I am a soon-to-be graduating senior in Anthropology who has been working in my school's Agriculture Department for 2 years. I am interested in soils and people's treatment of them from an anthropological standpoint. I am posting to inquire how someone might become more involved in this field, ie: research positions, graduate schools, whatever really.
What I would suggest is looking at places that combine strong anthropology departments with strong agriculture schools. My Ph.D. alma mater Cornell is one possibility. The anthro department is Ivy League, the university is a curious hybrid, both Ivy League college and a state university, with strong departments in agriculture, agricultural economics,etc.
I want to reply to this publicly, because me and Max have been private messaging about it and it seems un-public spirited. So I´ll try to put my most recent reply on here, and maybe the public can catch up...
Clark Erickson´s work on raised field beds is indeed interesting, I got into that myself a few years ago. There is is a good overall retort to the projects in general though which I think is even more interesting called
i come from a luo culture in kenya and my culture has a lot to do with soil use in the economic, religious and social spheres.i am willing to share what i have once i have collected all the facts.
Ronnie: That sounds fascinating. I am very open to learning more about this when you collect your thoughts.
Paul: Sorry for the long response times. It is exam week here so I have been a little out of touch. I ordered a copy of Inventing Indigenous knowledge, hopefully it will be arriving soon. The grad school hunt is going to be postponed until next semester, however your advice has been very useful. I hadn't even thought to search within the realm of knowledge in it's anthropological connotation. From what I have learned there are professors who dabble in both anthropology and agriculture at Oregon State University. Their work sounds fascinating; it deals mostly with present farmer knowledge about business practice. A little modern for my taste, but still great work.
What type of food anthropology research are you currently working on?
Great - though that must have set you back a bit. I'm gonna email you some refs about indigenous (better perhaps 'local') knowledge and development maybe that'll give you an idea of the sort of approaches and ontologies there are for looking at soil knowledge
Also an old review I did of that Swartley book is attached.