food Matters: Racial Justice in the Wake of Food Justice, Hanna Garth and Ashanté Reese, Eds. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
2020  Food in Cuba: The Pursuit of a Decent Meal. (Stanford University Press)
2013  Food and Identity in the Caribbean. Hanna Garth, Ed. London: Bloomsbury.

Articles and Book Chapters
2021   “There is no race in Cuba”: “Level of Culture” and the Logics of Transnational Antiblackness" Anthropological Quarterly 94 (3) 385-410.
2021   The 2020 Los Angeles uprisings: fighting for Black lives in the midst of COVID-19. Viral Loads: Anthropologies of Urgency in the Time of COVID-19, Edited by Lenore Manderson, Nancy J. Burke and Ayo Wahlberg. London: University College London Press.
2020   “The Violence of Racial Capitalism and South Los Angeles’ Obesity “Epidemic.” American Anthropologist Vital Topics, Chronic Disaster: Reimagining Non-Communicable Chronic Disease. 
2019   Consumption, Temporality, and Celebration in Santiago de Cuba. American Anthropologist.
2019   On the Limitations of Barriers: Social Visibility and Weight Management in Cuba and Samoa. Social Science & Medicine. [with Jessica Hardin]
2019    Alimentary Dignity: Defining a Decent Meal in Post-Soviet Cuban Household Cooking. Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology.
2018    Studying Food Acquisition: Lessons from Santiago de Cuba and South Los Angeles. Social Science Research Council (SSRC). Items: Insights from the Social Sciences.
2017    [with Michael Powell] Curating Value(s) with the Retail Brand: Rebranding a Corner Store in South Los Angeles. Journal of Business Anthropology. 6(2):175-198.
2017    Food in Contemporary Cuba. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History. William H. Beezley and Robin Derby (Eds.)
2017   "“There is no food”: Coping with Food Scarcity in Cuba Today." Hot Spots, Cultural Anthropology, March 23.
2014   “They Started to Make Variants”: The Impact of Nitza Villapol’s Cookbooks and Television Shows on Contemporary Cuban Cooking. Food, Culture & Society.